Overcoming Comparison

In middle school, I wore the same oversized sweatshirt to school every day — worn out, tattered at the sleeves, but ever so comfortable. Middle-school-me slicked back my hair into a perfect half ponytail each morning. I loved a few things: writing, singing, and reading, to name a few. This girl had big ambitions. I won second place at my school’s spelling bee and dreamed of one day writing a […]


In the Desert Season

Two months ago, I packed up my faithful Honda for what seemed like the hundredth time, said goodbye to the Florida life I loved, and drove across the country to California. Since then, the majority of the past fifty-seven days have been filled with a strong-willed desperation to find my “new calling”. Without a job to walk into upon my West Coast arrival, I found myself monotonously rearranging furniture, painting […]


Unashamed Womanhood

“I’m doing pink and purple! I am not ashamed to be a woman!” One of the professors I work for as a Graduate Assistant made this declaration after we had spent a solid ten minutes deciding what colors she would use to divide each section of her work binder that she was required to hand in to be awarded tenure. Blue and green looks professional. Maybe yellow, it’s a neutral […]


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 […]


Modern Heroics & the Tragedy of the Beauty Movement

I grew up with a grandmother who had facial paralysis due to an advanced brain tumor a few years prior to my birth. She had had surgery that caused the left side of her face to droop, her eye to lose function and subsequently be sown shut to avoid visual disorientation as her ocular muscles attempted with futility to fight gravity. She always made jokes and referred to her appearance […]


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. […]