Jenn Koren

Who Says I Can't?

33 & Just Getting Started April 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennkoren @ 11:37 am

33 and Just Getting Started

I think I was born a blogger and at 33 years of age am now officially ready to share my life and experience with the rest of the world.  However, as I stare at the blank page on my screen which is to become my very first post, I wonder, ‘what will I write about?’

Since I can remember I have always been ‘imaginative’ and full of ideas and stories, however, translating them into words on downfall. Teachers would constantly tell me, “You have great thoughts but you don’t know how to write.”  And I remember these thoughts as I currently type each word. Maybe I should rethink this?

But I also am not one to care about or follow the pathway that others have outlined for me.  I have been called a ‘fighter’ and maybe ‘rebellious’ at times.  I have always refused to go down the pathway that, to me, have no choices.

Let’s take the end of my junior year in highschool.  The morning after my junior prom I had a grand mal seizure that resulted in me going into unconscious convulsions on the floor of my, then boyfriend’s, job.  The hospital I was brought to tried to pin it on ‘drug and alcohol abuse’ and considering that I had never touched the stuff at that point in time I wasn’t about to let them nail me for that.  After a few more seizures and being overdosed on numerous meds I was diagnosed w/ Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy and was told that I would be dependant on 1 little pill for the rest of my life and that I should reconsider my plans for my life and specifically for having children since the drug that I was doomed to was not safe for pregnancy.

Now some people would accept this and go along with what all the Dr’s were saying.  My Mom took all of this very literally and I felt a wall go up around me as she planned my future in a small bubble with plans for me staying very close to her and my Dad.  To this day I feel like she accepted this fate for me because ‘they said so’.  However, I have always had a very hard time with people telling me what I can and can’t do and this was no exception.  I truly feel this point in my life is where I started to evolve as some would say a ‘stubborn, opinionated and relentless wishful thinker’.

I went through the next 8 years doing research and learning as much as I could about my condition and how far I could really stretch myself without putting myself or anyone else into danger.  And in the end, I took a chance and went out on limb and against all of those voices in my head.  One marriage and 2 kids later I am glad that I never listened to everyone that said ‘you can’t or you shouldn’t’.

My outlook on life since this first battle always been ‘why not?’ and ‘who says I can’t?’

So, my first post is dedicated to my senior year English teacher who said I couldn’t write.

Thanks Ms. B for giving me another reason to prove that I can do something that I once thought I was never meant to do.


13 Responses to “33 & Just Getting Started”

  1. Lynn Dessert Says:

    I think you will have a lot to say on the topic of “who says I can’t”. The challenges you have faced since learning about your condition and how you overcame them will inspire others who have similar people in their lives telling them to take it easy.

  2. Neille Says:


    Great start! I must get going myself this week! Thanks for sharing your personal story with the world. You will inspire and be inspired as you begin this journey. My hubby was told the same thing by his High School Guidance Counselor when he said he wanted to be an artist, he was told to follow his father and become an Engineer, artists don’t really make a living. Ummm, I beg to differ, he is our lead creative at, like you he took it as “oh yea, watch me”!

    Look forward to hearing more from you!

    • jennkoren Says:

      Thanks Neille! I love it that your husband took that road also. I see it with my children as well. Too many people telling me or them that they shouldn’t or can’t do something based on their ‘professional opinion’. I want to do where these people think that they have the right to suggest what someone’s future should hold?

  3. Welcome to the blogosphere! I love this line: “I truly feel this point in my life is where I started to evolve as some would say a ’stubborn, opinionated and relentless wishful thinker’. ” I turn 33 next month and find myself becoming more and more of a radical as the years go by too!

    • jennkoren Says:

      Thanks LaToya! I am finding that as I get older I am getting more passionate about the things I really want to accomplish. My goal is to actually make all those things happen!

  4. Yvonne Moss Says:

    Wonderful first blog! I looked for a way to follow without email updates. Didn’t find it. Since I blog daily, I keep a list in my google list right on my dashboard. Did I overlook it?

    • jennkoren Says:

      Thanks Yvonne! You can just add my url to your google reader as a new subscription. I do that as well for all the blogs that I read. I saw on your blog that you had the ability for people to sign in directly through google reader which I thought was really cool but don’t see that option just yet through wordpress. I’m still figuring it out though and will look to add that function.

  5. Michael Says:


    My parents were told I would be in a wheelchair the rest of my life after finding out that I had polio.

    I never owned a wheelchair.

    I am 55; up until twenty years ago I actually thought I could walk it off.

  6. Rosemarie Says:

    Hi Jenn.
    I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading about your journey. You now my current battles with my health, and I too have been told over and over again I couldn’t do something. My daughter is living proof that I can! I too suffer from epilepsy, so I can relate to your story very well. I knew you were a “go getter” since the day I met you, on my interview. I “clicked” with you that first day, because I could see right then and there how true of a person you are, and how much you appreciate life. You truly are an inspiration, and your stories are great ones. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Rosemarie Says:

      Oops I am not sure how to edit my comment. I mean to say “you know” not now 😉 sorry about that!

    • jennkoren Says:

      Thanks Rosemarie! My struggles don’t come close to comparing to yours but I thank you for the comment. I have seen the ‘fighter’ in you as well and I truly believe it’s situations like these that help us succeed and overcome all the other ‘issues’ in life with such ease. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing your own story with me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s