Behind The Looking Glass

Oh, hi there.
It’s you.
How have you been?
I’ve been okay.
I’ve just been dealing with a few things. I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long. I know, two weeks doesn’t seem like that much, but time goes by so slow. It’s just hard, you know? But I think I’ve taken enough time. Time away really allowed me to think. To actually clear my mind and see for the first time. Or maybe I’ve just seen all along, it’s hard to tell. I seem to go through periods like these quite often. The ones where I feel lost, and I just…float? I try to swim, but I don’t really get anywhere. Circles, on circles.
But now I have you, again.
The sole constant in a sea of many droplets.
Thank you for listening to my thoughts. 

Unfortunately, I’ve found myself taking another hiatus from blogging. It’s funny because it wasn’t even that long ago when I had blogger burnout and I had to hit pause. Well, here I am, again, but for different reasons. I’ve actually been bustling with ideas and things to write about, but I’ve decided to take some time to myself and really think things through and sort out my mess of a brain.

Looking back, I thought it was time to dive a little deeper, again. Aside from the high levels of stress I’ve accumulated from worrying about final papers and presentations, I’ve been dealing with chronic pain. Early last year, I underwent a huge period of stress, pain, and worry. After many doctor visits and tests, I was diagnosed with back arthritis, exercise induced asthma, and basically very weak lungs making me always susceptible to bronchitis.

The past few weeks have been very hard on me. I can’t sleep or even function properly without being in pain. And I know there are some people out there that have it worse than I do, I’m not trying to complain. I just need to get it off my chest. Seeing my mom’s face filled with worry every time I wince is really heartbreaking. And there were several instances in class where a classmate asked me what was wrong because the pain was clearly written all over my face. I actually developed wrinkles from scrunching my face to cope with the pain (I try to laugh at myself in the mirror for this one). I personally don’t like showing weakness or burdening others with my problems.

I’ve been trying every method to lift my mood. Lately, I’ve been eating more healthy, stocking up on vegetables and cutting out bread and rice from my diet. I still allow myself to eat noodles though (#sorrynotsorry I’m obsessed). I also sneak myself the occasional sweets because it makes me (and Oscar) feel better. I’ve also been meditating in my room for added comfort to my brain, and soul. Lastly, I’ve been getting back into exercising to keep my body moving and my mind busy. Plus, kickboxing helps me relieve all the built up stress I have.

And then there’s other things that help, like sitting at home with a heating pad to ease the pain. Every night my mom helps me apply tiger balm and salonpas all over my back, neck and shoulders. Sometimes I just lay on the floor staring up at the spinning fan, pretending that the pain is slowly getting absorbed by my carpet.

Eventually, I found that thinking more positively certainly helps to improve how the pain affects me. I think changing my mentality has been the best solution to it all, mentally. Coming to this conclusion has really opened my eyes, even though I’m sure it’s something I’ve known all along. Kill ’em with kindness.

Although being kind to my suffering is not a solution, but thinking optimistically and having positive vibes truly attributes to a happier me. It doesn’t cure my pain and it doesn’t really reduce it either. But what it does do is allows me to better cope with it. Accepting and embracing what is has given me the strength to keep going. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Times like these make me appreciate everything even more. It makes me think harder too. People all around us may be going through so many different things and you wouldn’t even know it. It’s a subliminal reminder to be kind to others, and to be kind to yourself. I learned not to be so hard on myself, to accept my limits, and just move forward with them. It’s a work in process. It always will be. But every step of the way, you grow and that’s the beauty of it all.

Embrace your weaknesses. Turn them into strengths.


Look Details:

Top | Slip Dress: H&M
: Daniel Wellington
Use “JENNSEMBLE” for 15% off.

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  • banglesandbungalows
    December 13, 2016

    I had no idea you were suffering so. You mentioned you took a break from blogging, but I know you’ve been so on top of running other things behind the scenes. So even through the pain, you’ve really pushed through. Diet and exercise changes hopefully will make a huge impact for you. But I hope to hear you’re doing better soon. Chronic pain is something that slows you down, but you seem to be a hard charging, resilient person. So inspired by how you still keep up with everything!

    xx Yasmin

  • Christine Kong
    December 13, 2016

    Oh Jenn!!! I am so sorry about your constant back pain! I can’t even begin to imagine the struggle you are going through or bearing every single day. Back pain is so crippling and you are so brave and positive to see through the immense pain. I wish there were some words or even doctors I could refer you to. Thanks for sharing this hardship with us and reminding us that we don’t know everything about everyone and the struggles they are enduring. I truly hope you can find some sort of relief soon. Sending you lots of hugs and positive energy. Xoxo, Christine

  • Atsuna Matsui (@atsunamatsui)
    December 13, 2016

    I loved reading this post Jenn. I have to say that I always had the same outlook as well. I always know that behind what you see on the surface, there’s always some underlying suffering that people are going through regardless of whether or not we see it, so that alone should always make people want to be kind to others. Let’s try and make the world a better place by simply trying to be a better, exemplary person.


