Copywriter. Blogger. Storyteller.

Little Mountains Blog

Sharing is comparing.

I’ve been struggling with how to begin this post, because it feels awkward to just come out and say, “I’ve recently started sharing my poetry on Instagram and here is what I’ve observed about the journey so far.” But now that I’ve made things awkward by both saying the awkward thing and calling out its awkwardness, let’s just dive right in. (The word “awkward” will not be used again in this post, don’t worry.)

As someone who never lets anything pass her by without observing, dissecting, and attempting to grasp full understanding, sharing my poetry has been as much an exercise in vulnerability as it has been an experiment on audience and community. It has been fascinating to see how my followership has reacted and changed with the new use of my social media, and what very human tendencies have become so apparent through such a seemingly trivial platform. 

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Jenna Lazzarone
On letting go.

Originally posted December 14, 2018 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

Most things end. I know, super uplifting. Hang tight, it’ll get better. But we have to start with this fact – at some point, most things will end.

Those endings don’t have to be negative, they can happen because new doors open up or we realize we deserve better or simply because people grow apart and soon enough an ending has formed without us even knowing. What I’m meaning to say is that endings are a very common, natural, inevitable part of life.

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Jenna Lazzarone
Things I want people to know.

Originally posted October 7, 2018 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

I’ve been having trouble lately. I’ve been having trouble getting a grip on my thoughts and feelings, both of internal origin and regarding the bullshit blender that our government has been casually tossing authentic, painful, inexcusable truths into lately. Feeling emotionally unstable like this has always been hard for me. I like to pack my feelings neatly into boxes and tie them up with pretty ribbons, often to remain that way until something or someone blows the dust off and I’m forced to confront what’s inside. And for me, the first thing to get shut off when I can’t make sense of my feelings is my ability to communicate them effectively – which makes this post as much of a challenge as it is a relief.

These are some things that have been on my mind lately. These are things I want people to know, even when everything in me is saying, “Bottle it all up until it makes sense or goes away.” 

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Jenna Lazzarone
Catch-22.

Originally posted June 30, 2018 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

I started this blog a little over a year ago with the intent to write about things I’d never had the courage to write about before. Things that were both necessary and totally scary to talk about. Things like the anxiety I’d been battling for years and the stigma around mental health that needs to change and the emotions I hoped others could relate to. For awhile, I was writing consistently and I really felt the love from my community. So thank you, to anyone who has supported me and read my words thus far. 

The catch-22 of mental illness is that those who suffer from it are at once needing to find community and not feel alone and share their problems with others who can relate, while also trying to get better and leave those problems behind. It’s not that easy, and healing certainly isn’t linear, and those of us with mental health challenges will experience many highs and lows throughout our lives. But we are in a sense always striving to leave those feelings behind that also happen to link us to the community we so need.

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Jenna Lazzarone
Safety shouldn't be a privilege.

Originally posted March 24, 2018 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

I have to be honest – I don’t exactly know how to write about this as a fairly privileged white woman from California. I feel like before I begin I need to admit my ignorance – I have lived most of my life aware that gun violence is out there but not used to it as my reality. I know that being able to say that makes me extremely lucky. But even from where I stand, if I can be one more voice in this great roar for change, I will not give up that opportunity.

I’ve spent the morning watching teenager after teenager speak at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. via Facebook live stream. I have not been able to stop crying. These kids – KIDS – have seen more violence and pain and death by gun violence than I can even imagine. They come from all different walks of life but today they are gathered under one goal – to end senseless gun violence in America. Their passion and conviction to be the change is not only astounding, but empowering. I strongly, strongly encourage you to take the time and watch these speeches if you haven’t already.

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Jenna Lazzarone
This year.

Originally posted December 31, 2017 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. That may be partially to blame on my three years working for my school’s gym during college, when every January the rec center would explode with new faces and then I’d watch them slowly die off like The Hunger Games. It also may be because I don’t like setting myself up for failure, and making any kind of resolution for an entire year holds an intimidating amount of weight to me.

I think the idea of the new year is romantic, that we get a fresh start every time the clock strikes midnight on January 1st. But if we’re being real (and as a borderline pessimistic realist, I like to keep it real), January 1st is just another day. We’re the same people we were the day before. The only difference is now we have to figure out a way to turn 7’s into 8’s when we inevitably write the date wrong for the next few months.

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Jenna Lazzarone
This is my highlight reel.

Originally posted November 26, 2017 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

The other day I was telling my Dad about a video someone had posted on Instagram of their baby gender-reveal party.

(For those of you who have no idea what I just said, it’s trendy right now for pregnant couples to have a party during which they creatively reveal the gender of their baby to their friends and family. Think opening a box of pink balloons or blasting the party-goers with blue silly string.)

I thought the video was cute.

It set my Dad off on a rant about how narcissistic our society is these days.

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Jenna Lazzarone
What I’ve been meaning to say.

Originally posted November 14, 2017 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

What I’ve been meaning to say is this.

I’m not perfect, I'm human. Everyone seems to remember that but me. Last night I stayed up until 2am (a feat not often seen by my post-college self) and started writing for the first time in awhile. In too long. (I mean, I write for a living every day, but I’ve lost momentum in writing for me. Passions are a fickle thing, don’t you think?)

