Tag Archives: Jillian

Jillian 13 – 2nd School Incident

Following on from our discussion of weird and wonderful incidents in her life, (perhaps this might lead to a few more stories – let's see where this take us), Jillian spoke of another school incident. A different school, different town, different teacher and a year older. The teacher Sir2 was probably only year 2 or 3 out of college as well. Jillian figured this out later when she thought about the way he went about stuff, his language, interests and things like that. Later it was fun for her to think that he was prolly only 10 or 12 years older than her, such a HUGE difference then. Since then she'd (euphemism alert) 'gone out with' blokes that were at least that much older than her.

I've just been told (again the looking over the shoulder thing) that the NEW terminology for this is 'dated'. Yuck. A horrible Americanism we would NEVER have used back then. Oh how life changes.

Back to Jillian.

She said, “This one is not really funny, but it was quite+ neat at the time. Some teachers can be horrid, but you get a few really nice ones.

I remember this chap 'Sir2” taught us to measure the height of flag poles using a method called trigameasure? or something like that. It wasn't on our curriculum, but was huge in the bragging rights area when we could tell the older kids 2 or 3 classes ahead of us stuff they didn't know. One boy even asked his father to estimate the height of the pole and his dad agreed with me. Couldn't figure out how I knew. That was really exciting.”

“But that's not the story I was going to tell you,” she said.

“It was athletics season, and we were in the inter-school sports. It was all running, hurdles, pass the baton, high jumps, long jumping and a couple of strange fun things like sack races and egg and spoon things.

We had been practising all the stuff except long jumping as we had nowhere to do it. We asked Sir2 what he could do.”

He gave a funny sort of a grin and laughed, 'Leave it to me.' he said.

“Well apparently the headmaster said 'no way'. So Sir 2 came back to us and reported the sad news. We were disappointed, and it all became a bit noisy with everyone yelling about it being unfair and all that kind of thing. It was obvious we all wanted to have a chance to compete in the long jump.

Once again, Sir2 said, 'Leave it to me.' And off we went for the day.

The next day was a Tuesday. Sir2 came in for the first class of the day and just sat at the front on his desk facing us doing nothing.

'What's the matter we all chorussed,' a bit like the baby classes say, 'Good Morning Miss Jones.' You know?

'I've got an idea', he said. 'but it has to be a very big secret. From everyone. Friends, family (especially family), and the other teachers, and really especially the Headmaster.'

'Oh a secret,' we all said. Kids love that kind of thing, especially when it is started by an adult. And a teacher as well.

'Yep,' he said. Then he went all serious and deep. 'Why don't we build one ourselves?'

“The class descended into mayhem. Immediately we broke into two groups each shouting at the other. At the same time. Kids never figure that out do they?”

I said, “Many adults don't get it either.”

An evil glare later and Jillian continued, “There was the group who said we couldn't do it; and the other who called us all some bad names and said why not?

“Sir2 just sat with that funny smile and waited for us all to quieten down.

When we stopped shouting, we realised he had been talking for a while. He used to do that. Talk very quietly, when we were all shouting, and when we stopped we had missed heaps of stuff. He had done that now.

We all listened very carefully to figure out what was going on. What was on his mind. Why it had to be a secret.

(to be continued ...)

#ourjillian

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Jillian 12 – School Incident

For the start of these episodes go to http://career-change-strategies.com.au/jillian-1-meet-my-friend/

Sometimes I ask people to tell me about one or two of the weirdest things things that have happened to them at certain times of their lives. Can be fun to listen to the answers. Can be enlightening. Can sometimes explain things about life that you hadn't even thought of asking.

Jillian had two incidents from primary school in a little country town that she told me about. You know I often wonder if she is telling me a truth about herself or channeling someone else? Perhaps they are all fantasy? Apparently our brains after a short time has passed, cannot tell the difference between something imagined, something we've read, a movie we watched a while ago and the reality of something we actually experienced. So could she be making all this up? I don't know. But as Mark Twain is supposed to have said, "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story." So on we go.

Jillian started laughing as she began this story. She was about 10, she said, when it happened. Her class was being taught by a young chap who she later found out was in his second year of teaching. So he was probably only about 22 or 23.

