Jana Llewellyn

A little bit of Janatude

Mother and Son

Yesterday, I woke up early in the morning and sat at the table across from my son, who was awake and eating breakfast. I had a lot on my mind about my future, of things I may keep and others I may have to give up, and tears came to my eyes. He doesn’t usually see me this way: human, vulnerable, trying to figure things out. I’m fortunate that I […]

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Why Doesn’t Love Last?

I think our deepest need is to love and be loved. And yet so many relationships end, and not well, or people disappoint us. We want to be loved, but we don’t know what that’s supposed to look like. Or we want to love someone else, but they don’t receive it or know how we feel. And then a relationship ends in one way or another, and we’re left bereft, […]

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The Thing I Hate and the Thing I Love

Until yesterday, despite being in an MFA program for creative writing, I have not written fiction in earnest for many weeks. Because I hate trying to write stories. And yet telling stories is also my great love. I spoke recently to my advisor from my MFA program, the talented and generous Helen Schulman. The novel I’m writing, and have been tinkering with for several years, is not working yet. It […]

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Awake or Asleep?

I’ve always had so many questions. When I was in first grade in a city Catholic school, for instance, and a nun started teaching us about Adam and Eve, I raised my hand and asked how all the people in the world could possibly be made from just two people. Especially if incest was wrong. (Though I doubt that’s how I phrased it.) The nun told me to go back […]

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Trusting Again

What do you do when someone is not who you thought they were? How can you ever trust another person again, or trust yourself? Years ago, I had a spiritual job I loved, something I felt called to do. It inspired and enlivened me, gave me a sense of passion and purpose I had never had before. But then the man who gave me the job, who was also my […]

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Wildflowers

Three years ago, in March, I took a trip to the Grand Canyon. It was a place I always wanted to go, and for some reason, it felt like the right time. I was at the cusp of a new job, a new beginning, and the desert was calling to me. I had never gone on a trip by myself before. I had never even hiked. But I wanted to […]

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Spring Mix

It’s spring, and all the trees in my neighborhood are bursting with color. I’m also taking a lot more walks, listening to the birds, seeing nature rising up in splendor everywhere. Even the crows seem harbingers of something good, their squawks more chipper than usual. Ever since college, I’ve been a big believer in the mix tape, even though no one listens to cassette tapes anymore. Making a mix tape […]

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