Hitting Backspace

I walked along the bike trail by my parents’ house, purposely kicking up fallen October leaves with every step. Each stride released the spicy scent of autumn, reminding me why I love this season in the Midwest so much. The crunch of the leaves, the rich golden colors, the prematurely fading twilight. The feeling that anything and everything could change at any given moment. I sighed, shoving my hands into […]


Just a Girl. Just a Boy.

I’m not a fan of dating. Nor am I its poster child. My current position on dating? It’s awkward. Who texts first? How many days do you wait before seeing each other again? What do you wear? I’ve been on some very sweet, well-planned dates and I’ve been on other dates that have been frustrating, to say the least. But there comes a point in a string a thoughtful and […]


Unwrapping Gifts Too Soon

During the last 8-ish years that I lived with my mom, I always knew exactly what gifts I would be receiving on Christmas morning. I knew because I unwrapped those gifts way before Christmas day. And then I would wrap them back. I could never wait until Christmas morning to know what those boxes held, and I would spend days perfecting my surprised face. Side note to my mother who is […]


A Time to be Honest About Pain

“So we’ve talked about school and boys now let’s talk about God. How have you and God been?” It may have been easier to speak if she had asked, “How are you?” or, “How have you been?” But she was specific about everything. She really wanted to know. So for the second time in only a couple of days I had the chance to be vulnerable and honest with a […]


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 […]


Hope in Grief

What to do when the world feels too heavy. There is a quote by Tim Keller on the whiteboard in my office that reads, “The Christian faith has a hope that overwhelms grief. This hope doesn’t get rid of the grief or pain but sweetens and shifts it.” I wrote these words out on the morning of July 17th, when my Twitter feed filled with news of a passenger airline […]


What's in a Name?

“No one gets to name you,” he leaned in and whispered. I let out a short laugh, but not the joyful kind. All of my life I’ve been named. My middle name, Nicole, was picked by a doctor in the middle of a delivery room. Douglas, my last name, was chosen by my orphaned grandfather for reasons I’ll never know. Birdie, my family’s nickname for me, is the one that […]


Walking on Hurt Feet

The moment I woke up I noticed the pain but, it wasn’t until my right foot hit the floor that I felt the severity of it. If I were being honest with myself, I would have noticed the subtle pain earlier, before it got worse. But, because I didn’t have time to be in pain, it went ignored for weeks. Now that the problem could not be pushed aside, I […]


Dude, She Friend-Zoned You

“Dude, she friend zoned you.” It was almost autumn. Summer’s sweltering humidity had departed. New York’s weather was cool – perfect for leather jackets and jeans. A buddy and I had been hanging out with a girl and her friend for awhile. It started with great conversations, then mini golfing and going over to their apartment to make dinner. The four of us hung out several times and it felt like there was some chemistry. I was planning […]


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 […]