JenSop: The Singing Traveler!

Idealist. Dreamer. Singer. Explorer.

2014 – Holy cow!

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I’m looking at the clock as I start to type this, and in three minutes it will be January 2, 2014.  Another year feels like it flew by – fast, but not fast, both at the same time.

So I’m going to do some self-reflections for whoever feels so inclined to read them.  Partly to put in writing the inner workings of my complicated mind, and also partly to feel connected to others who feel the same way about similar things.  I always feel better when I know there are others who go through some of the same stuff I do.

Here goes….

* First and foremost, I’m beyond grateful and happy for finally finding true love in my life.  I know I’ve been saying it often lately, but it’s true.  I went through a lot of not-so-happy stuff before arriving here to this point, and I have the emotional scars to prove it.  I now know that I was never really in love before, ever.  Because anything I’ve ever experienced before pales in comparison to how I feel now.  Although, having a rocky past helps you to appreciate just how wonderful the real thing can be.  It definitely helps you to see love’s true value and just how rare it can be to find it.  I won’t wax poetic too long here, but you can read THIS POST from August to give you a little more insight.   I just know that something happens when we’re together that’s like this amazing energy moving between us that when combined is quadrupled in power.  No, it’s more than quadrupled…  Like this warm, amazing, glowing energy thing that happens and makes us feel just so freakin’ happy…  Yeah, I know that might not totally make sense to everyone, but it’s the only way I can think to explain it.  Put it this way – it’s wonderful.  And it keeps growing and getting better with each passing day.

*At the same time, my past still haunts me, and I have lapses of extreme insecurity and fear.  Don’t get me wrong, things are getting so much better.  I actually feel like my old wounds are healing – the ones that I thought would never go away.  Healing!  Real love does that I guess.  But all it takes is some kind of random trigger, and I’m a mess.  A complete and total mess.  Things buried deep down come out to torment and plague me.  It makes me so frustrated.  I don’t like it.  I don’t know how to not be like that.

* With every passing year, the world feels smaller and bigger all at the same time.  I’ve been to so many places that the younger me would never have dreamed of!  Traveling to new countries and cities isn’t scary at all!  I love to travel and I love adventure!

* But I do feel scared sometimes about life in general.  It’s not like I’m some college kid just starting out.  I don’t feel that time is infinite anymore.  I feel more a sense of needing to do things with the time I do have.  The years just go by faster and faster.  Time may run out before I can do something truly significant or worthy.   I’m always kind of scared that I will be a huge failure and I will let everyone down.  Disappointing people, especially my family, is one of my greatest fears in life – will I have time enough to prove myself to them?

*I am also frustrated that I don’t know when Miloš and I will be able to live together in one permanent place like other couples get to do.  It’s really not fair.  But his job is his job, and that means he goes away to work.  Eight months out of the year, he’s away on a ship.  (Except for his 3 weeks vacation.)   Moving to Europe is going to make things easier, but we still won’t be permanently living together.  What it will do is make it easier for our “being apart” stretches to be shorter.  I don’t want ANY more 3-4 month stretches apart.  They get harder and harder all the time.  Hell, he’s not even been gone two weeks since I last saw him, and we’re missing each other terribly.  It’s downright unbearable.  By me living in Europe, perhaps we can at least keep it to no more than a month going by without seeing each other when he’s working.

*And I keep realizing that even though I’ve been talking about it for a LONG time (over a year), people seem to forget that my goal, what I’ve been working on for some time now, is to live most of each year overseas.  I plan to be in the States for the three months a year around Christmas Caroling season, but otherwise, I hope to be in Europe.   I’ll still be working as a travel agent, as I can do that anywhere there’s an internet signal.  How is it different for me to be working on my laptop here in PA than it is over in Croatia or Austria?  No difference whatsoever.  None.   Let me repeat for my clients, friends, and family: I’m still an expert at planning Disney trips, AND am only getting better at helping you go other places in the world as well!

I’m super eager and more excited than ever to help you plan your vacations!

* I learned in this last year that there are things more important in life than singing.  Non-singers will be perplexed at this statement.  (Huh?  What the hell is she talking about?)  But singers will get the significance of such a statement, and there will be those on either side of the fence  – who will either be in agreement, or will think I’m talking crazy talk.  To the young singers out there who feel that NOTHING will ever be more important than singing…. I was you once…. I realized I was wrong.  You might think that nothing can match the  exhilaration and passion you feel when you sing and perform those certain arias or shows, but there are things that can be greater, or equal to that feeling.  For some, it can be love, for others it might be something else.  Everyone’s different.  And it doesn’t mean you lose your love and passion for singing, you just realize that the world is not black and white like that.  It’s not either-or.  You are NOT a bad singer to feel that way.  A true light bulb moment of perspective.

