How do I hold all the contrasting ambivalence?


sedg.jpg
Over the last couple weeks I really haven’t had the desire to write, as much as I miss it and truly feel the need to write and vent I don’t fake well and really need to emotionally connect with what I’m writing. Here I am sitting in the dark, listening to music and writing.

“With courage you will dare to take risks,
have the strength to be compassionate,
and the wisdom to be humble.
Courage is the foundation of integrity”.
– Keshavan Nair

I have so many things on my mind, and all of them contrasting one another and at the farthest ends of the spectrum. My girlfriend’s family has been rocked with the loss of both grandfathers in one week, and both will be missed more than I can describe in words. They were both a couple of the good ones, and here we are to hold the pieces and memories that are left.

 
My heart hurts to see these great men pass, I wanted more time to get to know them, and I wanted to hear the stories they have to share.

 
Jens father was 100 years old; I can’t imagine what he has experienced in those 100 years. Her other father was taken far too young and so quickly by illness; I have only known him for a few short years but he has always treated me like family, being that I am her boyfriend and he was her ex-husbands father, that says everything about his views in life, he didn’t care who you were if you treated others with love you were family.

 
I’m overwhelmed with the last post I wrote as it continues to climb far past 1 million views. I fear for the safety of my girls, yet excited that her story has reached so many homes.

 
My heart hurts so badly for the struggle the mother of my girls is facing with Cancer and the fear I hear at times in our conversations. My work is mentally demanding and can at times be stressful in such a different way than what I’m used to; all that and I’m in love and want to start a new life with this amazing woman.

 
How do I navigate the new love and passion in my life and at the same time feel so much pain, hurt and struggle. Most of what I am feeling has nothing to do with me directly, however I feel it as if it were my father I lost, I am scared as if it was my body that is fighting Cancer, this struggle with the curse of empathy continues. To feel everything so deeply is both a blessing and a curse.

Advertisements

Where to Begin and What to do Next


Capture

I’m blown away,

I’m totally in shock and really have no idea what to do next with everything that has come from our post “Just How Far Does Human Sex Trafficking Reach” and telling the very personal story my daughter our family experienced.

We have been contacted by hundreds of people, a number that is hard to even explain in words. At this time we are quickly approaching 600k people reached and there is no sight of this post slowing down. It seems to be getting more and more shares every day.

Every morning I get up to messages, comments and posts regarding the article. I am overjoyed with the amount of families that we reached and to see how many parents began such a “taboo” and hard conversation with their children due to the post. We have been interviewed by one of our local news groups and heard that another wants to also run an article about this, we also have been on just about ever mom and parent Facebook group and page that I could think of and its not slowing down.

Part of me is saying “what did we do” and the other is confident that we made the right decision in sharing her story. I really could use some help with resources in the Michigan area.

I am no expert on any of this however we are VERY passionate in informing others of the danger our children face on a daily basis. I almost feel that we are standing alone with having to answer 100’s of comments, messages and posts regarding anything from how to check my child’s phone to what we as parents can do to be proactive. It would be nice to stand together with some local resources to get the answers to the people that need them.

I would like to thank everyone for the love and support in sharing this story with well over half a million people across the world. Sharing in the story that changed our lives and getting information to the parents and children that may not know the dangers we all face today (proactively) is our number 1 goal in this.

Thank you all for everything, it’s always better to stand together.

“With courage you will dare to take risks,
have the strength to be compassionate,
and the wisdom to be humble.
Courage is the foundation of integrity”.
– Keshavan Nair

 

Reference blog Post: https://scottleejenkins.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/just-how-far-does-human-sex-trafficking-reach/

image source: https://oldfatherphat.deviantart.com/art/What-next-283003541 

Just How Far Does Human Sex Trafficking Reach?


 

When you hear the words “human Trafficking” what comes to mind? Do you understand how terrible it is yet think “that’s not really impacting me personally”?

Maybe it is and you don’t know it, because we are not talking about it enough.

What I am about to tell you is very personal and dear to my heart, many tears have been shed and countless months of detective work to come to the story I am about to tell you.

A year ago Michigan was #2 in the nation for human trafficking based on phone calls received by the human trafficking hotline. Today it’s still in the top 10 however falling lower to states like California and Nevada due to the volume of vacationers that visit those states.

