Time Travel, AKA Journaling

writing

“I began writing on The Albany Project today and that felt great. I’m hoping it leads to a job – a good one, maybe with a campaign or government official.” – Saturday, July 26th, 2008, four months before I ended up becoming a Congressional Press Secretary.

“Julian is now loaning me all of his stuffed animals to sleep with. So far I have about ten on the bed beside me. He says ‘Mommy, here, you can sleep with this since Daddy’s not here, so you can have a good night’s sleep. Here’s a blanket.’ Then he tells me to give all of them back when I’m awake. He is so sweet! They all are.” – Saturday, July 26th, 2008.

“I joined another campaign in September 2008 after the loss in NY-26. I became an unpaid Deputy Communications Director for a candidate and he won! He hired me as his full-time Press Secretary working from New York so I didn’t have to move to D.C.

Jared was also placed into a group home on January 9th, 2009, three days after I got the job.  It has been bittersweet.  He is 50 minutes away but is doing very well there. He comes home for overnight stays every weekend. It has been hard on me but everyone else in the family is fine with it…

I’ve had some marital troubles for years now and this summer it worsened…We went to counseling in early summer.  It’s hard to remedy or take action when you have 4 kids and a mortgage.” – Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009, the beginning of the slow unraveling of my marriage.

“Jared was here yesterday and as usual I cried. The guilt I feel over him being in the group home is horrible.  It has been 9 months and I am still not at peace with it. Knowing something is “for the best” does not mean it is best for your heart.

I am reading a biography of Emerson by Richardson called ‘Mind On Fire’ that is very thorough. One line resonates with me so deeply:

‘an innavigable sea of silent waves between us and the things we aim at…’

It is ostensibly about failure but it is also about not having what we want, whether that’s our cause or others who cause it.” – Sunday, September 13th, 2009.

“I’m less happy at work [despite the raise] because the job is too stressful and my boss is more than likely insane with ego and hyperbole. I’d rather work for myself.” – Saturday, November 14th, 2009, four months before my boss resigns in a national scandal.

“I keep having this dream where I live by the water on a wooded lot with a few acres. We have a few horses and a lot of fruit trees. And this tall, dark and handsome man loves me and the sun is shining and I’m so happy.” – Saturday, November 14th, 2009.

“We got word last week at the office that House Majority Leader’s office uses our Communications staff work as the example to show other freshman offices how it’s done. They said our office press team is the best freshman press in Congress! Wow! I feel like I finally have made it and now I know for sure I can play with the Big Dogs.” – December 7th, 2009.

“New Year’s Eve was fun spent with the family. Jared was home and was very well behaved. We also went sledding at Black Creek Park on December 30th…at midnight we all gathered on the bed and watched the ball drop on Time Square. We were all holding hands and at midnight we all hugged and kissed. It was very sweet. Then we ran outside to the front porch and lit sparklers. Grant and Jared were a bit afraid of them but I helped them.” – Sunday, January 3rd, 2010.

“Tonight I finished Last Night In Twisted River by my favorite author, John Irving. As usual it is set in New Hampshire, a place I dearly love. The story is about how people come and go in your life, the imprints they make and how you thought (hoped) they’d be with you forever but they leave.” – January 3rd, 2010.

“In three weeks’ time I’ve gone from being Press Secretary to a U.S. Congressman to being pretty much lost. He resigned in a bizarre disgrace on March 8th… I am sad, disappointed and worried about finding a new job.” Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010.It would be 18 months before I found a new job, but it is a great one. It would be less than 2 ½ years before my marriage would end, and I’d finally be free and at peace.

 

Ultimately, these journals that I have kept over the years help me to see how far I’ve come and what I’ve endured, and they remind me of both the good times and the bad.  They empower me and remind me of my strength. My hope is that you ladies find time to keep one, too, because it is such a rewarding experience.  It’s where you’re going, where you’ve been.

Jerri Sparks is a single mom (of three teens and one pre-teen) living in Western New York.  A former Congressional press secretary and a UCLA alum, Ms. Sparks now works in the BioPharma Research industry by day and is a freelance writer by night, advocating for the things she’s passionate about.  This may or may not involve Wonder Woman. Contact her at jerri@germmagazine.com.

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