A Baby. A Business. An Existential Crisis on Pause.

meltdown

I had to put my summer existential crisis on hold this year. Usually August and September fill up with questions about why I am here and what am I even doing with my life? I wander into churches and bookstores trying to find answers. I start squirreling away my tips and planning international adventures and announcing I am finally REALLY going to work on my book. I often start questioning all my relationships and asking obnoxiously deep questions of my friends. This year all of those … [Read more...]

Wake Up

c

Originally posted at SheLoves Magazine. Today the six-year-old told her sister to feel her armpit. She was sweaty and wanted to prove it. I told her, “Chickadee, you do not get to force other people to touch your body. That is not ok. And, also, nobody on earth wants to feel your armpits.” She defiantly announced, “She did want to! She did it. And that means she wanted to.” “That isn’t the same thing. Convincing someone to do something they didn’t actually want to do is called … [Read more...]

A Good Man. A Single Woman. A Parking Lot.

LEMONS

I met Mike in a grocery store parking lot. Well not really. Let's start that over. At 8:30 in the morning I went to the grocery store to buy white conditioner and lemons to turn my periwinkle blue hair back to gray/silver like I had intended. (Did you know you could do that? Fix blue hair? It's magical, I tell you.) The lot was nearly empty and I whipped into the parking space too fast, but so did the man in the green Saturn pulling in quick beside me. I thought I recognized the man … [Read more...]

We Need to Talk About Race, I’ll Go First

b

Originally posted at SheLoves Magazine. I want to say everything and nothing, all at once. My country feels dangerous right now. And because I am white I did not notice the danger until 22 years into my privileged life. At 22, I was living in a primarily black neighborhood in New Orleans. My black nephew was two years old. I saw him in the faces of the kids on my block. I was barely starting to see the disparity between my life and the lives of my neighbors. Barely. Starting. … [Read more...]

On Stolen Wallets and Church and the Beauty of Doubt

a

Originally posted at SheLoves Magazine. On Sunday I went to a church service for the first time in two years. My wallet was stolen the night before and in the morning I woke up to news of the mass shooting in Orlando. I was raw. I was broken. And I had my first Sunday off in months. So I walked to church, making sure to be five minutes late so I could sit down in the back and be anonymous. I thought I might splinter into a million pieces. The air seemed heavy, like an August … [Read more...]

Writing and Sweating and Taming Lions

f_sars

Originally posted at SheLoves Magazine. Being a writer is like being a lion tamer. Minus the chance you could get mauled to death. If you are a writer you know exactly what I am talking about. Writing is the wild act of wrestling ideas to the ground and then, somehow, fashioning those ideas so they make some kind of logical sense to another human, all the while, using hundreds of little black lines and squiggles on a white backdrop. My coworker and I have started exchanging writing … [Read more...]

Living in a Shoe Box

Midge_02

Let’s talk tiny houses for a second. Living in a tiny house is not for the faint of heart. When people ask me what it is like to live in a tiny house I usually reply, “It is like living in a shoe box. With the shoes.” For the record, I have zero regrets about building Midge. When people ask about what it is like to “go tiny” I always laugh. I didn’t downsize at all. I gained my very own bathroom and my very own kitchen. In my life I have only ever occupied a single bedroom. I … [Read more...]

For the Love of Big Sisters

a_sarah

Originally posted at SheLoves Magazine. I didn’t really grow up with my three sisters. The age gap between us meant they grew up with each other and I grew up with my brothers. In my memories, my sisters have always been adults. Even when they weren’t quite old enough to drive, they were old enough to care for me and rescue me and so, of course, that made them grownups. I often tell people my sister Jennifer was the first adult I ever trusted. But we didn’t have that relationship … [Read more...]

Feelings + Netflix + Being Numb

netflix

I spend more hours than I would like to admit watching Netflix. Actually, I don’t even watch TV—I listen to it. I have learned something about myself: I do not like to be alone with my thoughts. Please do not confuse that with a fear of being alone. I love to be alone. I love having my space all to myself without the sounds of another person breathing nearby or doing the dishes or humming to their headphones. I love to be alone. But I don’t do so great in the silence. In the … [Read more...]

Fighting Scarcity, One Compliment at a Time

m_sars

  Originally posted at SheLoves Magazine. She walked the power walk that only women who have mastered sloped pavement and four-inch heels can walk. Black cigarette pants and a blazer the hottest shade of hot pink. Her long hair was catching the sunlight and the wind all at once. She was all the things I am not and she was glorious. I marveled at this beautiful stranger marching up the sidewalk. We made eye contact and I announced, “You look amazing.” She didn’t even pause … [Read more...]

I Say Yes to Myself

l_sars

Originally posted at SheLoves Magazine. I work in a bakery so I hear a lot of, “Oh I just want it ALL, but I can’t …” or “I really shouldn’t …” Or “What has the least sugar?” I don’t mind so much, but I often want to remind these grown adult humans that they WALKED INTO A BAKERY. The treats here are tasty and they are loaded with sugar, but you made the choice to walk in the door. Last week I must have been having a similar conversation with Marilyn, a kind woman who always takes … [Read more...]

I Gave Up Church for Lent

AshWed

I gave up attending church for Lent one year and I never went back. That’s not really true, but it sounds better than the truth. The truth is Sunday services and I had a slow break-up and I am giving myself space before we reconcile. I had just gotten accustomed to liturgies and ancient spiritual practices when I stopped making the walk to church on Sunday mornings. I fell in love with Ash Wednesday and Lent and The Book of Common Prayer and Passing the Peace of Christ. I fell in … [Read more...]

A Tribute to My Very First Roommate [To Adessa, with Love]

roomies

Today is the 30th birthday of my very first roommate and the only thing this silly writer has to offer on a rainy February afternoon are words ... Adessa, I owe you big time. I owe you for teaching me how to back down and how to suck it up and how to love people even when you don't want to. Dess and I have now known each other for 11 years. Longer than most of my current list of friends on Facebook. Come to think of it, we met the same year Facebook was created. We were official before … [Read more...]

Why Not Me?

Q_Sars

Originally posted at SheLoves Magazine. I was a nervous child. Meeting me today, you would never guess this. I was afraid of so much in the world. High on the list: hell, learning to drive, public speaking, anyone shouting or yelling, being picked last. I spent a lot of my time in my imagination, telling a story of who I would be if I wasn’t so afraid. The girls and women of my imagination were always taller and bolder than the me of my real life. They spoke their minds. They … [Read more...]

Car Accidents + Dating + Nutella

Tonight I am in bed before 8 p.m. and eating my feelings. Sometimes the only distraction from a bad day is my fluffy bathrobe, a jar of Nutella and a bag of salt and vinegar chips. Because today, I crashed my car. If you have known me for more than 20 minutes, then you know this is not the first time. You probably know this is not the worst time, either. I could explain what happened, but it’s not really worth it. In my life I have a whole lot of people who think I can … [Read more...]