2014.

Each December, I compile a list of things to do and accomplish during the upcoming year. Some things are vague and perpetual, some things are oddly specific. Regardless of its contents, its purpose is to encourage new adventures, and spend some quality time galavanting beyond the confines of the comfort zone. Because that’s where growth happens.

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Death.

I’m lucky to never have felt the sting of death.

My paternal grandparents died when I was too young to comprehend what it meant or felt like to lose someone special. My parents, siblings, and relatives are alive and well, mostly. My friends too. Pets have passed, and while devastatingly so, mourning that loss hardly compares to the deep-rooted sorrow of losing a loved one.

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The Cold.

As a creature of the sun, I hold a deep appreciation for some of life’s finer offerings made possible by warmth; open windows, seasonal produce, and near-nakedness. And you know, being warm. For approximately five months a year, wool and central heating are long forgotten, and I’m free to prance about my apartment wearing nothing but skin and mane with no threat of hypothermia.

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When Wed.

One swipe of the thumb and Facebook wildly scrolls through what looks like a digital bridal publication. Alas, this is not a trendy wedding mag—it’s my news feed. Settling into my mid-twenties, I’m coming to terms with the inevitable life shift affecting my peers. We’ve arrived at the age of engagement—engagement in marriage, in home buying, in babies.

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The Turn Down.

Wikipedia describes your stereotypical Type A personality as “ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, sensitive, impatient, takes on more than they can handle, wants other people to get to the point, anxious, proactive, and concerned with time management.”  With the glaring exception of ‘anxious,’ I am guilty of nearly all those traits.

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Not Normal.

The five-years question. It’s the staple for every job interview I’ve ever entertained. Where do you see yourself? While I understand the suit on the other side of the table is looking for some kind of reassurance that their candidate has goals, a plan, and their shit together, it stirs me. I’m terrible with this “Q,” mostly because what I desire in that chunk of time is merely abstract.

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Just Keep Swimming.

If you’ve ever felt an ounce of sadness, or stress, or fear, write about it. Tear the cap off a pen, and spill some ink knowing with each motion of your hand, you’re one step closer to mending your wounds. Words are my most favorite tools. Strung correctly, their punch is unbelievably powerful. They bite, cut, soothe, heal. They are the Neosporin for my boo-boos.

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