The Picture of Emotional Health

Wendy Aron
Aug 4, 2015 · 3 min read

The Pleasures of being a Sherman Colins Family

I was first referred to copyeditor Jenn Zaczek when I was putting the finishing touches on what I believed to be my magnum opus.

As is now clear, my magnum opus was actually just a flare-up of Sherman Colins Disorder, and Jenn’s ability to rein in my discursive rant and return it on deadline earned her my respect.

She went on to review some of my more even-keeled rants, and with each exchange, I got to know her a little better.

At some point, it occurred to me that right under my very own Review tab lay the embodiment of the female Sherman Colonist ideal.

Here are some of the values Jenn seemed to embrace:

Creativity

Independence

Integrity

Compassion

Humility

Individuality

Gratitude

Plus, she seemed completely comfortable in her own skin.

How did all this happen? After a few e-mail exchanges, the details emerged:

Foremost, it seems, her parents taught her to take pride in being different.

“Growing up, trips were not to Disney World but to national parks around the country,” she said. “These trips gave me a respect for nature and wildlife and a deep appreciation for the simple things in life.”

As a result of these excursions, Jenn developed an interest in nature photography — a hobby her parents fully supported.

After her grandfather died, she said, her dad gave her a film camera that he had discovered while sorting through his dad’s personal belongings. “It really meant a lot to me that my dad thought of me when he found the camera and wanted me to have it,” she said.

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Jenn told me that ever since a seventh-grade English teacher made lessons in diagramming sentences inspiring, she knew she wanted to become a professional copyeditor. After college, she worked in the publishing industry to gain experience and then established her own freelance business, Cypress Editing.

Jenn said that she has had thoughts of trying to expand her solo operation, but she has shelved them for now. “I like being able to devote my full attention to the projects at hand,” she said. “Editing is a very independent task, and I’m used to working by myself, so maybe that’s why I don’t mind.”

At the end of last year, after living in South Florida for her entire life, Jenn and her husband, a quality analyst for a bank, decided to start anew in Portland, Oregon. “Orchestrating the move was probably one of the most stressful things I have ever had to deal with,” she said, “but my family and friends were very supportive.”

She is pleased they took the risk.

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“Portland has a great mix of city life and outdoor opportunities, and now that we have been living here for about six months, I really can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather live.”

Except, perhaps, in one of my hypomanic sentences?

Here’s a post about an ideal Sherman Colins family

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