It all started about 5 years ago with a 15 year old boy named Bruce on Instagram. Bruce was a young attractive Hispanic boy, seemingly normal in every way. Little did he know he was the 1st step in an elaborate human trafficking ring. Like many of our children today they really do not understand how the social media outlets spread the entire world and with that come serious threats if not monitored.

Bruce was a “friend” to quite a few of the girls in my daughter’s circle of friends and they would chat daily. Bruce also had many friends that were being introduced to the circle and they all began to chat through Instagram and Kik. Shortly after their introduction I began to see a change in my daughter, she was becoming secretive and sneaky and being that I fully understand how far the internet reaches and quickly things can get out of control on the internet I checked up on my daughter on a regular basis. I would say bi-weekly I would grab her tablet after she went to sleep and begin to dig into her messages, her pictures and to see if things looked appropriate.

I noticed an unusual time gap in some messages and images, and truly didn’t think anything of it until about 2 weeks later. I had a funny feeling one night and grabbed her tablet to do what I thought would be just another normal check… What I found to this day haunts my mind and makes my heart sink.

It began with a picture, a questionably inappropriate for a girl her age and the sexy pose set my red flag on fire. So my digging turned into a manhunt checking EVERYTHING in all her accounts.

You see Bruce was a real boy, totally naïve to the “friends” he had in his circle. As I finished my digging into her accounts all I was left with were tears in my eyes and a burning fire in my heart to destroy every boy on her Instagram account and it was just the beginning.

I began to use the power of Google to do some searching and looking up secondary accounts of some of the friends in this circle (not something children are willing to do) once I saw that 4 of the “friends” in the circle were clearly adult men, my heartbreak turned to anger and rage. After about 2 days of almost endless scouring the internet for info on these MEN I came to the conclusion that I needed to take action with the Police. We were quickly met by the detective of the Cyber Task Force of Portage Police department and all our technology was requested.  After 7 months they called us in to report the most terrifying words I have ever heard, “Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins, can you and your family please come to the Police station as soon as possible” NOT something you ever want to hear.

After we arrived we entered into a small conference room in the back of the Portage Police station and began to listen as he explained how my digging may have saved my daughter from abduction.

Bruce was like I said a normal 15 year old boy, what I didn’t know was the friends that were men acting as “friends” have set Bruce out as a scout… He was the first safe face that our children see; he unknowingly was luring young girls into his circle as prey for the men to pick and choose from. The circle of Bruce’s friend list reached the globe and his over 2k followers were nothing more than a smorgasbord of young unaware children these men were chatting with. OUR CHILDREN..

This is not someone else’s problem, this is right here, right now and real as the tears I shed for the innocence that was stolen from my daughter. My beautiful girl was prey for these monsters, she was quickly approaching a meetup (in her words) and I fear that I may have never seen my daughter again.

I hope this triggers fear in the hearts of every one of you. Dig in your children’s accounts, ask them question, and tell them not to have “friends” that they don’t actually know. I had no idea just how close it came to never seeing my daughter again, it’s worth the little upset hurt feelings of your child to keep them safe. If you do not know or understand what to look for or how ASK someone that does that you trust with the life of your child.

This picture of my daughters may have been the last picture I had with both of them together. This was taken around the time Haylee met Bruce..girls wallet

1 (888) 373-7888

National Human Trafficking Resource Center

We All Have That One Person That We Will Always Remember


 

I had a dream as a child, I really wanted to become an actor, and I absolutely love comedy and people. My dreams were not always appreciated by others. I spent a lot of time in detention; standing in the hallway away from the class, in the back of the room and on many occasions had been suspended and seen as a rebel. On the flip side, I did have a few people that saw through the pain in my life that I covered by being funny, and I will never forget them.  Those few people made it possible for a child like me to have felt the love of an adult that was not my family and to have just enough confidence to get up after falling over and over.

Over the last couple of weeks as the temperatures change, and the rain begins to come and will eventually turn to snow here in Michigan my mood naturally changes with the season. I am truly a child of the sun and a lover of warm weather and to feel the sun on my face. Like every year at about this time I begin to withdraw from everything, a slight struggle to be motivated sets in, including the things that feed my soul.

In my life I have this burning desire to be more than I am today, not that I’m not content with what I have of where my life has led me. I just want more, I feel a calling for more and constantly tell myself “you are ok where you are” and just go on about my life. However there are times when the passion begins to burn for more out of life.