  • stylelullaby
    December 13, 2016

    You look beautiful babe! Loving this look from head to toe xoxo, sharon

  • Mariann Yip
    December 13, 2016

    I love your outfit and I think your pictures capture the moment perfectly. I think eating healthy helps get your mindset back on track. I am happy you are being active in self reflection. Such a great post, thanks for sharing love!


  • samanthamariko
    December 13, 2016

    I had no idea you were going through so much… I obviously can’t say I have it anywhere as bad as you, but whenever I visit the clinic I’m always told my shoulders and neck carry a lot of stress, something I didn’t really experience before. I really hope things get better for you <3 stay strong!

  • xcapewithlinh
    December 13, 2016

    I’m sorry to hear that you have those problems! Must be hard! I have pains myself! My back and left shoulder has been hurting constantly from time to time especially when I stressed out so I totally get it! Hang in there! And love your outfit!


  • sveeteskapes
    December 13, 2016

    Wow babe, by the looks of it you do not seem like someone who is going through so much, sorry that you have had to deal with so much stress and hardship lately. Hopefully it will all be over soon! Its also good that you are talking about it, sometimes its good to just let it all out and move on. I totally understand about the blogger burnout, its so important to take breaks and come back even more energized and refreshed. Good luck with everything that you got going and I am sure you will come out a winner. Hugs babe!!
    xx, Kusum |

  • Hadasah Love | Style To Love
    December 13, 2016

    Ahh these photos are amazing
    Much love, Hadasah

  • Jo @ CutandChicVintage
    December 13, 2016

    I’m sorry to hear of all the pain you undergo on a daily basis. Your positive outlook on life is such an inspiration. Your inner strength is infectious and your beauty shines from inside out. Keep up the fabulous work, Jenn!

    xo, Jo

    December 13, 2016

    It’s good that you’re taking a proactive and positive route to what has happened. I really hope that your new diet and kickboxing will help you greatly to fight through this. Take all the time you need to get to a good place, your health is most important xx

  • rachel vogt
    December 13, 2016

    Oh no i’m so sad to hear about the pain you’re dealing with. Hopefully diet and exercise will ease some of your pain. I know you are strong. You’re looking fab as always.
    xoxo, Rachel

  • Maggie
    December 13, 2016

    I love this!! The layering is on point 🙂

  • snappedbygraciegracie
    December 13, 2016

    So glad you are back but sad that you have been in so much pain. I am glad you are finding ways to get back to healthy. You are very strong & beautiful.
    xx, gracie

  • thehatlogic
    December 14, 2016

    Taking a break is never bad, don’t worry! No one should ever judge you for taking care of yourself and at the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you. I’m glad you back to blogging because you’re amazing at it, but never feel as if you need to explain why you’re gone!! Best of luck recovering and hope you feel better!
    Jordan xx

  • Miki (@mikialamode)
    December 14, 2016

    First off, you look great, but I hope you feel less stressed & take it easy Jenn! Your health is the most important thing. I would be so sad if working out induced asthma. I actually have 2 heatpads at home and I always use it in the morning because my husband likes it 3-5 degrees cooler than I do. I find it so soothing. Go enjoy some time off. Hope you come back refreshed.


  • petiteandbold
    December 14, 2016

    Oh darling! Please know you have all of our support and warm thoughts! Did not know you were going through so much pain! Just keep on being strong and find all the means to relieve the pain! Your mom sure is so kind to you! What a blessing!

    Like you said, the thing we can learn here is to remember to be kind to others! We don’t know what people are going through! They might smile on the outside but be in so much pain inside!
    Thanks for sharing

    Bisous, Josie

  • jenellewitty
    December 14, 2016

    Oh hun, I am so sorry to hear that you have been so unwell. It must be hard for your Mum to watch too. It’s a good thing that you have her there to help you. I hope that you start to feel better. I think a positive mind works wonders. In fact I know that it does!
    xx Jenelle

  • Jessi Malay
    December 14, 2016

    I absolutely love the recent trend of layering dresses with shirts under because it lets you wear summer dresses in fall and winter. I love how you styled this look with the same trend! The mauve color of that long sleeve pairs perfectly with the black slip dress 🙂

    XO Jessi,

  • enclothedcognitiong
    December 14, 2016

    Love this layered look. That color is gorgeous on you, babe 🙂

    Enclothed Cognition

  • Stephanie (@shesawstyle)
    December 14, 2016

    It makes me so sad to hear what you’re going through right now. I won’t begin to say I understand the exact pain you’re dealing with, but as someone who also deals with a chronic illness, I can definitely say I understand the need to just sink into the floor every once in a while and take a breather from all the other craziness that life holds. Blogging can take a lot out of a person, so definitely use whatever time you need to REST and heal what you can. I hope you’re aware that you have an entire support system here, ready and waiting for whatever you need and whenever you want to come back and share your life and style with us. Sending good vibes and lots of prayers and hugs your way!