"We were doing a bit of outdoor PE. Something about ball skills or other teacher bulldust for wasting a bit of time. Tunnel ball was the way it started. Then Sir decided to make it more difficult and have us pass the ball between our legs to the back and then over our heads back up to the front of each team. One person was supposed to run from the front of the line to the back each time they touched the ball. Made for a fast and sometimes complicated game. Winner was declared as the first team to have the person who started at the front back in front again. Got it? If the ball was dropped or anything like that you had to return to where you were before the mistake.

"Of course the boys could not do it with out some form of mischief." she laughed. "So there was ball throwing and kicking, bashing of team members to slow them down, and general mayhem.

"Sir was having a little difficulty keeping things in check. He yelled at us to stop fiddling about. Then a few moments later he grabbed a boy rushing past him and told him to stop mucking the game up for others.

Nothing changed. Well it did. It got worse. The whole game was in danger of deteriorating into a free for all.

Sir was getting angry and upset. He shouted at the top of his voice - I now realise an combination of the two phrases he had already used. 'Stop f ucking everything up!'.

"There was a shocked silence. It had the desired affect. The game cleaned up, school sportfinishing not long after. "

My team won. I do remember that.

"No one heard what Sir said, and no one told their parents. That was good. He was a fun teacher."

#ourjillian

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Jillian 11 – Family

For the start of these episodes go to http://career-change-strategies.com.au/jillian-1-meet-my-friend/

We've never talked much about family here, but Jillian has one brother and one sister.

I can remember two things she told me about her brother. He was a bit of a wild one. I'd like to say his name was Jack or John, but that would be too trite. He is really called Robert, or Rob, or Bob. I like Bob, so for our purposes he'll be  Bob.

Once when they lived next door to a butcher's shop in a rented property (I remember the shop had a sign saying "Free Meat Tomorrow." and you can imagine the problems that caused the blue rinse set. Didn't get the joke, did they?)

Anyway, one day Jillian and her mother came home to a God awful row coming from the back yard of their home.

Seems while they were away Bob had invited a friend around to try out his new dirt bike. Only a little 100cc job not much of a bike really, but it was dirty and did have the pre-requisite knobbly tyres.

dirt bikeBob and his mate were doing circuits around the back yard. It seemed they hadn't noticed that the bike had gouged a huge circular trench in the lawn and the few flower beds that surrounded this grass (it really wasn't good enough to be called a lawn even before this event) and followed the fence line. Of course, since nothing is created or destroyed the evidence of their fun was all over - great huge clods of it - the rest of the lawn, the wooden fence and the side of the house. It was a monumental mess.

My memory is a tad hazy about what happened next. Probably selective recall, 'cause it would not have been pretty. Jillian's mother was a highly strung individual.

The family moved from there soon after. Wonder why?

The next spot for this exciting family (Jillian was not impressed with this one either) was a larger property on a steeply sloping block which went down to a mostly dry river. Well, OK a creek. Bob used to shoot rats down there from the back door , but that is another story.

At the back of the house a few meters from the kitchen was a brick and concrete retaining wall.

There was awasp nest wasp nest in the soil behind the wall. It was too deep to dig out. Down near the bottom of the wall.

So Bob in an heroic effort to remove this nest for his mother had devised a devlish scheme. In school he had learned that calcium carbide and water made an explosive gas - acetylene.

Where he obtained the CaC2 we did not ask.

A narrow metal tube about 2 feet long was hammered into the dirt behind the wall and filled with the aforementioned chemical. Water was poured down the tube and a little while later when the violence of the reaction slowed down, a lighted match or two were dropped down the tube.

The resulting explosion fixed the wasp nest.

It also blew out the kitchen window and all but destroyed the retaining wall. There were bits of concrete/brick wall, glass, wasp nest, soil and small pieces of rock all over the place.

Job done Bob.

#ourjillian

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Jillian 10 – Worst Travel Experience (Again)

"It doesn't really fit into best or worst categories," Jillian said once when we were talking about her travel experiences. Still? Yes, I know, but they are always interesting.

