I nearly died. Dramatic, I know, but it’s true.
On July 16th, 2003 I was buying oranges at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market when a car came plowing through the market in what is now known as the “Santa Monica Farmer’s Market Crash” which left 10 people dead and over 60 of us with serious injuries both physical and mental.
On that horrific day, a car going sixty miles an hour came crashing through the market sending tables, debris and people flying through the air. One of those tables flew at me like a bullet, pinning me to the ground and knocking the joy and zest for life right out of me with a giant jolt.
The car swerved and killed the man standing right next to me.
I struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) so severe it sent me into flashbacks and panic attacks that caused me to pass out daily. I didn’t sleep for eight months and ended up in a hospital psychiatric ward. I couldn’t read, I struggled to remember common words and I stuttered when I talked.
At the time, I was pursuing a career in acting and had just played a character that inherited Buffy Summers’powers on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” I was so excited to book that role! I thought my career was going to take off and all my dreams were going to come true – until that day.
Because of the PTSD I couldn’t audition – I mean, I could barely get out of bed and when I did I couldn’t stop crying enough to leave the house. Not to mention, the stutter and the forgetting of the words, oh and the fact that I couldn’t read the script, let alone remember it! My agent dropped me because of all of it. I was a disaster and I thought my career and life were over.
It took me three and a half years before I could work regularly again, seven years before the flashbacks and panic attacks stopped and eleven years and a lot of self-work to really understand and embrace my purpose in life.
That day changed my life forever.
The events of that day and subsequent journey have lead me to what I’m calling my “near death experience – 11 years later.” This experience I am having right now. The experience of really understanding how my entire life – from being the child of a teenage mother, to being abused when I was a kid, to having an eating disorder as a teen and young adult, to struggling with not having a voice – has lead me to where I am today. It has opened up my heart, inspiring me to form Create with Jenna, a platform that allows myself and others to share their hearts, passions and projects.
I am on a mission to share and create. I believe if we all shared our experiences, good and bad, that people wouldn’t suffer so much. People wouldn’t be ashamed and would seek help when they need it and people would be inspired on a daily basis to live the life of their dreams! In doing this I believe we will be able to create a better world for ourselves.
I am a very opinionated and passionate person and I will no longer apologize for that. I mean, I nearly died and then experienced losing my mind – what’s the worst that can happen if I share my opinion?
Therefore, I am embracing my gift of gab, my love of public speaking and writing and I am going to go out there and share my perspective on the things I have experienced in my time here on earth.
I believe we must acknowledge where we are before we can move on. I believe in breaking things down into small manageable steps. I believe that those who would judge you are really judging themselves. I believe that optimism can be reality. I believe in embracing who you are and sharing that with those around you. I believe in “infusing you into everything you do.” I believe that I am here to make a difference. And, I firmly believe we can all create the life we want to live.
My story is long and I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Please explore the site and see if there is any way we can create something together whether it be; an event, a thought, a craft project, etc. Each tab will give you more insight into how we can make those things happen.