dear parents

For the past several months, I’ve worked at an after school care program, and as an obsessively observant people watcher, I’ve gathered a great deal. Below are the important things I’d like to share with the parents of young children.

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That Time I Wasn’t a Feminist

To those who know me as I am right now, you more than likely know me as something of a staunch feminist. I pretty inherently abhor labels, but proudly wear that one.

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Yet there was a time, not too long ago, in which I would have cringed at the term feminist; I was repulsed by the it.

Why? How was that possible? Didn’t I believe in equal pay for men and women? Didn’t I admire countless women in leadership roles, even aspire to be one? Continue reading

just love.

my thoughts on being more like Jesus

Growing up in church, I heard versions of the phrase ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ far more often than anyone would really like.

I want to talk about that phrase today.

A few summers ago, I went to Uganda on a mission trip.

The main purpose of the trip was to serve as a vessel for God’s love, to share His relentless affection with the many homeless boys who, for most of their lives, had not received enough of it. Because I was there to love, I doled and doted each of those kids with infinite kindness and care; I shared freely every ounce of space within my heart. Continue reading

to the tired best friend

To the tired best friend,

I saw a blog post written to the “selfish best friend;” I didn’t make it through that entire post because, well, you know me, I got distracted by the episode of New Girl that was on.

But as I laughed at Schmidt and the lovable Nick Miller and the all around adorable, laughable antics of Jess and her crazy friends, something about that post stuck with me.

I am the selfish best friend.

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blank spaces

a short story

It felt like looking through a window, constantly watching everything happen around you, but never being able to find the door. It was as if an entire world of happiness existed just inches away, but the glass barrier between that world and her was immovable, unbreakable; there was no way around it, she could watch the life she wanted, she could feel almost as if she were right in the thick of it, but she could never really be a part of it.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying though. Her every act, her every thought, seemed to hinge on her desperate attempt to break through that glass wall. It had been that way for as long as she could remember.

She did all the right things, joined the right clubs, wore the right clothes. She said exactly what she thought they wanted to hear; she watched them and she learned from them, and she did whatever she could to assimilate into their ranks.

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jagged metal key

a short story

The door clicked shut behind him. He took a deep breath as he ran his thumb over the cold, sharp edges of the key. He knew the gravity of what he was doing; he understood the significance of this decision. It weighed on him near the point of paralysis, even now, with his mind made up. He paused, leaning against the doorframe, and let his mind run through it all one last time.

They’d met on a Sunday; she talked animatedly amongst of group of friends. He stood on the outskirts of all the conversation, picking at the edges of his now empty paper coffee cup, wondering what he was doing there. The occasional friendly stranger interrupted his thoughts to welcome him to the church and get to know him. Classic church behavior he’d thought, and though he hated small talk, he’d openly shared with each of them some version of his life not quite the truth.

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cold hard bleachers

a short story

Often she found herself sitting alone, in the darkness of her bedroom before the sun came up, or along the edge of a park bench with the chill of the night filling her body, unable to see past the dimly lit sidewalk in front of, no matter the place, or time of day, she always seemed to let the silence get too loud, let the darkness persist too long, and as a result, let the cavernous, empty space inside of her grow even deeper, even wider, further beyond repair.

To say she’d spent her whole life misunderstood would be a gross understatement, a painfully trite banality, feigning even remotely to attempt to acknowledge the depth of her isolation. She’d seen a macabre of therapists to no avail; prescriptions for every antidepressant and antianxiety medication had been prescribed, and still, her insides felt empty.

There was another world inside of her mind, a world even she had only begun to access, but it was that world that kept her from feeling any sense of belonging in reality; it was that world that kept her from relating to others, from forging deep connections with her peers. She knew that world wasn’t real, and yet somehow, she also knew it would overtake her if she weren’t careful.

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