Friday, June 7, 2013

Goodbye 43...

As I sit here on the last day as a 43 year old, I am relishing the memories and the lessons of this past year.  At every turn there was an amazing person entering, opportunity presented, chance I was taking, another new experience to observe.  I have grown exponentially as a person finding my soul and allowing my heart to call the shots.  

At the top of my list this year was seeing my support system in living color, circle around me.  It is no secret I went through a time of great upheaval.  In fact, fear of that upheaval had previously paralyzed me.  When it finally happened, a cavalry came in I did not even know existed.  I was offered unwavering friendship.  I realized that my circle of support does not coddle or placate me.  I am not told what I want to hear, they tell me what I need to hear and from that I have grown.  As I thanked them in my dissertation acknowledgements, Helen, Susan, Maria, Eric, Danielle, Melissa, Lori and John.  New people entered my life, some behind closed doors as they looked for support and friendship at a tough time in their life and I was honored they connected to me.  My family has been around me.  Someone very close to my heart now calls me Dr. Hero.  I am one lucky woman. 

During my year long  journey I found my way to Pendragon Cottage for guidance and wisdom of Marcus Padulchick.  His presence in my life during this year has taken on many forms as friend, mentor, brother (older brother…much older brother), and sometimes uncle.  Because of Marcus’ kick in the ass I now write for the Huffington Post.  He provided daily encouragement as I finished my dissertation at lightning speed.  Thanks to his guidance my business is on track.  Through his Exploration of Self program, I found my soul.  Marcus, thank you for helping me get out of the wagon and launch my own star. 

Half of my 43rd year was spent in a relationship that was not meant to be but taught me great lessons as I now move forward, much clearer about what I want in the future.  A new dear friend has taught me to release myself from the confines of relationship security and serial monogamy - separate the “long term from the right now.”  So I am out there having fun not rushing towards the alter or even thinking past the meal I share with a date.  I have started dating online, which provides an endless amount of amusement and has actually shown some promise. Get out there, look around, take my time, freakin’ relax.  The tarot cards have predicted great love for me – he will be whole and complete, how refreshing. 

I have felt and seen the fire within me again, it is back, be warned.  This is a force to be reckoned with and I must learn to tame it at times, it has a tendency to go off the reservation quickly.  There are now two documented cases of appliance combustion related to me, one hair dryer and a refrigerator, my dear friend footing the bill for each.  Through these flames I have felt true passion and learned that even if you can stand the heat, you may still need to get out of the kitchen, but leave with peace because you just never know.  

I graduated, finally finishing my Ph.D. and true to my style I walked that commencement stage in a way no other graduate ever has before.  My three committee members were present (yes, they actually all showed up), to hug and congratulate me.  My father, Dr. Francis Gardella was the first Rutgers GSE alumnus to hood his graduating Ph.D. daughter.  It was a day to celebrate it all, my accomplishment; the friends who helped me get to that stage, and just the general awesomeness of my life. 

I have always said my job as a parent is to “give my children wings and then enjoy as they fly.”  And fly this past year they did.  I have watched my oldest blossom in many ways, most personal and I will not share.  She is now an active part of our workforce protecting lives at the pool.  Unfortunately she is not driving because, as it turns out, we have found the only thing I am scared to death of in life – her behind the wheel.  I have watched my middle daughter fly her freak flag a bit higher, once again shaving her head raising money for pediatric cancer research and continuing dressing in her own style.  She is lobbying hard for piercings that I refuse to allow and so she tortures me with a snake clip winding through and around her ear – good for her – but I am still not bending.  And my youngest has found her passion in the world of dance.  We cannot get her to stop twirling around the house.  Through this I have entered the dance mom world and yes, I have tears when she performs.    I was thanked in my Mother’s Day card “thank you for letting us be ourselves.”  Girls, I would not have it any other way.  Find your own path, I am always here for you…start to pay your own bills as soon as possible.  My three children have taught me to live from my heart.

Believe it or not, those were only the highlights.  Each and every day has been filled with wonder, amazement, questions and some whackiness that I have savored. 

Looking forward to tomorrow…bring it on 44.
Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to…..I can face anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman

Jennifer L. Gardella, Ph.D.


  1. Great thoughts and writing as usual!

  2. Thanks Tommy! Good to see you here on G+!!

  3. Well written as always. Happy Birthday!

  4. I was happy to follow the Links ..
    Copy, Pate and Go ..
    C:\Users\Art\Dropbox\Public\Shared Pics\2013-06-08_1439.png

    .. this blog being a welcome surprise !

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