I probably stayed up so late because of the frilly holiday Starbucks drink I had right before the sun started to set at 4:30pm (guilty pleasure, and it was buy-one-get-one-free). Daylight savings is over and I think I’m the only human I know who likes that the night falls a little bit sooner every day. The darkness outside makes me feel connected in a way I can’t quite explain. I love the flickering of lights off the cold pavement and the distant silhouettes of people I’ll never meet. It feels like the universe can finally be at peace because no one can see exactly what she’s doing.

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Jenna Lazzarone
Out loud.

Originally posted September 19, 2017 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

For as long as I can remember, I have been making adjustments to keep my anxiety quiet and happy.

I went home early before every pep rally in middle school because they’d make the auditorium dark as it began, and that scared me. I didn’t go to the movie theater for years as a kid for the same reason. I didn’t fly for twelve years of my life because airplanes married my fear of heights and small spaces. When I lived in LA, I often asked my friends to drive because the extensive freeways gave me panic attacks. I’ve never been a big drinker because just the thought of losing control of myself makes me want to throw up.

Even now, every day, I make adjustments. It’s a practice I will keep for the rest of my life. And that’s okay with me.

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Jenna Lazzarone
And if the music is good, you dance.

Originally posted August 22, 2017 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

I’m big into Pinterest quotes. Being a word lover by heart and by trade, reading quotes that other people have carefully and thoughtfully crafted makes me feel connected. It makes me feel like someone else might understand what I’m going through and it reminds me that we are all only human after all.

Awhile back I came across a quote I’d never seen before. It stuck out to me because it was simple and obvious and not the kind of dramatic or metaphorical snippets of poetry I tend to let myself indulge in. I'm not sure where it came from or who said it first. But it went like this –

And if the music is good, you dance.

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Jenna Lazzarone
My Los Angeles.

Originally posted July 30, 2017 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

I’ve been putting this one off.

How do I write about a city that’s been written about a thousand times over? What could I possibly say that isn’t cliché and overdone?

I could say that my Los Angeles is traffic and people and sunshine. I could say that my Los Angeles is culture and music and adventures. I could say that my Los Angeles is exciting and terrifying and like no other city I’ve ever experienced.

I could say all of that. But it’s all been said before, time and time again.

I could also cut the bullshit and say that my Los Angeles is not mine at all.

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Jenna Lazzarone
Next 4th of July.

Originally posted July 9, 2017 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

Holidays are such an interesting barometer of time to me. Being the nostalgic, slightly obsessive person I am, I like using holidays as year-over-year metrics for life. This 4th of July, my equally as nostalgic and slightly obsessive friend (hi, love you, mean that in the kindest way possible) pointed out to me just how much things had changed since the 4th last year. This, naturally, got me thinking about just how different things might be again next year.

Let me start in the here and now. This year, I spent the 4th of July with my parents and our cats. I took a walk around the neighborhood (with just my parents, not the cats), visited with an old neighbor, and stayed inside to make sure the kitties weren’t too scared while people set off fireworks in the street. Then I went to bed at a reasonable hour. Wild night, I know.

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Jenna Lazzarone
Things I'm not afraid of.

Originally posted July 2, 2017 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

I hate flying. I don’t do heights and I can’t stand feeling trapped in a small space. Unfortunately for me, flying is the perfect love child of those fears. Throw in the fact that I have literally no control over anything on a plane other than my own actions, and you’ve hit the anxiety jackpot. I actually didn’t fly at all for twelve years of my life until my senior year of college, when I got a strong prescription and forced myself to do the damn thing.

A few weekends ago I took a trip to Los Angeles to visit my sister who lives and goes to school down there. I was excited to see her, but a little stressed as it was the first time I’d be returning to LA after I’d moved. (LA and I have a complicated relationship – more on that later.) On top of that, I was in a funky mood a day or two before I left because the flight to Los Angeles is literally ONE HOUR long but I was already starting to panic. The whole process of packing, getting to the airport, going through security, and waiting around just to board the plane and then have the real anxiety set in was not sounding all that appealing.

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Jenna Lazzarone
Coffee shops & social anxiety.

Originally posted June 22, 2017 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

I just moved seats twice in this coffee shop that I’ve been in for maybe five minutes.

I hate sitting with my back to the center of a room, because I can’t see everyone at all times and for some reason, that makes me nervous. Normally, I would force myself to deal with it. I would pick the first seat that was easiest to find, and sit there fighting the nervous impulse to look back every five seconds to see if anyone new had arrived or others had left. Why I need to keep mental track of this information at all times, I have no idea. But I do. And I would probably not get much work done, because trying to focus an anxious mind is like herding cats (which, if you know me, you know I have some IRL experience with. Not easy).

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Jenna Lazzarone
Little Mountains.

Originally posted June 7, 2017 on the previous Little Mountains Blog website.

Little Mountains is a funny name, right? Do those even exist, mountains that aren’t almost entirely too big to conquer?

This name came to me in the middle of writing a piece for this blog, which, primarily, is going to be an outlet for writing about my anxiety. To me, the juxtaposition of “little mountains” describes anxiety perfectly – some moments feel ginormous, feel heavy, feel like they’ll never go away. Some moments feel small, feel victorious, feel like conquering. And to those without anxiety, or those whose anxiety manifests itself differently, your big ol’ mountain may look like a molehill. And in turn, your molehill may look like their mountain.

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Jenna Lazzarone