Why, 25 Years After Its Invention, My Gibberish Childhood Language Doesn’t Feel So Silly Anymore

When I was five, I invented a gibberish language. It was only spoken, with few rules. Just lots of sonority—a melange of short vowels and palatal and bilabial consonants (“Jabashow oum abishish?”). The language was less about communicating messages, and more about communicating emotions. I never spoke the language as myself, but as my alter ego. I assigned characters to my parents and brother (my brother’s character was named Starlings), and insisted that whenever one person prompted it, everyone else spoke the language in character. And I was not the…

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Why 2018 Will Be The Year I Stop Caring About What I Deserve

It was a December in the late 90’s, and my school was on break for the holidays. I was spending the afternoon with one of my best friends and we were passing time as only kids know how. We were upstairs in the “play room,” whose prime open space had recently been colonized by her dad’s treadmill. “How does this work?” I asked, already standing on the belt. My friend started to respond but I was too busy punching buttons. The belt was whirring, and I was jogging, then running,…

How A Simple Notebook Got My Family On the Same Page This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays to spend at home with my family. Though my parents no longer live in my childhood home, and though I no longer live 2000 miles from home, there’s still something nostalgic about my homecoming, spending the whole day together in the kitchen, and ending it sitting around the “fancy occasion” dining table of my youth. This year, however, my family spent Thanksgiving week in Montreal and Toronto (where, notably, Thanksgiving was celebrated last month). I was not thrilled about the travel. I enjoy…

Why 29 Will Be My Most Unbalanced Year Yet

I’ve always used my birthday as a time to stop and think about where I’ve been and where I’m going. The annual tradition is one way I try to build self-awareness and achieve balance. This year in particular, however, I didn’t want to stop. In some ways, I had been stopped all year and I wanted to celebrate my renewed ability to go-go-go. Last year, I had knee surgery four days after my birthday. I spent the next six months rebuilding my strength, and the six months after that rebuilding my…