When I was in 7th grade, at a private Christian school, I went to the principal’s office.
I wasn’t in trouble. I set the appointment.
At my school, there had always been a dance that was only for the upper school — grades 7 through 12. But my 7th grade year, the principal decided to start the dance at 8th grade. This was unacceptable to me because that year’s 8th graders had gotten to go to the dance the previous year. It only made sense to allow our class to go. My friend and I scheduled a meeting and presented logically and compellingly why we should be allowed to go to the dance. …
This feels like the most vulnerable thing I have ever written.
I am neck-deep in a community of family, friends, and church community who comfortably call women who get abortions irresponsible, baby-killing murderers. To say anything outside of that narrative is sort of social suicide. But I feel compelled to put this out into the ether.
I used to feel a lot of cognitive dissonance about voting for candidates who were pro-choice. I didn’t think I ever would. Then 2016 came along and my choices were Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I cringed at the thought of voting for Clinton, but not for the usual reasons. It wasn’t because of the emails or the fact that she was a woman or even her bland policies. It was because of abortion. But I couldn’t rectify voting for Donald Trump and calling myself pro-life either. He didn’t seem like anything close to an advocate for human life. I was afraid at the notion of a Trump presidency. Now I know I was right to be afraid. Still, I felt an unbelievable amount of dissonance casting my vote for Hillary. …
We live in a world in which most people aren’t allowed to be angry.
Women are not allowed to be angry. An angry woman gives our patriarchal world an excuse to keep on calling women hysterical and unreasonable.
People of color are not allowed to be angry. Justified anger from the mouth of a minority gives the world permission to continue using stereotypes to silence legitimate cries for justice.
Abuse victims are not allowed to be angry. To the outside, they are expected to forgive and move on.
Where did we get the idea that angry is a bad word?
A little over a year ago, I discovered that my ex was having an affair with a married woman. Aside from being devastated over the end of our relationship, I was also shocked that someone I trusted so much turned out to be someone I never knew. To make matters worse, once he knew that I had found out, he did his very best to ruin my reputation so that if I told anyone, they wouldn’t believe me. And he was very successful. For months, I was ex-communicated from my friend groups and hobbies. …
I opened my Facebook memories and saw that last year I posted a meme that said, “You know what 2019 had? The audacity.”
If only we had known how easy we had it back in the olden days of 2019.
This time last year, we weren’t suspecting a deadly pandemic. We didn’t own cutely patterned masks to coordinate with our outfits. We had hardly even begun stressing about the election. We had RBG and John Lewis. We had parties and indoor dining. This time last year, I couldn’t wait for 2020. Now? I’m tempted not to celebrate, not to put any momentum behind a new year. …
It’s the most emotional time of the year.
I’m not a Grinch. You won’t hear me saying Bah-Humbug. I enjoy the holiday season. October through December are by far the best months of the year in my book.
But there is a unique undercurrent of sadness that only comes for the holidays. It can be challenging to reconcile feelings of nostalgia, heartache, or disappointment with the starlight and magic of the holidays. But I’m learning that humans have the extraordinary ability exist with a myriad of emotions all at once, if only we give ourselves permission to feel them.
On Thanksgiving in my family, we always go around the table and share what we are thankful for. (This is my grandmother’s one wish. She probably wouldn’t feed us if we didn’t humor her.) Ever since my grandfather died in October of 2009, it’s been hard to enumerate our gratitude without thinking of him and feeling a rush of grief. …
Christian Twitter has had quite a week.
In the last four years of a Trump White House, an overwhelming number of evangelical leaders have publicly thrown their support behind the President in the name of religious freedom and the right to life. Still, there have been a few brave ones to rebuke him for his anti-Gospel actions and rhetoric. When they do, they’re usually called socialists or baby killers. Twitter blows up for a day, and then it dies down. …
The year I was 22 was easily the hardest year of my life.
I hesitate to say it was the worst year, because it was also the year I took a fast track to life lessons, and got away from a lot of toxicity. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was better off without much of what I lost. So it wasn’t the worst, but it was definitely the hardest.
That year, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, got broken up with from said relationship, got ex-communicated from my social circle because of that breakup, got fired from a job, got some bad medical news, and had absolutely no vision for my future. I was dreading turning 23; it was scary to be turning another year older with less of a plan than ever before. On my 22nd birthday, I had been planning for my marriage, my career, and my future babies. …
I’ve always been petite.
I wore a size 5T in the first grade. When I started high school, I joined the Speech and Debate team. We had to wear suits for our competitions, but they don’t make suits that fit the body of a 12-year-old. Thank goodness my mother had a sewing machine.
For most of my life, I thought that my skinniness implied that I was the picture of health.
I was wrong.
A few years ago, I started to really take a liking to lifting weights and going to the gym regularly. I realized that I had never really exercised like that before. Moving weight was foreign to my body. The amount of adapting I had to do made it clear to me that I was not necessarily in the best shape prior to that time. It was a huge learning curve, but it was worth it, because I felt great. …
It’s hard for me to talk about my home town, Huntington, West Virginia, without it sounding like a love letter.
But first, I need to give you some background. There are a few moments that have given Huntington, West Virginia, my home town, a national spotlight.
First was the Marshall University plane crash of 1970. In the largest sports-related tragedy in the country’s history, the plane carrying my alma mater’s football team, coaches, and fans after an away game crashed a few miles from home. No one survived. In 2006, the tragedy was depicted on the big screen by the likes of Matthew McConaughey and Kate Mara in the movie “We Are Marshall.” …
I had a brief stint doing CrossFit. It’s one of those things that people either passionately love or emphatically hate. I was one of the rare ones who felt so-so about it. I really only joined to have something to do with my boyfriend of the time. I enjoyed having a workout routine, having coaches, and getting a lot stronger quickly. I hated how competitive everyone was and that I was always nervous before starting a workout. All that to say, when that relationship ended, my CrossFit journey ended as well.
But neither one was as clean of a break as I’d hoped. …