I have no doubt that if my life were a little different I could make something for myself in acting or with comedy. One thing that I have always felt is that I have no problem with the fact that I wear my emotions on my sleeve, I have no reservations about being in the spotlight and I do not fear my life being an open book. Deep in my heart I truly feel that through our struggles we can help someone overcome an obstacle they are facing and even give hope by showing them that we have been through something and lived to talk about it.

“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed
to sell your parrot to the town gossip”.
– Will Rogers

I am not ashamed of anything in my life, sure there are a few things I could have done differently but I needed to learn things exactly like I did. I have always needed to be the boy who touched the pipe that said “Caution Hot” just to see how hot it was. I always learn the best lessons when it’s the hard way and I have accepted the fact that through my struggles in life I always come out on top; I always learn something and overcome.

So my acting career has come to an end, I had a good run for the 12 years of school and I know for a fact that if you were to mention my name to ANY of my teachers without a doubt they would remember me . I also know that you would get a very large array of what they remember about me, but they definitely will remember the name Scott Jenkins, to me that is what’s important, that I can make a mark in the lives that I touch and that people are somehow changed by simply interacting with me.

Be Selfish For Yourself 


I’m not saying be a jerk, I’m saying take the time you desire to have something for yourself and have a healthy balance in life. 

I haven’t had much time to do anything but work and sleep lately. Even making it to the gym has been hit or miss. I’m really feeling the desire to take some time for myself, so here I am walking my trail, trying to put Social Media, texts and phone calls to rest for an hour or so. 

So often I feel the imbalances that life can bring if you let it. Working too much, stressing over everything, not sleeping enough, failing to eat clean, not giving my relationships full attention and like today having to draw a line in the sand and be selfish for myself. 

I need this, I desire time alone, writing and walking, eating healthy and trying to share a positive impact with my circles. Life will take over if you let it, and make you become a slave. 

Without this time for myself I really fail at giving much worth wile to others. Shallow conversations and quick answers to appease others desires to connect with me is all I’m left with. Truly not fair to anyone in my life. 

I just want to take a little time out to remind you all to take time for yourself in this world of plenty; be selfish for yourself, and give an honest and meaningful connection with the people in your life. 

The Christian and the Atheist, there is room for both!


love

With so much hate and anger in the world, we need to get back to what truly matters. How we act and what we give from our lives to others.

Support who you want, take a damn knee if you want. I believe different than you, and that is what makes this country great, we have the freedom to believe what we want.

I don’t care if you support Trump or not, our lives will continue on. We create our environment everyday by how we show up in our lives. Think of it this way; have you ever had a boss that you couldn’t stand? You still show up to work, you still do your part, sure it’s not fun but you still do what you need to do and one day you may get a different boss, could be better or could be worse.

This is no different… No matter who is in office as our countries leader, we will do what we need to do if we stop focusing on all the garbage that the media is feeding us. Do your part to share from your heart not to force others to see your point, love your neighbor, spread positive not negative, there is plenty of that already.

My desire to even open Facebook lately has declined dramatically. I remember when I looked to Facebook for a laugh, to see what’s going on in others’ lives and to catch up with people that I don’t talk to all the time. Now I get on and all I see is hate, debates, click bait articles, and trash media.

“A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve”.
– Joseph Joubert

We need to understand WE have the power to change everything we are complaining about. Stay positive, spread hope and love, fact check and read if you’re passionate about a topic and be careful of fake news.

I am not innocent; I have had my share of questionable comments, soapbox vents and dirty laundry posts and I really want to give my energy to becoming part of the solution.

I hope to settle things down a little for some of my readers. I don’t want to debate; I don’t care how you feel about the topics that do not bring us together. What I believe in my heart has nothing to do with you and what you believe. It’s okay to have a Christian and an Atheist in the same room, and maybe even have a conversation openly as to why they believe what they believe. Not to convert or change what they believe but to understand with empathy what they see and why.

Today I want to be done with all the aggression. Absolutely, we are all different, and at the same time we are all very much alike. We all need love, we all want joy and we all believe something so deeply that we will fight for it. Why don’t we fight for something that truly matters and can change everything? Fight for hope, love and joy; hope for the future, love without reserve, to see beyond our beliefs and spread joy to others.

