Jessi Putnam: God Jar Pig
It seems to be an obvious fact that a child can’t choose their parents, we are born into the world by two people and there is no changing that. But unlike most, I had the rare opportunity to choose another parent to add to my family. Her name is Maureen, she started out as my neighbor and after school baby sitter and now she introduces me to people as her daughter. She is my mentor, my guru, my friend, and I would be a very different person if she hand’t entered my life.
I started going to her house every day after school in fourth grade, it was here I realized my passion for art, and it was then that Maureen became my teacher. As the only artist in my family, I claim that I became an artist through osmosis after all those afternoons at Maureen’s house. Our mutual affection for art placed my firmly under Maureen’s wing, she became what I called my “art mom”. She began taking me to galleries and cultural centers, teaching me techniques and giving me projects. But amidst all her lessons in art, Maureen was teaching me about something just as important…life.
Over the years she taught me how to read people, how to be confident, how to be strong, how to express myself, and how to have faith in the universe.Yes, the universe…here’s the concept; the universe is always working, guiding you in the right direction. Faith in the universe teaches you to never panic when things feel out of control, because you have to believe that there is a reason for it all, an end purpose that you’re moving towards. And all of the struggles that you encounter in life are conquerable because the universe is always unfolding as it should. When Maureen started teaching me about the universe, I didn’t think any of it applied to me. I didn’t have struggles, I didn’t need strength, and didn’t need faith that it would all work out…until I did.
Sophomore year of high school was the beginning of the hardest few years of my life. Everything in my world seemed to fall apart all at once and I couldn’t seem to carry all of the pieces. I lost my best friend when he went to college and decided he didn’t need me anymore. I lost my family when my parents told me they were getting divorced out of the blue. I lost my home when my parents couldn’t live with the memories anymore. And to deal with all this my outlet was running, but I lost that too when I got injured and underwent two consecutive knee surgeries. It was obvious to me now what I was in need of some serious faith in the universe.
Through all of this Maureen had been by my side; listening to me, taking me out of my house when I needed to get away, being my mom when mine was dealing with her own troubles, and continuing to teach me. It was during this crisis in my life that Maureen introduced me to The God Jar. It was a clay jar she kept in her dinning room with a stack of post-its beside it. She told me that when something in life seemed too much to bare, beyond your control, or impossible to to handle alone, you write it down on a post-it and put it in The God Jar. It was a way of taking the burden from your shoulders and handing it to the universe. Once your trouble is in the jar, the universe will take over, guiding you through the hardships.
I used Maureen’s God jar quite a bit over the years, and one day I found this blue piggy bank sitting on my front porch with a stack of post-its and a note. It said “your very own God Jar, use it wisely and often, Love Maureen”. And I do exactly that. My God Jar Pig, as I call it, sits on my desk here at school and it will follow me wherever this life takes me. Almost daily I write down my fears, goals, dreams, prayers, and anything else on my mind and put it in the pig. People ask me about my pig all the time and I tell them how it works. Some think its strange, some ask to try it, some want one of their own, and some ask me if it works. That I am not entirely sure of, but I know that when I drop a burdened post-it into my pig I feel my load being lightened and I have to believe that the universe is watching out for me even in the smallest of ways. Maureen and her teachings were there for me during some of the hardest times of my life, The God Jar was my bible and she was my church. And to be honest, I think she may have saved me. My God Jar Pig is a very special possession of mine because it is a constant reminder of Maureen and all that she has helped me through. But more importantly, it is a reminder of how she taught me to help myself.