"There was once in Glasgow quite a few years ago, when I was staying with a friend of my mother's. It had been a long and harrowing journey from London's Euston station to Glasgow Central on the fast train. Can't remember what it's called. Perhaps The Flying Scotsman” she said. (Editor note: I think it was called Inter-City).

"Anyway. It was one of the new fully electric trains that had just introduced and it travelled, I think, at about 110 mph most of the way. It whipped through the stations like a tornado - the carriage rocked quite violently it seemed, and the noise of the wheels and the sound of the wind reflected back from the station buildings were very frightening. I wondered what would happen if we rocked so far that the platform or the roof would make contact with us and cause a catastrophic crash. Of course it hadn't happened so far and probably would never happen, but it was hellish scary."

"The trip took 5 hours but it seemed like forever." she said.

I sensed this was not the story. I was right.

"When I arrived, it was really embarrassing," she went on. "I was so exhausted, and it was getting latish, I could tell by all the half hidden yawns.”

“I think it was about 9.00 pm,” (she explained as an aside), “so I let them know I was ready for bed.”

A few friendly 'getting to know you' things happened. Including questions about what time I wanted to begin my exploring of Bearsden where they lived, and Glasgow in general, and what I wanted for breakfast.

BearsdenBearsden Coat of Arms lies on the northwestern fringe of Greater Glasgow, approximately 6 miles (10 km) from the City Centre, and is effectively a suburb, with housing development coinciding with the introduction of a railway line in 1863, and from where the town gets its name (Bearsden station was named after a nearby cottage). Wikipedia.

I said that since I was only going to be a few days I'd like to start quite early about 9.00am. And I mentioned that I thought a quick trip to Edinburgh might be a good idea. Shock horror, “That is so far away - on the other side of the country.” they said in unison, looking at me as if I had two heads. (It is actually about 60 miles or 70 km - just over an hour's journey by car and probably not much different by train). I gave that idea away. Pity, it would have been nice. But I didn't want to upset the hosts.

Next was the breakfast question. Easy answer.

"This," Jillian then said, "is where it became truly weird. I am in Scotland, right? Haggis and porridge? Yes? So not wanting to be a nuisance I said I'd just have porridge. I assumed that was the national breakfast.”

"MISTAKE. Big mistake.”

“I noticed a bit of activity outside the bedroom window as I crawled unwillingly from the warm bed on the rainy, cold morning that followed. My mother’s friend's husband (she couldn't remember names so this is a bit cryptic) was just pushing his bike back into the small lean-to thingy next to the very small and narrow cottage sort of structure in which they lived. See what I did there? Winston Churchill would be proud.

“They had NEVER eaten porridge, and, so as not to disappoint me, he had popped out to the early opening corner store to get some. Needless to say I was mortified.”

“And they didn't know how to make it either. It was horrible. But as I'd asked for it, I had to pretend I enjoyed it."

#ourjillian

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Jillian 9a – Worst Travel Experience … continued

For the start of these episodes go to http://career-change-strategies.com.au/jillian-1-meet-my-friend/

Wellington Airport.

Waiting at the antiquated and squealing, jerking baggage carousel. Finally it stopped. Nothing for Jillian.

Okaaaay.

What now?

It was then that it hit our friend Jillian. SHE HAD NOTHING. Her business clothes, fresh undies, toiletries, make-up, hair-brush the paperwork and stuff for her meetings, proper handbag - all was in that luggage. That luggage which she no longer appeared to be in possession of. I know, Churchill would not like that hanging preposition but bugger it - Jillian has lost her bag for God's sake.

Panic. She ran around frantically looking for someone, anyone to help her. Signs that existed were in English and Maori, but nothing appeared to help her figure out what to do.

Finally as she was close to breaking down here alone in Wellington, NZ on this fateful evening without anything, she began to cry. But she quickly decided that this was NOT the way for a business woman to act. With tears still clinging resolutely to her eyes she finally slowed down, and found a counter that was the most likely hiding place of those whose job it was to trace lost luggage.

"Nah. wasn't on the plane, Luv." said the helpful chap after asking someone on the other end of the old fashioned phone/intercom system, the same question phrased at least 4 different ways. Talk about the bleedin' obvious.

"So what do I do?" Jillian asked. "When is it likely to get here? What happens in the meantime?

