About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Life

I am a writer who came of a sheltered life.  A sheltered life can be a daring life as well.  For all serious daring starts from within.
- Eudora Welty

   The first time I read this quote in Barbara Abercrombie’s A Year of Writing Dangerously, I just kept reading.  It didn’t resonate with me in any way.

   The second time I read this quote, more than a year after the original reading, I felt something inside me shift.  I highlighted the quote and tagged the page with a Post-It.  

   In many respects, and most likely by other people’s standards, I have led a sheltered life.  I spent my entire childhood in one home.  I now live ten minutes away from that home.  I haven’t traveled the world, haven’t put myself in dangerous situations, haven’t made the news headlines.

   And yet, with each birthday, as the numbers keep creeping steadily forward, I am able to look at my life and realize that it has indeed been daring.  And I strive to keep it that way.

   At the age of twenty-two, I moved in with the man who would become my husband.  I put myself through college, relying on public transportation, and not letting a daily commute requiring six buses stop me from earning my degree.  I witnessed a drug deal on the street as I anxiously waited for my bus, had to handle unwanted attention from men considerably older than myself, and I did it each day and would then wake up and do it again the next day.  

   I have traveled to Paris, have gone parasailing on Catalina Island, and have ridden in a hot air balloon with my dad.  I drove the road to Hana in Maui and explored San Francisco by myself.

   My writing has been published in national papers, and several years ago, I recorded one of my personal essays for an NPR segment.  I currently write two weekly columns for a popular website.  

   I think what is really changing are my definitions -- what really defines a “sheltered life” and “daring.”

   All my acts of “daring” were done for me.  I wasn’t trying to impress anyone else.  I wasn’t trying to set a record or earn kudos from others.  And truthfully, I never stopped to think that I was behaving in a daring way.  I was merely living the way that was right for me at the time.

   I am a woman who plans and organizes and maps things out.  And while that works to a certain extent, these last few years have taught me that no one can plan and organize and map out everything.  And as I adjust, as I adapt, I continue to try to live in the way that is most right for me and my family.

   It is my sheltered life that provides me with the protection and security to do the things that are daring for me.  


  1. I feel you have been living a wonderful life and by far not sheltered.Daddy and I have wanted our children to have a better childhood then we both had,and we feel you did.We aren't perfect and have made mistakes,but all parents do.Parenting is like trial and error,and each day is different.You have done some amazing things with your life and I couldn't be prouder.I just wish you didn't have to deal with this very painful medical condition,as you certainly do not deserve it.I love you very much.

  2. As a child your mother & I always tried to give our kids the best we could. You have been doing a great job and have done many daring things. I am very proud of the person you have become, and the wonderful mother you are to Ryan.You are a
    wonderful daughter. Your mother & I are proud of you.
    love, dad

  3. Honey,
    Life is a daring and wonderful adventure! I am so happy that we are by each other's side in life. There is nowhere else I would rather be.
    I Love You!