    Stephanie //

  • francesca
    December 14, 2016

    its so easy to get burnout blogging!! its so so important to take breaks!
    Frank Vinyl : A California Fashion Blog

  • Portia
    December 14, 2016

    Love the look!

  • Camille
    December 14, 2016

    Oh my gosh babe!!!! Sending so so much love your way! I know sometimes life can just hit you with everything at once, but you’re such a strong person and I know you will push through ❤

  • Eric K
    December 14, 2016

    As bloggers we go through these periods and we have hit the pause button. The most important is to relax our minds , think it through every situation and make a come back stronger than ever.
    I’m so happy that you are back and with us again .
    You are fabulous and I also love your style…
    Thank you for sharing your personal story

  • Josipa
    December 15, 2016

    Love your outfit! You look amazing!

  • klcanale
    December 15, 2016

    Girl I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been struggling! I know chronic back pain can be extremely hard to cope with physically & mentally. I’m a physical therapist and many of my patients struggle with it. You are such a beautiful writer & I admire your heartfelt post! Hugs! 🤗 Kristin

  • helench1k
    December 16, 2016

    Aww lady I am so sorry to hear you’ve been having so many stresses in your life and the pain! I experienced the same at various points in the year and feel that you just need to take some true time to yourself to regather your thoughts and priorities. I really hope the steps you’ve taken help you get back to being 100% soon!! Sending you love from Sydney xx

    Helen xx

  • Kiara Houston
    December 16, 2016

    Amazing Outfit, Looking Great.
    Lulugal Coupon

  • Marcy yu
    December 17, 2016

    Such a beautiful post babe! Thank you for opening with us.
    Im sorry to hear about your pain but sometimes the pain and the bad things that happen to us is what make us stronger in life. The timing you took to think and analyse your life is always good. Sometime we have to take that time to monitor and talk with ourselves and kickboxing definitely helps to relief the stress to me too. I wish you the best and hope some day we can meet!

    xoxo from Tanzania

  • Joan
    December 18, 2016

    Hope you feel better! I’ve been going thru the same with have blogger’s block and just trying to balance everything. Sending good vibes your way.

  • Hadasah Love | Style To Love
    December 19, 2016

    Love it
    Hadasah Love |

  • SimplyYue
    December 20, 2016

    OMG what a cutie pieee!! <3 I love that last picture of you! You're a total shark!! You go for what you want 100% and its motivating! Don't worry about the little bumps. You're amazing so don't let anything stop you. *MUAH! <3

    With love, Yuena

  • Inez
    December 21, 2016

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It’s good you’re practicing positivity. It’s what will get you out of the darkest moments. Be well. Love your outfit and shoes.

    Inez | My Small World

  • sonia // daring coco
    December 22, 2016

    Oh no love, that is no good. I can somewhat relate to the back pain issues. I did something to mine two years ago and been in pain ever since. It’s only a bother at night and it doesn’t let me sleep very well either. No one knows what is wrong with me, no one can give me an answer. The closest I has was that I MAY have sciatica. I can’t help but think maybe it has more to do with anxiety which is prolonging no existent pain. It’s no bueno at all. I hope you can find comfort soon. Chronic pain is utterly debilitating.


  • Jaz
    December 22, 2016

    So sorry to hear about your arthritis, I really hope the pain eases for you soon and you can enjoy Christmas with your family. You look amazing even if you don’t feel 100% – Merry Christmas & best wishes for 2017 xoxo

  • saim
    December 26, 2016

    yes girl, you are killing this look!

  • Amy
    January 7, 2017

    Hi Jenn, long time no talk!! I hope things are better now – sorry I missed this post last month. By the way, happy new year!! I’m sorry to hear things were tough last month – the end of the year was rough for me too, so I can TOTALLY relate to all of the feelings you described above. Burnout and stress are real and serious, at the end of the day health always comes first!! Sending lots of well wishes your way babe.

    xx, Amy

Hassle Free with Sudio Sweden
Behind The Looking Glass