"Dunno, Luv," he explained. Pause!

Obviously the answer to all 3 questions.

Jillian filled out a form. He had finally offered, "We'd better do a form, Miss"

He gave her a voucher for some airline stuff, soap tooth brush and the like - shit, yeah, she remembered that's in the bag too. Of course – it would be.

Then he added the clincher, "Since its after 5.00pm the airline counter is closed and you won't be able to redeem this until tomorrow. Sorry!"

“Sorry 'bout that.” he repeated unhelpfully.

“Shit, Shit. Shit.” Just another example of her shitty life, she thought. “Why doesn't stuff go right – just once would be OK? OK?”

Bet this wouldn't be happening to her boss Jack, she thought. Not bloody likely. “Why is it always me?” she wailed to herself.

Nothing open at the airport. Ironic isn't it. If she had know there was going to be no baggage as soon as she landed; shops would have been open and emergency supplies could have been obtained. Easily.

Outside, feeling completely naked with only her small clutch purse, an emergency touch-up lipstick and a credit card.

A taxi. Yep. That's the next step. Thinking. Thinking!

N.Z. still closes down in the evenings. The motel she was booked into was up in Lower Hutt. Quite  distance away.

Let's go.

Big mistake. The motel was staffed by a large bored woman with no interest in anything but the latest episode of “Close to Home”.

No emergency supplies. No help. No luck. Bad Day? No shit!

By this time the taxi had roared off.

“Was that a petrol station we passed just before the motel?” Jillian thought.

A short walk – thankful for small mercies – and YES a service station.

And finally a bit of luck. A small washing line and pegs. A traveller pack of soap, toothpaste, toothbrush and even some deodorant. Not much else. But how good is it to have something?

Back in the room taking stock.

A quick, but horrendously expensive international phone call later, Jillian had managed to let her boss know what had happened and asked if he could fax some brochures, prices and anything else he might be able to lay his hands on, that might be a help. He said he could. Another small win.

Freezing. Naked and attempting to wash her smalls with the bar of soap Jillian wondered if it could possibly get worse.

It could. And did.

Nothing was dry in the morning and as the soap had not been rinsed out thoroughly, the undies were wet, cold, stiff and VERY uncomfortable. It was cold and windy, no surprise, and she looked and felt utterly ridiculous in her summery Melbourne costume. And COSTUME was really the word. She felt like a clown.

There was something for her at reception, not the least of which was the staff and other  guests laughing at this amazingly stupid Australian woman in the green and gold.

Taxi to the office of the older, straight laced MD of the company considering doing business with an unknown Australian firm for the first time. One with a YOUNG female sales rep. What are they thinking?

Short ride. Reading through the info supplied, Jillian found it was extremely limited. No company info, hers or the prospects. “Guess we trust to memory”, she thought. Very basic, black and white brochure and a price list.

Great. “I wish I was dead!” she lamented to herself.

Well it turned out to be an OK meeting. They seemed to understand her predicament. Laughed, but she was beginning to expect that. She was so cold, thinking and speaking was a chore, but it was finally over.

The journey home in the big metal tube in the sky was as uneventful as it could be under the the circumstances, and the credit card took a BIG hit. The Big Sky Mall.

Booze, (Scotch, Gin and Red Wine), promotional rubbish including a jacket to cover the summer gear and a watch and camera she didn't need but the retail therapy helped. Yes it did. Pity there were no shoes.

Well probably a good thing there were no shoes.

The next day; back home. In her own apartment. Properly clothed, a little less mortified, and with a developing hangover, Jillian phoned her boss.

An order had been faxed through during the night and even though it was a small one, it made our Jillian smile. Maybe the chafed bits were worth it after-all.

That was about it, though, for orders from this company, and it kind of put an end to Jillian travelling for the rest of her time with this employer. Unfair. But that's the way it goes for a woman in a man's world.

As the ticket and accommodation had been purchased using her Amex card, Jillian was able to claim for all the lost stuff. Suitcase and all. A nice little win she thought. Bought some new clothes with the money. Sweet, Bro.

3 months later, her very badly battered bags arrived home. They had been to Hawaii and Los Angeles. Lucky them. “Even my bags have a better life than me.”