How Do You Stay Motivated?


reallife

This week has proven my theory that cooler temperature creates a stumbling block with fitness and healthy living, but why?

I have always struggled once the Fall season begins to set in here in Michigan to make it into the gym, eat healthy and move as much as I do in the summer. It’s no surprise that the walking begins to slow down (I hate walking in cold weather) but why weight lifting and eating healthy. Maybe it’s my instinct to prepare for winter or it simply becomes not as appealing to go outside at all, even to head to the gym.

I know that S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) is a real thing but is it simply a mental challenge; I do feel far better feeling the sun on my face and the warmth on my skin as I exercise. I have already felt the change and failing to not eat comfort foods, get into the gym and even meet my walking goals for the day. I have failed at my 2 day rule most of the week and my diet has been terrible.

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines how well you do it”. Lou Holtz

I struggle to stay focused on my fitness and healthy lifestyle; I am also in need of refocusing my motivation. I want to maintain or even improve where I have gotten over the last year. I have worked harder than I ever have in my life to get here and it really sucks to see all that work be for nothing. I am not alone in this; I have spoken to a few other individuals that express the same struggles.

I’m committing:

  • To continue my 2 day rule (not missing the gym for more than 2 days in a row)
  • Continuing my Intermittent Fasting eating habits (minimum 16/8)
  • Low carb diet and carb cycling
  • Meeting my 10k steps a day goal
  • Bulking or at minimum maintaining my muscle mass

“As long as habit and routine dictate the pattern of living,
new dimensions of the soul will not emerge”.
– Henry Van Dyke

I want to continue what I have started a couple years ago. I don’t want to lose the feelings that healthy living has brought into my life and I’m the only one that can make that choice.

What Would You Tell Yourself if You Could Travel Back in Time?


real

Dear 6 year old Scott, you are loved, you are special and you are enough..

Dear 13 year old Scott, Perfection is not something you will ever acquire. It is a state of mind that propels you into becoming more successful. Perfection is not believing that we will never be good enough, its feeling that no matter what, we will overcome the obstacles in our path. You are loved!

Dear 18 year old Scott, You are good enough and no matter how many teachers told you that you will never amount to anything, I promise with the drive in your heart you will overcome and become successful at what you set in your heart. You are loved!

Dear 25 year old Scott, this depression is temporary. You are not stuck in life and there is more to life than waking up to go to work and come home only to do it again 7 days a week. Take time to learn who you are and never forget who you were. You are loved!

Dear 37 year old Scott, congratulations, it only took you loosing almost everything in life to find the passion of 15 year old Scott. It only took 3 years to set the fire in your heart for living ablaze again. Now that we have spent a third of our life trying to figure out what the hell life is about, it feels good to see some things clearly now. It feels so good to be loved!

 

When you finally accept that it’s OK not to have answers
and it’s OK not to be perfect,
you realize that feeling confused
is a normal part of what it is to be a human being.
– Winona Ryder

Remember you will never have it all figured out, and that is ok. I am something today, not “I will be something one day”. Learn to become a better human, friend, father, and yes even a better employee, learn that there is a difference between desires to become better and feeling that I am enough at this exact moment.

If you could travel back in time and tell yourself something what would you say? This is just the beginning of what I would tell myself. For so many years, even decades, I have felt that I was just behind in life, that there was something I was missing, not quite hitting the mark as a man and father. When no one is there to encourage and foster the passions in your heart that fire slowly burns itself out. Why don’t we encourage one another, why can’t we build others up and we try so hard to prove we are better?

Are we so self-absorbed that a simple “good job” is too hard? It has become so foreign to have a compliment that now that I am receiving them it almost feels uncomfortable. Slowly I feel the fire in my heart to live growing, and purging the feelings of worthlessness. Life cannot be lived alone, make sure you have people in your life that will feed the fire in your heart not squelch it. Love one another, give compliments, inspire, build up and show appreciation when it’s reciprocated back to you and the life you have will slowly begin to change.

I Had a Plan Once


20160205_182230

Unexpected events can set you back or set you up.
It’s all a matter of – perspective.
– Mary Anne Radmacher

If you believe you can plan anything in life you are sadly mistaken. Yes our choices can guide the path we take in life but unplanned events will always happen. Illness, car accidents, career changes, friends and family even come and go.

