Four Reasons to Take a Pandemic Vacation

So here’s the thing. I need a vacation. You probably do, too. But we all know there’s no such thing as a vacation from health problems. Whether it’s chronic migraines, PTSD, or any other long-term health challenge, there’s no getting away from it. Wherever we go, there it is. The pandemic can make a vacationContinue reading “Four Reasons to Take a Pandemic Vacation”

What I’ll Be Doing in 2020

Ever since my goal of completing a post-diagnosis 5K hit a wall in October 2019, I’ve been skittish about setting goals. That weekend when I missed the race—the one I’d registered and trained for, that friends and family were coming to—I plummeted into such a deep depression that I didn’t see the other side untilContinue reading “What I’ll Be Doing in 2020”

The Healing Grace of Friendship

My father, like most fathers of daughters, had no sense of fairness. On camping trips, he assigned my mother and me to dish duty while he and my brother built fires and checked fuel and lit lanterns. I asked to learn, and he always refused. Maybe he genuinely thought these were skills I’d never need.Continue reading “The Healing Grace of Friendship”

How Rage Is Shutting Down American Politics

As a high school and college student, I aspired to change the world. I binge-watched The West Wing before binge-watching was a thing. I talked with friends about becoming a lobbyist and engaged in passionate debates about American and global politics. I idolized the Supreme Court and read its decisions with finger-tingling excitement. I evenContinue reading “How Rage Is Shutting Down American Politics”

Home Has Magnetic Pull

When I was living on my own, it didn’t matter what time I got home. Or whether I came home at all. I took bus rides just for the fun of it and hopped off when I felt like it, boots slapping against the pavement of some new street in an unfamiliar city. I wandered.Continue reading “Home Has Magnetic Pull”

One Month in Bangkok

I had my first encounter with immersive language learning when I lived in Thailand for a month. I was 23 years old, I had just graduated from college, and I was eager to attain fluency because the man I was dating was Thai. So far, I could fluently tell Thais that their country is beautiful,Continue reading “One Month in Bangkok”

Navigating Religious Differences: An Agnostic Visits Christian Family

I grew up in a religious community that fanatically converted neighbors, friends, and relatives. A Sunday wouldn’t go by without a reminder to pick up extra copies of The Book of Mormon and hand them out when God so moved us. But the world grows thick with difference, and to cull the diversity through conversionContinue reading “Navigating Religious Differences: An Agnostic Visits Christian Family”

My First Date at 32

When people ask why I’ve never dated, I give the most obvious reasons. Glasses. An unhealthy obsession with Shakespeare. Shyness. Yellowed teeth. All ribs and knees, without much figure to speak of. And when I’m not writing, I’m reading. Basically, I’m boring and bookish. And guys don’t ask me out because dating, in American culture,Continue reading “My First Date at 32”

12 Ways to Scare Yourself Silly in 2014

Eleanor Roosevelt once advised, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” I’ve always thought aiming for that daily was a bit much. Maybe once a week? But courage is a muscle, a skill. I’m not a brave person by nature. I’m timid and prefer my routines. And, like most people I’ve met, I have to train myself toContinue reading “12 Ways to Scare Yourself Silly in 2014”