#ourjillian

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Jillian 9 – Worst Travel Experience

For the start of these episodes go to http://career-change-strategies.com.au/jillian-1-meet-my-friend/

Well Jillian could only think of one worst experience. I'd have bet on more - but I only really wanted one so this is good.

Here goes.

It was early in a year we won't mention.

Jillian had some business meetings in Wellington in NZ. And it was hot, Damn Hot in Melbourne. Well over 30 degrees most days. Wellington was going to be windy as usual and her appointments were going to keep her right on the edge of the harbour. Even more wind. It would be much cooler than Melbourne, and probably even cool by Wellington NZ standards. Well it was. I'm not making this stuff up.

It was the first time Jillian had been promoting this line and it was very important. A sale here would make for a fairly decent commission (did I tell you she was at one time earlier in her peripatetic life a sales person? - It was only for a relatively short time, so it may not have come up before.)

Anyway, at this time, early in her working life, she was a sales person A commercial traveller as she found out they called them in NZ.

And this was not only going to be a lucrative 'one-off', but on-going sales were likely to keep it ticking on for some time.

She boarded the plane with one smallish suitcase, which, unfortunately, would not fit into the overhead locker. "Shouldn't matter," she said to herself. "Nothing valuable in there." Famous last words.

Since it was only a short trip both in duration of the flight and the time over there, Jillian was a tad casual about things, she now understands, but after all her business attire WAS in the suitcase and she had everything she needed to imbibe a few cold wines on the flight.

Did I say it was hot in Melbourne? Imagine this.

Hair tied back in a semblance of a pony tail. Multicoloured halter neck top in greens and golds. It was not revealing - designed for day-wear not the beach. And she was going on an international flight. So. Fine. OK?

It was teamed with a cotton wrap-around skirt of similar hue. and a pair of not very high, but still high heeled ankle strap, open toed sandals with wedge heels, light green in colour. Quite cool and summery. Very nice.

Not Business attire. Definitely NOT business attire.

Jillian arrived in Wellington. The airport buildings still seemed to be fashioned from a couple of WWII Nissan huts and not a lot of sophisticated equipment was in view.

And it was, as already promised, windy outside, (no aero-bridge - Just a wheeled set of gangway stairs here in good old Windy Wellington), and a LOT cooler then the Melbourne summer.

To Be Continued ...

#ourjillian

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Jillian 8a – Best Travel Experience

Another time when we were talking about travel, Jillian spoke about a wonderful experience she had had in Mumbai or Bombay.

If you don't tell her, I won't; but India was another country I omitted from my list a few posts ago. Oh dear!

This is a really nice story and well worthy of being included in the best experiences category. India, unfortunately, is often on the other side of the best/worse experiences for travellers and I can vouch for this. One evening while walking on Chowpatti beach, during the most fantastic Ganesha Chaturthi Hindu festival, celebrated in honour of the elephant-headed God, Ganesh - remover of obstacles and the God of beginnings and wisdom, when Hindus immerse idols of Lord Ganapati with a variety of herbal leaves and plants into the Arabian Sea; I realised, too late, why no Indian people were bare footed in the sand. Oops.

Back to Jillian. On her 1st visit to Mumbai, she was able to snag a kind of a taxi, a really old, rusty and run down, but garishly painted in swirly rainbow colours, car of some sort with an unkempt scraggy young boy as a driver. The longish journey into the southern Mumbai suburb of Colaba was punctuated by very loud, very colourful fireworks, and a madly waving driver indicating with hands and bobbing head large numbers of incredible sights not to be missed, although the road appeared quite capable of taking care of itself without eyes, or hands on the steering wheel.

And the SPEED. Oh well that's another thing altogether. This guy took a shine to Jillian - a slight mix-up with money and a largish tip changing hands may have helped. He adopted her. He became her personal taxi driver in Mumbai. Slept on the bonnet of the cab outside her hotel. "I look after lovely white lady without man." he used to say. He must have had other clothes in the cab as he was sometimes in an ordinary shirt and trousers, sometimes an Indian dhoti with a shirt, not very clean and not always much more than threadbare. His odour was acceptable most days so he must have had a bit of a wash in the nearby Arabian Sea. In itself this is a risk as some of the stuff floating in and on this water had the ability to make things worse. Much worse.

