I didn’t need a Myers-Briggs test to tell me I was an introvert. Even as a kid, I could easily occupy myself for hours, playing out imaginative storylines with Beanie Babies and Barbies. I love a good party but equally love spending the following day curled up alone in my bed.
I guess you could say that I was one of the introverts who fared well during the COVID-19 lockdown despite the overall stress and anxiety that the pandemic caused me. …
You taught me that my body is
more than a motel for traveling
visitors but a temple where
only those who are worthy
should be invited to stay.
Yet keeping guests isn’t easy.
They say the rent is much too high.
This series of poems is meant to represent different ways that we see our bodies and sexualities at various stages in life. Like most people, I at times have had a complicated relationship with my body. And as a woman especially, I’ve struggled with the millions of mixed messages about how my body should look and behave.
I’ve heard numerous writers and teachers say that if you want to improve your writing you should write every day. “With what time?” I used to think. I was lucky if I wrote once a week and even that was not always possible. But for years I was the kind of writer who if you asked me what I was working on I’d say, “Well, nothing but I have a lot of ideas.”
Over the last few months, I’ve set new writing goals and identified ways to hold myself accountable. Through this, I somehow naturally developed a habit of writing…
Crying children. A cluster of sleep-deprived travelers with bags full of cheap souvenirs and dirty laundry. The promise of Burger King just ahead. I was back in America.
Only 48 hours prior, I was sipping Pilsner from glasses too large to cup my hands around at an unassuming pub in the Czech Republic. Though my fellow classmates and I were drunk on more than the booze itself. We’d spent the previous five days traveling across the country, starting in Prague, then taking the train south to Brno before arriving to our final destination, Ostrava.
The trip was part of an…
I watch as my co-worker pushes in the chairs of our conference room so each one sits evenly against the table.
“Sorry, I’m a little OCD,” she says with a laugh.
I wonder if her words carry more weight than her casual tone reveals. Or do they regularly fall from her lips without pause? For a moment, I consider sharing my own diagnosis with her. But the words get buried under my bottom lip. I fear releasing them could give away too much.
This is just one of a dozen or more stories I could tell where a little OCD…
When I started writing my column Overthinking Everything a few months back, those who know me may have been surprised to see me sharing some of the more personal aspects of my life. For one, I’m not known to be particularly good at talking about myself, much less about my feelings. My introverted, overly self-aware nature often makes this difficult. Given this, publishing my stories has not been entirely without some reservation. But I’ve been surprised by how much easier it’s become. …
In middle school, my friends and I were obsessed with reading Lisi Harrison’s The Clique series. It was the precursor to The Twilight Saga, which later took precedent. We carried copies of the bounded, plaid books to and from class, exchanging laughs about the chapters we were reading. But with titles like, ‘Best Friends for Never’ and ‘It’s Not Easy Being Mean,’ it’s no wonder these books fueled a precarious notion of girlhood.
“You can only get pregnant during ovulation,” my friend stated defiantly.
At this point in the debate, however, my other friend who insisted it is possible for a woman to conceive even when she isn’t ovulating could not be swayed. Her best case in point was, after all, her own ‘surprise’ existence.
Meanwhile, I sat on the other side of the couch, feeling unsure of the answer myself, and listening as my friends underwent a rather thorough analysis of the female reproductive system.
To tell you the…
I couldn’t stop from rolling my eyes the first time I heard the word cheugy. The made-up term at that point had already turned into a viral sensation on TikTok, sparking feverish debate and reigniting the millennial-Gen Z culture war.
I’ll admit that after listening to my roommate deliver a Cliffs Notes version of the controversy, I immediately jumped to the millennial’s defense. I mean, how dare Gen Z try to tell us that our skinny jeans and side parts are outdated. Millennials have already been charged with killing everything from department stores to Applebee’s. …
“Place your hand on the doorknob.”
“Okay, now the soap dispenser.”
I do as she says. Though I’m hesitant and somewhat fearful of what could come next.
It’s my fifth session of ERP therapy, which stands for exposure response and prevention. For the last four weeks, I’ve met with my therapist for an hour over Zoom. Each time, she asks me how I’m doing. If there’s been any changes since we last talked. And then we get to work.