I had a plan once.

It was a great to feel I had it all figured out, thinking “yea, I got this” as I walked blindly into life. I knew what I wanted to do in life, I had it all figured out. I wanted to go to school to be a mechanic due to my love of cars. Restore my 72 Nova SS and race on weekends. Settle down with a woman and have a little family, I wanted 2 kids, a boy and a girl.

That was my dream at 17 years old.

Here I am 36, and let me tell you how far off I was. I no longer have my Nova, I work in an office writing electronic batch records for one of the largest animal health company’s in the world, I have no idea what I would have done if I had a boy, I’m divorced and that small family looks much different than I expected. I am dating a wonderful woman that also has 2 daughters. So the plan didn’t go exactly as I had envisioned lets just say.

The illusion that we can plan for anything is nothing but a lie we tell ourselves to comfort the thought of the future. I’m not saying any of the events were “good or bad” they are simply events that have happened that I surely didn’t plan. One thing I have learned is to have a dream, a goal and just glance at it every once in a while. Don’t set your eyes on it and miss everything that is right around you. More importantly don’t look so far ahead in life, stay in today, glance at tomorrow and let yesterday go as quickly as it happened.

Sometimes I feel like I carry this little bag with me holding onto all these little events of the past; let me tell you that bag was getting heavy and hard to hope for tomorrow when all you see is another piece that you may add to the already heavy bag.

You may not seem able to change some outer circumstances
but you can start by changing your inner experience of life and yourself.
– Joy Page

I no longer have to carry this heavy bag around holding on to the little pieces of the past. I am living now; I may not be living tomorrow. When you can truly believe that, life changes, when you can look at what is happening today and say to yourself what if I went to sleep tonight and didn’t wake up?  The absolute truth is one day will be our last; I want to feel in my heart that I lived the best I could, loved as deeply  as possible and regretting less than I did the day before.

I had a plan once.

Today my plan is to live free from regrets, love naturally and expect less from everyone in my life, its simple, love me for who I am and I will love you for who you are. Don’t expect anything from others, the expectation is yours not theirs.

I never planned to be where I am, and now that i’m here I’m glad I wasn’t in control of the journey I am on today. I may not have what I have today.

Our Wounds, Our Scars


When I woke up in the hospital this picture was on my wall. Not knowing fully what was going on, how bad it was or that I was literally fighting death. All I knew was something happened and I was clearly not in my bed. 

What does a scar mean to you? Is it something that you try to hide or try to cover up? Does it hinder your joy for a day at the beach? 

What about the scars that can’t be seen? How do they affect your life? Do you carry them tucked away as to say “I’ll never do that again” or do you use them as motivation to see how you acquired that scar. I’m not talking about blame, I’m talking about seeing and learning the part you had in creating the wound in the first place. 

We all have them, some from surgery, trauma or a life event causing our body to hold the memory of what happened. Some are on the inside causing our lives to change directions and how we respond to others. 

I’m learning to see the scars on my body as a representation of something I lived though and one in particular comes to mind, my stomach scar. That was a very close call, and could have been a very different outcome. It could have left my girls without a father is the first thing that hits me. 

The scars on the inside, now those are a different story. Those are hidden from most yet my responses and interaction with those in my life make it clear I’m still healing from many of them.

So how do we heal? Sometimes walking away or cutting something out of your life is the first step.  

What is is that causes the scab of our scars to be reopened? For me its always giving chance after chance to people that will clearly never reach the expectation I have in my mind for them. 

So do I lower my expectation or do I cut them out? Are my expectations even reasonable?

Today I really feel like I’m standing still, and going back and forth, looking at my past and future. As to say “ok, that clearly didn’t work” how can I not do that again? 

Maybe I’ll try something new, maybe I’ll give it another shot. What if I tried something I’ve never done before!

But what if that doesn’t work either; what then

Do I focus on schedules, details, and routines or do I just let life flow naturally. Letting life flow naturally has really spoken to my heart. So many things have came into my life by simply letting life happen. 

Deep in my heart I feel I’m heading in the right direction, not because my life is easy, but because I feel peace with my decisions, even the hard ones. I also have faith that the scars will heal and fade away becoming nothing more than a reminder of life change that I made it though.

I’m learning to embrace the pain of an open wound and not to cover them up, let them breathe let the sunlight hit them and let them heal.