Mumbai is a city where traffic cannot even begin to be described, taxis and hire cars are seemingly non-existent, cows roam the streets and motor bikes make up a greater population than sheep in the whole of New Zealand. And everything that moves - (except for the cows which can sit in the middle of the road often not moving at all for hours; and of course, because they are sacred you can't touch them), everything moves at lightning speed.

Walking is hard because of the beggars living, eating, feeding babies, defecating, yelling, and sleeping. The streets are often an extension of the slums. Jillian was very nearly run over by a young chap with no legs zooming along the footpath at warp speed on a skateboard.

So, it is good, no read REALLY GOOD, to have your own personal taxi driver. He can move anything - except cows (even a personal taxi driver can't do that), park anywhere, help you avoid the unavoidable beggars and peddlers and spruikers, circumvent for you the prominent back street, garishly decorated, overpriced emporiums where you can get the best fake Prada bags ever made. "I mean even the leather is fake," Jillian screamed hysterically at me.

And he can recommend shopping for real bargains, theatres for Bollywood movies, street food to avoid and that to eat, sights to see and – those that are a rip off. He can inform you of traditions and religious stuff to help you avoid the major gaffes most of us make.

In short he is an additional God to add to the possible 330 million others.

#ourjillian

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Introduction

cropped-Career-Change-Strategies001k-bottom.jpg

 

Hi,

Here you will see interesting (I hope) stuff that I feel the need to publish from time to time.

Sometimes it will be for fun, occasionally it will be something I've learned that I would like to share, and every now and then an offer I would like you to consider. And some of these will be free.

Offers might be:

  • something I am doing myself -
  • seminar, workshop, e-Book, printed book, CD or DVD
  • product specials, free or paid
  • coaching opportunity (again free or paid or a special promotion) or
  • something from third parties. (I may have some financial interest in these - I may not. Depends.)

You might like to:

  • like my page on Face-book,
  • opt-in to my email list (this will give you a gift and some special offers no one else can see)
  • join my LinkedIn network
  • get involved with any of the other opportunities that are offered from time to time.

I hope you enjoy the stuff here and if you do - feel free to contact me, comment or share with friends.

Thank you for your interest,

Colin Rochford - Career Change Strategies

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Jillian 2 – Name

I asked Jillian why she still thought about her name and her birthday situations. I know they were a problem for her in the years at high school.

She said she didn't really care about them any-more; they were really not important now. I wondered?

“Besides”, she added, “They were small things”.

She went on to say, “The quote by Richard Carlson in his book 'Don't sweat the small stuff' which goes on to say – 'It's all small stuff' tells me to keep the little things in life from driving me crazy; and it's true. But some stuff does seem to be hard to totally remove from your subconscious. And it can pop up at any time, inopportune moments mostly.

“But,” she went on, “Jillian with a J does make my signature easier to write....”

“As for the other things,” she continued, “Sometimes it's easier to blame someone or something else.

“I know that's not right, but, ya know, it's not my fault. I didn't choose when to be born. How could I? But when I was a kid it seemed that something or someone else was always more important then me and my needs. I know I used to cry a lot.”

Deep stuff. You probably figure that as TMI (too much Information), but Jillian is really a cool person. If we are gunna do this we have to take everything. Only 100% game playing here.

Jillian works for a large multi-national company and is still (as far as I know) after all these years – enough to earn Long Service Leave – not in an executive role. I asked her about that.

#ourjillian

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Jillian 1a – Why

Why am I doing this? A recent question about my Jillian posts. Good question.

The answer.

I fancy myself as a writer to be, and this seemed like a way to practice writing dialogue and following the age old writer's dictum of 'Show, Don't Tell.'

I contacted Jillian and it was agreed that this might well be a good idea. She said she trusted me, and knew I would not say anything really terrible, nor give out any identifying information.

She also figured that a third party opinion of her and her life, (and in public as well), might be very interesting and also maybe helpful in giving her a different view of herself and perhaps even an insight into her life now and in the future.

So there you are.

#ourjillian

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