Media and guest appearances
Feb 13th, 2019
Guest storyteller at the Arizona Storytellers Project stage… theme “Romance or Not”
I shared that one of my favorite things to do while I lived in Oregon was to hangout at coffee shops and enjoy coffee as well people watch particularly couples. I would always wonder how they met and what made them so happy in their relationships.
I decided to start a podcast and in it I would find out their love journey and give myself others hope and inspiration. I left Oregon for Arizona after being laid off. I needed sunshine and I found it in abundance.
The video from the event is coming soon.
Below is a copy and paste of the newspaper article from 2.14.19
Longing for love, she put her heart out to the universe, and the universe responded
John D'Anna, Arizona RepublicPublished 6:00 a.m. MT Feb. 14, 2019
Kanu Jacobsen was beginning to think it would never happen.
Whenever she was out in public, she would look at couples and wonder how they got together.
And if they could find love, why couldn't she?
She's got a lot to offer. She's smart, attractive, well-traveled and successful. She's an adrenaline junkie and has climbed mountains and run marathons.
"Friends would tell me I'm beautiful, yet I'm still single," she said. "What am I doing that I'm not finding love?"
It's not that Jacobsen had never been in love before.
In her native Zimbabwe, Jacobsen had a schoolgirl crush on a boy, though to hear her tell it, it was more than a crush.
His name was Carlos, and he went to the same church in Harare, the capital city.
Any time Carlos came near, Jacobsen got tongue tied and weak in the knees.
"I had butterflies just trying to hold it together," she said.
Carlos would share chocolates with her, so she knew he was interested, but she never told him how she felt, evenfeigned indifference.
"I was waiting for him to tell me he liked me — waiting for him to actually say it," she recalled. "I confused him a lot."
Carlos never did speak up.
'I ghosted him'
Jacobsen grew up in a middle-class home, the seventh of seven daughters. Her father was a suit designer, and her mother was a political activist, volunteer police officer and teacher's aid.
Both parents prized education, and they decided that Jacobsen's best opportunity was in the United States.
When the time came for her to leave for college, she never even said goodbye to Carlos. In fact, she never told him she was leaving.
"I ghosted him," she said. "I still feel guilty about it."
Jacobsen had aunts and uncles in Texas and a sister in Oklahoma, so she enrolled at a satellite campus of Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City and eventually graduated with a degree in kinesiology from Southern Nazarine University.
At Oklahoma State, she met a man who was a friend of one of her friends. They would often eat lunch together as a group, but one day her friend couldn't make it, leaving the two of them to talk. Soon they were going to the movies together and going bowling. They fell in love and got married.
They moved to Oregon and Jacobsen began working on a graduate degree. Unfortunately, she and her husband drifted apart over the years and divorced after eight years of marriage.
After her marriage ended, Jacobsen tried to get back into the dating scene. She tried singles groups and online dating, set-ups by friends and every other way she could think of to meet people.
Learning from others' stories
She made friends, but didn't find love.
Friends and family told her she needed to set her sights a little lower, that maybe her standards were too high and she was being too picky.
So she went out with men who didn't necessarily fit her vision of Mr. Right. Even then, there was no love connection.
Several years ago, not long after she had completed her master's degree in counseling, she had an idea that combines her listening skills as a counselor and her fascination with learning how couples wound up together.
"I wanted to write a book about my dating stories," she said. "I'm not a writer, but I love to talk, and I realized I wasn't going to learn about myself from my own stories."
What if she approached couples and asked them to tell the stories of how they met? Maybe their stories could provide hope and inspiration, not just for Jacobsen but for others. And because she loves to talk and listen, a podcast would be the perfect vehicle.
Tired of the Oregon gloom, she decided to move to Phoenix, "looking for sunshine," and she decided to finally make her idea happen.
She launched Real Love, Real Stories in June with an episode about a woman who had fallen in love with her ex-husband's brother.
Subsequent episodes involved a couple whose first date was drinking whisky and hunting for rats in Thailand; a woman who met her husband after she locked her keys in her car; and a couple who hit it off at their 20th high school reunion.
Still another couple were on their way to get a marriage license when the bride-to-be noted that her future husband had not formally proposed. So he pulled over and popped the question right then and there.
An intention card that worked?
Jacobsen was right about the "how we met" stories. She found them uplifting, and they gave her hope. Her listeners said the same thing.
One of her favorite episodes was about a woman who wrote "intention cards." The idea is that if you write down your dreams and desires and put them out to the universe, the universe will respond.
The woman wrote that she hoped she would find her "Prince Charming," and not long after that, she found the man of her dreams. He was a hockey player, and his nickname was, literally, "Prince Charming."
Jacobsen decided it couldn't hurt to write out her own intention card.
She asked to meet Mr. Right and put it out to the universe.
The first week in December, the universe responded.
She saw a social media post from her nephew in Zimbabwe, and noticed one of the comments.
It was from Carlos.
"I thought, 'it can't be him'," Jacobsen said.
She had never forgotten her schoolgirl crush. She had kept a scrapbook from home in Zimbabwe, and she would thumb through it whenever she got homesick. Invariably she would come across a picture of Carlos and wonder what had happened to him.
She tried time after time to find him on social media, but the man she had ghosted seemed to have become a ghost.
And then there he was.
'Is this my Carlos?'
"I commented, 'Is this my Carlos?' and he immediately responded to my inbox."
He gave her his phone number and they started texting their way down memory lane.
A couple of days later, they had a video chat.
He's 45 now, and she's 44. He's a mechanic, has been married and divorced, has three children.
"He still looks young and handsome like I remember him," she said.
Carlos had been searching for her too, but with the name he knew her by when they were young — Aqualine — her middle name, which she no longer goes by.
And she, as it turns out, had been using the wrong spelling for his name.
His response to her first message was, "Aqualine, I've been looking for you."
"It still makes me smile," Jacobsen said.
Of course every great love story needs a happy ending, but this one hasn't been written yet.
Carlos is making plans to come and visit Jacobsen in a couple of weeks. She's excited, hopeful, and more than a bit nervous.
"He's coming all the way from Zimbabwe," she said. "I'll feel so guilty if it doesn't work out, but I'm putting it out to the universe."
Kanu Jacobsen told her story about looking for love at an Arizona Storyteller's event this week. To hear more stories like hers and to find out about upcoming performances, go to storytellersproject.com.