Patience with the Process

I swirled my lukewarm coffee in its glass, glancing out the two-story window into the neighborhood below. Was it raining? It certainly didn’t look like the kind of weather I had grown accustomed to in Southern California. Even if it wasn’t raining, it was fogging. Close enough. I plopped unceremoniously into my desk chair and began clicking a pen without rhythm or reason. I had about a million things I […]

 

The Problem of Regret

Glancing in the rearview mirror, I checked my reflection one more time. This was probably as good as it was going to get. I took a deep breath and headed inside the fancy office building, the click-clacking of my knock-off pumps occasionally sticking in the uneven pavement. During the interview, I said what came naturally, careful to be authentic, but careful to “sell” my writing—as is indicative of job interviews. […]

 

What I Said I Would

“So, how’s that book coming along?” I grit my teeth and close my eyes, dreading the interaction that’s about to take place. “Oh…you know. It’s coming. Slow, but that’s progress for ya.” “How many pages do you have?” Curse you friend who knows I am avoiding this question. “Like 8. I’m at 8 pages. But I have an outline. And I’ve just been really busy lately with work,” I sputter, […]

 

Playing the Victim

My 20s haven’t exactly gone the way I anticipated they would. Shocker. The expectations we carry in life are often thwarted. My timelines don’t always play out. Teleportation still isn’t a thing (though I maintain that if they can fax a paper, they can fax a person). Major life milestones aren’t always met. Some of it is my fault. Some of it is outside of my control. And some of […]

 

Freezing the Emotional Process

Sometimes I feel the words underneath the surface and I know. I need a keyboard, or a pen. I need to write. Most of the time I don’t even know what words will come tumbling forth, but I can feel them floating to the surface beneath my skin; a long-forgotten splinter finally working its way out. I tap away at the keys. Scratching off the surface, like a gambler scratching […]

 

The Grace in Rejection

Sitting in a dorm room eight years ago I felt it. The anxious devastation that wells up in chest, the sick that lives in pit of stomach, the tears that threatened to blind, the lump in throat sure to block sweet air to lungs. Breathing came fast, individual breaths hitching as they came out torn. “But… why?” I cried soundlessly, the anger having long blazed out of me, leaving only […]

 

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 […]

 

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 […]

 

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 […]

 

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 […]