Sunday Reflections: Reflecting on My Reflections. On a Sunday, of course.
On Sundays, I often write posts that I call Sunday Reflections. They are much more personal, a choice I’ve made to live my life more authentically and more open to raise awareness about issues that I face in my life, both personally and professionally. I’ve talked about growing up as a teen with an eating disorder. I’ve talked about living as an adult with a mental health issue (I have depression, anxiety and on occasion panic attacks). I’ve talked a lot about being a teen librarian and being a parent, and how the two parts of my life often intersect, especially now that I am the parent of both a tween and teen. I’ve talked about being a survivor of sexual violence and trying to raise two daughters in a world that objectifies and sexualizes girls at such a young age. I’ve talked about the financial struggles of working in an underpaid profession and how challenges in maintaining a work/life balance while struggling to make ends meet has been challenging for both my husband and I. I’ve talked about how working with teens has opened my heart and mind to things I never understood before, like LGBTQIA+ issues and teenage homelessness. I’ve talked about the importance of representation and the harm of stereotypes. I’ve talked about what it’s like as a librarian who has always loved reading to raise a struggling reader. I’ve talked about learning, growing and changing my mind. Over the last nine years I’ve changed my mind more than once about things, because it’s okay to change your mind when you have new information.
Today I thought I would share with you some of my favorite Sunday Reflections from the past. Because, why not.
There are a little over 120 Sunday Reflections here on TLT. A vast majority of them have been written by me, though in the early days there were some occasional guest posts by others. I’ve learned that during really depressive times of my life, I don’t really write Sunday Reflections. Sometimes I’m also overwhelmed with all the negative I’m seeing in the world and in those times, I write less as well because I can’t figure out where to even start.
My sincere hope is that one day my daughters will one day stumble upon this blog, which I imagine will long be no longer updated by then, and have a better idea of who I am and what I tried to do in the world, the life I tried to live and the legacy I tried to leave behind. They are, of course, fully aware of this blog. No picture or post that references them is done so without their consent. My oldest, The Teen, has chosen to follow my example and life her life struggling with anxiety in very open ways because as she reminds me, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. And it’s not. It’s part of why I talk about it here, I don’t want her or her sister to be ashamed of any part of who they are or this life that they live.
I love being a teen librarian. I love and believe in libraries, in books, in the power of words and the importance of story to help develop compassion and wisdom and understanding. But more than anything else, I love my family. It’s a gloriously messy thing to be both a teen librarian and the parent of a teen, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Most days.
Filed under: Sunday Reflections
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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