*I have no patience whatsoever for anyone who uses phrases such as: age appropriate, act your age, you’re too old to wear this or do that or whatever.  Any of that crap.  Or people who think you have to subdue your excitement or wonder or joy because you’re not a kid anymore.  To those people I say this: you can all sit around with your poles up your backsides feeling miserable.  Keep your own issues and insecurities to yourself, and don’t transfer them onto others.  People need to be less judge-y.  Keep it to yourselves, all you haters.  When it comes to doing fun stuff – don’t hold back your excitement.  When something makes you happy, feel it.  Revel in it.  And if you feel so inclined, jump around and tell the world!   Also, when it comes to fashion there’s really only one rule that applies, and one only: if you like it, wear it.  Simple. If someone wants to roll their eyes or judge, they’re either just jealous or extremely close-minded.  Feel sorry for them, not self-conscious of yourself.  Period.

*I’m a sensitive person who feels feelings in a really extreme way.  When I’m happy, I’m elated.  When someone hurts my feelings, I might sit around and cry for two hours.  It doesn’t mean that I am a weak person.  Hell, if some of the tough guys out there had to go through some of the stuff I’ve experienced in life, they’d probably be curled up in the fetal position in the corner of their bedroom closets.  Being a more emotional person just means you react differently to things.  Different does not equal inferior.  (And that last sentence works for SO many other things too.  Different does not equal inferior!)

* I believe in Karma.  I will always be the person who strives to do the right thing no matter what.  Even if it’s not the easier path.  What goes around comes around.  If you put good into the world, it will come back to you.  Seriously.  It’s not okay to do things that will hurt others.  It’s just not.  Golden Rule, people.  Just follow it.  The world would be such a better place.

* Lastly, I’m a nerdy dork, who’s perfectly comfortable with being a nerdy dork.  I will happily discuss Lord of the Rings and the many details of Tolkien’s Middle Earth, before watching an episode of Star Trek TNG for the tenth time.  I’m not a comedian and the few jokes I attempt are pretty darn lame.  But that’s totally okay with me.  At least I can make myself laugh!  I sing along with almost every song I know, and don’t give a rat’s patootie who hears or sees me doing it.  I love to dance and will purposely break out the Running Man if a good early-90’s song comes on when I’m out, just for the sake of having fun and being silly.



I think that covers all the biggies that I can think of right now.  And I’m super tired, so I’m going to head off to bed.

A wish for you all:   that 2014 will be a year of wonderful amazing things for each of you.  That we all find success through kindness and love.

I wish you smiles and happy moments.  I wish you laughter and joy.

Happy New Year, everyone!


Author: JenSop

One of my favorite quotes is, "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough." I guess I've been a dreamer all my life - I set my sights high and then I try to reach the sky. Some might call me a naive idealist, but that's just the way I am. I believe in always taking the high road, I believe in true love, and I believe in treating people the way you want to be treated. If you put good out into the world, good will come back to you! Being the dreamer that I am, I pursued singing as my primary life's calling - I've got two degrees in classical voice under my belt, and I sing just about anything under the sun. I also love a good adventure. Over the past few years, I've done quite a bit of world traveling, and have even lived abroad for stretches at a time: mostly in Vienna (Austria) and Croatia. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and I became a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. (Seriously, I KNOW Disney - I've been going regularly since I was a little girl - and I LOVE it!) And with all my experience traveling and living in Europe, I'm becoming quite the specialist in that travel category as well. (And last year, I started working as a Tour Director in Central Europe!) As to the other juicy details of my life - I'm originally from Pennsylvania, I'm married to an awesome Croatian man named Miloš who is the BEST adventure partner a girl could ask for. (He's also an expert on knowing how to make me smile.) He's truly the love of my life! I've also had all kinds of other jobs along the way, besides singer and travel pro. (Which is pretty standard for those of us who went to school for music.) I've worked part time weekends as a Disney Princess look-alike for children's parties. I've been teaching for almost 20 years, and have lots of experience in retail and customer service. Oh, and I should also probably mention that I'm a huge Lord of the Rings/Star Trek nerd! :-) Let's all go along for an adventure, shall we?

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