Resolve

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I’ll go to the gym.  I’ll volunteer.  I’ll eat better, live better, be stronger.  In a sense, New Year’s Resolutions are a way of testing our resolve — of looking back at what you have no interest in repeating and seeing just how long you can keep those things behind you.  With each item on the list, we are essentially going, “I resolve to turn a new leaf, to go down a new path, to leave behind what needs to be left behind.”  Even the superficial resolutions are deep vows to ourselves, reminders that we have unhealthy habits that need dropping, that there is so much to do in this world.

If 2015 tested my strength, 2016 tested my resolve.  And I vow to go in to 2017 with more than just a set of resolutions.  I want to dive straight to the core — to what those resolutions actually mean, to the promises made to our souls.

I want to stick to resolve. Continue reading

Gardenia / If She Could See Me Now

There’s a new trend on Facebook, one where you post a picture of yourself from 2006, then one from 2016.

I’ve been meaning to do it. Especially since us godforsaken late Millenials — the ones who got Facebook in 2006 — have quick access to those pictures from 10 years ago. I’ve been meaning to take part in this exercise in seeing how different we look, how much we’ve changed.

And I have changed. It’s as clear as the pictures from 10 years ago. In 2006, I had dyed blonde hair and an uneasy smile. I spoke a half octave higher than my actual voice, speaking to the world as if I were afraid it would bite me.  I held my body as if I were ashamed of it. Always too tall, too clumsy, too oafish.  The younger version of me was filled to the brim with potential, but overflowing with self-doubt and self-loathing.  She avoided so much because of it.  She avoided sports because she thought she never would be good at them, because she wasn’t an athlete.

If only she could see me now.


A weekend snowfall cancels school and opens up my Saturday. Plans get shifted and I end up joining my husband into Boston, parting ways briefly as he goes about his original plans before we reconvene for a few get togethers. I do what I do best: I put on my headphones and I walk the streets and immerse myself in. Continue reading

This Is What It Feels Like to Write a Novel

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I once likened writing a book to a long run.

A really long run.

Particularly, that part in the run when you’ve hit the wall, when the road stretches out into infinity in front of you.  When you feel like you’ve started running through molasses, when you feel less like you’re running so much as you’re picking up one foot and placing it back down on the exact same spot.  When you feel like you’ve run out of energy and you swear you’re going no where and the actual end is no where in sight.

And it’s true.  It does feel like that sometimes.  Sometimes it feels like a slog.  Like you’re dredging the swamp and coming up with muck.  It feels like murder with each keystroke, like each word has latched on to the back of your mind, the tip of your tongue, and refuses to come out.

But it’s not always like that.  The reality is that writing a novel is like any intricate, long-term endeavor.  It’s a complicated, nuanced, layered beast. Continue reading

This Is What Rebuilding Feels Like

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It was Thanksgiving of 2014 when I looked at the man sitting in the arm chair of the living room.  Thanksgiving of 2014 when I looked at a shell of a human being, a shell that was simultaneously hollow and yet filled with all the things I still couldn’t sort out.

It was Thanksgiving of 2014 when I sat in my car, shell-shocked and exhausted, and muttered, “I think that was my father’s last Thanksgiving.”

It was three days after the Thanksgiving of 2014 when he was rushed to the ER, and five days after Thanksgiving when he was transferred to the ICU.  It was a week after Thanksgiving when words like “encephalopathy” were thrown around, among a slew of words that never need repeating.

December of 2014 was marked with confusion and stress, with phone calls and conversations so maddening that I felt like throwing my phone against the wall.  My father would be in and out of the hospital, fighting tooth and nail to stay at home and rounding up anyone who agreed.  I’d be in and out of reality, desperate for a breath away from what life was turning into.

He’s spend his last December in the hospital.  I’d spend his last December in a anxious haze that gave the world a soft, surreal glow. Continue reading