Jana Llewellyn

A little bit of Janatude

Listening to Yourself

A few years ago, when I was getting on the subway to go to work, I had a consistent vision of my purse being lifted off my shoulder. I didn’t know what it meant, or why I seeing it. Was I going to be robbed? I wondered. But it kept coming back, day after day, right at the same time. A word here about the word “vision.” When I say […]

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How Do I Be Me?

For most of my life, I’ve gone into various situations and felt troubled that I was different from everybody else. For instance, let’s take this story of the shoes. In seventh grade, my aunt gave me a pair of hand-me-down, rust-colored pink shoes with leaf-engravings on the side and holes that showed my foot-skin. (I don’t think I’m explaining these very well.) They had skinny pink laces and smooth wooden […]

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Positive and Calm

I received one of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten yesterday. It was from my 9-year-old daughter, who said this week in school, they’re studying Women’s History Month. When the teacher asked kids to raise their hands and share a woman they thought should be included, my daughter raised her hand and said she wanted to include me, her mom, because “she’s been through a lot but she stayed positive […]

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Mom Sits on Couch All Day And Reads

Recently, one of my favorite former students posted a link on Facebook about a mom who was breastfeeding while running in an Iron Man (Iron Woman?) competition. The image posted with the article has her literally running with a breast pump on her chest. I’m all about “girl power” and strong women. Believe me, I am. I think women are amazing, wonderful human beings who should be worshipped and treated […]

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The Exact Right Place to Be

I had a friend once who told me about her mishaps in dating. Her husband died and she’d been raising her daughter for years on her own. Every once in a while, she’d go out on a date, for practice, she said. Sometimes she’d get involved in a relationship. But after the first two relationships ended badly, she decided she was going to swear off men altogether. “I just refuse […]

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The Maladjusted Book Club: Dazed and Dreaming

Why does sinking into a nice long slumber sound so appealing? Is a dream world where we’d all rather be? This is a question faced by Otessa Moshfegh’s narrator in the new critically-acclaimed novel, My Year of Rest and Relaxation. Like many of us, I am a person who wants to escape, who wants to distract myself from the sometimes painful realities of life. There has been many a time when […]

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