To The People of My Home Town

This open letter is to every person who has had the opportunity to both observe and make conclusions about me and my character for the last many years. 

Five years ago, I resigned my seat on our town’s Board of Selectmen. This was for many painful reasons, not the least of which was an error of judgment I made during my time serving the town on this board. While I have chosen to remain quiet about the details of this mistake, it does not change the very real fact that my resignation was, to many, as a betrayal of my responsibility and a breach of the trust that was given to me in my role. For the pain that I caused, I have suffered the isolation that comes with choosing silence over a choice to take ownership for my part in a very human mistake.

Over the past five years, I have become intimately acquainted with every phase of grief; denial and isolation, anger, and depression have all had lengthy stays with me. I have spent time exploring my behavior and learning more about the power of asking for forgiveness and a second chance. The guiding principle that has led to my deeper understanding of my role in the world, and more pointedly my role as a member of a community, is the higher wisdom found in the notion that my life’s work must revolve around striving to reduce the suffering that my actions cause others.

I offer you, the readers of this letter, who know me or believe things about me, my earnest hope that you realize that I am aware that my actions have, in fact, caused suffering. While this result was never intended, I recognize that it exists. In that light, I ask for your open heartedness, understanding and one day perhaps, forgiveness.

I am not the person I was five years ago. Through struggle and meditation, I have been my own worst critic. Many sleepless nights have been spent beating myself up over how I should have been better, how I should have made more considered choices, and how I can make amends.

This soul searching pointed me in the direction of what could I do in an active way to contribute to my town, and to the people who were wronged by my choices.

A year ago, I found my chance. I was presented with an opportunity to dedicate my training and skills to create a business with a mission to fund a nonprofit organization. This nonprofit has a single goal: To positively impact the people of Littleton. By burying myself completely in this work, I found a chance to heal; to heal both myself and those who suffered as a result of my actions. I feel tremendous gratitude to have found a partner who has dedicated her life to the idea that, through hard work and service, we improve and validate our own lives by enriching the lives of those in our community.

People make mistakes. I have made terrible mistakes. But people can learn from their mistakes; they can grow. I’ve tried in my solitude to do this myself. It’s no easy task to say openly that I’m not proud of who I was, but it is my hope that in this heartfelt and humble apology, people will consider my desire to be better.

I ask for your compassion and understanding in the hopes that this will open your hearts to who I am now. I hope that you will allow me this opportunity to make it right.

3 thoughts on “To The People of My Home Town

  1. Jenna, though we only know each other loosely through town matters, I deeply respect your honesty and bravery in sharing a very personal story. As I was reading your letter, I realized I would have found it extremely difficult to do the same. It goes without saying that time heals and truth endures. Being a volunteer public servant exposes one to judgement best served by those we hold close and our creator. I for one will not cast the first stone and hope you find strength to follow your passion and continue to serve our beloved town.

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  2. Jenna, though I’m not a resident of Littleton, I do consider myself among your biggest fans. During the span of our friendship, I continuously have been amazed by your energy, honesty, integrity, drive, uniqueness, , family orientation, entrepreneurial spirit, generosity, kindness & friendship.

    We are all human, we all make mistakes.. not all of us are brave enough to own them, never mind in a vulnerable & public way such as yours. I respect & love you.. miss you greatly. Kudos to you for your bravery!!

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