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…

How I Let My Ego Steal My Craft—And Why I’m Stealing it Back

http://www.patrickvale.co.uk/Projects/NYC-Midtown-line-drawing

“Let yourself be gutted. Let it open you. Start there.” – Cheryl Strayed Until my brother was born, I was the only child and grandchild in my family, which came with an abundance of attention and adoration. I was three when he came along, and immediately found myself needing to compete for the spotlight. One day as I was pondering my increasingly impossible mission, I was bouncing around near our brick fireplace. I took a misstep, stubbed my right pinky toe, and started bleeding. I was suddenly surrounded by parents and grandparents offering…

What Abraham Lincoln Can Teach Us About Choosing (And Keeping) Our Words

There is an adorable elderly man with an ice cream parlor in San Francisco’s Western Addition. His eyes sparkle with authenticity; his smile glows with friendliness. He is the kind of the ice cream server you stop to see, even when your lactose intolerance says you shouldn’t. He is the kind of man who, when he meets your parents, will tell them that he enjoys your visits, but that you don’t visit too often. No matter how my life changes, this man and his ice cream parlor have been my constant. His eyes and…

I Was Charlie

“It reads, ‘Before I could get my wits together,’” implying that the author was not in complete control of her judgment. Clearly, we can’t be sure that her memory of the event is accurate.” “Getting your wits together is a phrase. It is an expression of my creative freedom. It doesn’t mean that –” “Did you write these words?” “Yes, but — ” “Your honor, let the record show that the victim wrote that she did not have her wits together.” So went the questioning during a hearing for a…

4 Things I Couldn’t Admit To Myself Until I Turned 25

I turn 26 this week. In some ways, twenty-five flew by with little to report. But in others, it transformed me: I got to know the person I will spend the rest of my life with. While this is unsurprising given my age, it is surprising given that I do not have a significant other. The last fifteen months comprise the longest I have been in the same place with the same job ever. Because my world was too-frequently-changing before (semester to semester, rotation to rotation, city to city), because I…