Breaking Away

It took me two years. Healing from abuse, finding the confidence to believe that you are capable of leaving—it takes a long time. It also takes seeing the other life that is possible. *             *             * The spring I was 30, I began to make friends with a coworker of mine at the college. WeContinue reading “Breaking Away”

The Beginning of the End

A few months before my graduation, I came home after classes one day to find my parents in the living room. The lights had been shut off and the blinds drawn. The ivory sofa loomed gray in the dim light, and my father sat in the center of it like a king upon a dais,Continue reading “The Beginning of the End”

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”

What Friends Are For

Despite what popular sitcoms and rom-coms would have us believe, friends are not resource bases for us to cull from. They are not a bottomless well of empathy and generosity for us to draw on in hard times. And when someone commits to being your friend, there is no clause in the contract that guaranteesContinue reading “What Friends Are For”

My First Bar Tab at 32

“Really?” My friend, A., asked. We’ve known each other 20 years, but she’d been away for the last ten. “Really.” I assured her. “Why would I? Do I seem like the type to hang out in bars?” “Okay. Fine.” “So how do I do this?” She smirked. “I think you just walk up and say,Continue reading “My First Bar Tab at 32”

The Middle of Nowhere

“But what happens if you leave?” I was 21 years old and having a hypothetical discussion with my anthropology professor. He knew I was Mormon. Knew I had a complex relationship to my faith. And though we were talking about community in a general sense, he knew I was thinking of leaving it. He shrugged.Continue reading “The Middle of Nowhere”

In the World But Not of It

  Some of my friends–especially those with children–envy the quiet time I have to myself. One friend sank into the cushions of my bamboo chair and listened to the rain drum like fingertips against my attic ceiling. “It must be so nice,” she said. “All this time to write.” No voices. No one competing forContinue reading “In the World But Not of It”

Ex-Mormon Girl Buys Tobacco

For the first time. Ever. So, I was completing a kayak run when I saw a waterfront shop awning: Union Cigar Society. In the window, a banner in Italic script read “Fine Cigars and Accessories.” Now, I’ve only just been introduced to cigars in 2012. I had never smoked anything until this spring. And then,Continue reading “Ex-Mormon Girl Buys Tobacco”

On Love, Autonomy, and the Limitations of Feminism

Recently, I’ve been reading Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch (1970). And she strikes a nerve with me when she writes, “Our society encourages the substitution of addiction for spontaneous pleasure and specifically encourages women to foster dependencies which will limit their mates’ tendencies to roving and other forms of instability” (176). Men in turn, she argues, areContinue reading “On Love, Autonomy, and the Limitations of Feminism”