Killing the Cool Girl

“You really act more like a dude anyway.” I remember the first time one of my male friends told me I was “one of the guys”. I was in 7th grade and we were at youth group playing knock-out as other kids threw dodgeballs behind us on the basketball court. I stopped dribbling for a minute and blinked, confused, but not upset. Was I more like a “dude”? I had never […]


Learning to Let Go

I had a pair of moccasins that I wore all through college.  I loved them.  They were my “sole” mate (sorry for the dad-joke). I wore them to the beach, I wore them hiking, I wore them places I probably shouldn’t have because unlike the moccasins Native Americans made, these were fake leather or suede, or whatever they actually were, and not at all weather proof. They eventually started to […]


People Over Projects

I like lists. Like a lot. Perhaps that’s a weird statement, especially coming out of the mouth of very Type-B personality, but allow me to elaborate. I like crossing things off of massive to-do lists. I color coordinate them, and if you show even an ounce of interest in my day planner, get ready to listen to the explanation of all my pen colors and highlighters for the next five […]


Three-Legged Dogs in The Land of Want

I glanced down at the floor of my litter-strewn car, noticing not for the first time the photoshopped face of a realtor smiling up at me from a flyer advertising yet another apartment I couldn’t afford. I sighed, silently reminding myself that it was time to shovel the trash out of my car. I couldn’t be reminded every time drove anywhere that by Southern California standards, I was basically poor. […]


Planning for the Unplanned

I’ve had some brilliant plans for my life. Finish high school, go to college, get my degree, travel the world, get a book published, star in my very own melodrama, own a baby elephant, break the world record for number of cartwheels done in a row, be in a Harry Potter movie, fall in love, get married… All before the ripe age of twenty-three, of course. The issue with my […]



I am not good at leaving things behind. Truth be told, I am not even good at leaving things unsaid, or letting go of what I desire. It is not in my nature to sacrifice myself for the comfort of another. I know that is not noble or admirable of me to admit; and though I am sure that there are exceptions to that rule, I know that half of […]


Since When is it Cool to be Aloof?

I trudged through the piling snow on the Ohio sidewalk, inwardly cursing myself for not wearing two pairs of socks. Luckily I was almost to the local coffee shop where I was to meet one of my long-time friends. It was our tradition to hole-up in the cozy atmosphere and catch one another up on life until there was nothing but cold dregs left in the bottom of ceramic cups. […]


What if I Make a Mistake?

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, hurdle! One, two, three four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen hurdle! Faster, faster, Coleen. I lengthened my stride, breathing in my nose and out my mouth. I rounded the home stretch of the 300 meter hurdles, taking the competition by just enough to gain about a stride lead. It was all I needed. […]


Valentine's Day

I opened the door, expecting flowers, chocolate…something. As the cold air hit me in the face, I took him in, quickly doing a mental inventory of the fact that he actually had nothing in his hands. But…it’s Valentine’s Day…he wouldn’t have not brought anything right? It was probably in his car. After a mediocre dinner and a drug store card that had been sitting on the front seat, I felt […]


Vulnerability Remorse

I climbed into my car, sliding across the front seat and slamming the door simultaneously. It was a foggy evening and the marine layer that hung in the air over Pacific coastal towns had left its mark all over my car windshield. I sighed, turning the key in the ignition. I had fun… I think I had fun? No…I had fun. But then why did I feel so unsettled? Why […]