Identity

body image

A Confessional on Body Image

On a beautiful fall day during a vacation to Portland, I was casually scrolling through the notifications on my Instagram feed. Somehow I stumbled upon my follower’s newsfeed for the first time. And the first thing I notice, of course,…

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hillbilly elegy

My Own ‘Hillbilly Elegy’

My dad grew up as “little Jimmy” in a backwater town of Missouri. My grandma lived in two homes during her lifetime: the house she was born in, and the house she and “big Jimmy” bought when they married. She…

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its me your body

Hello, It’s Me, Your Body

The blonde woman at the front desk pointed toward the hallway. “It’s the room at the back,” she directed. “You can drop your stuff off in the other side room.”   It was 6:15 in the morning and I had…

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first christmas as divorcee

My First Christmas as a Divorcee

Christmas always makes me feel a little sad and a little lonely. As a young girl waiting to open her presents on Christmas, I felt a hint of melancholy. My mind would wander to people who might be sitting alone,…

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unlovable

Feeling Unlovable

I sat in bed, my computer on my lap. I hit “Next Episode” without even thinking about it, without considering that it had been dark for hours. As the credit music played distantly, I couldn’t feel how tired I was….

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racism and autism

Something Like Empathy: Racism and Autism

When our daughter Shannon was labeled autistic at twenty-one months, racism wasn’t in my thoughts. Being white, it rarely is. Autism, though, was pervasive.   Prior to parenthood I’d led a criminally contented life. Raised in a loving family, I…

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letter to my daughter

A Letter to My Daughter on Her Body

I’m not sure how to talk about this. But I’m scared for you, my daughter. You have such a bubbly, sweet, and fiery soul, and this makes me afraid that the world is going to tell you to stop listening…

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photo-1461965204386-aea85457f086

A Reflection on Broken Dreams

As a child, fame and celebrity fascinated me. I bought Tiger Beat and Sweet 16 magazines as early as nine years old. Once I began getting CDs of my favorite artists, I checked to see if they thanked God in…

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Embracing Smallness

Intense love does not measure, it just gives. —Mother Teresa   She swings by in late afternoon and steps right into my chaos. My young kids are at their worst around this time, this witching hour right before dinner when…

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on being everywhere i go

On Being Everywhere I Go

“No matter where you go…there you are,” stated the character Buckaroo Banzai in the 1984 cult film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. This troubling truism has become a bit of a mantra for me as I…

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