To Jasmeet, With Love

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Originally posted at SheLoves Magazine. Like most children, my first friends were sort of chosen for me—little blonde girls at church whose parents were friends with my parents. But I remember my very first friend who I chose for myself in grade two. Jasmeet joined my class a couple months after school started. I swear she had a smile you could see a mile away and her jet black hair swished across her back in a braid thicker than my arm. Two weeks after she joined our class the … [Read more...]

Wake Up

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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...]

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

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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

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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

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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...]

For the Love of Big Sisters

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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...]

Fighting Scarcity, One Compliment at a Time

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  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

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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...]

Tiny House in the Driveway

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{ Originally Posted at SheLoves Magazine } My personal motto is, “Live all the way.” And, girl, do I ever. I have made it my mission to live a life that is full and adventurous and BIG. I scrape together enough money to travel whenever possible. I take on hundreds (okay, maybe only dozens) of projects at a time. I explore new foods and meet new people and attempt to experience as much as I can of the world around me. But I also live a life that is small—I try not to collect too … [Read more...]

Sacred Space and a Latte

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{ Originally posted at SheLoves Magazine } I want to be a writer when I grow up. But that would mean really taking the time to write. Novel concept, eh? *pun intended* In the meantime, I work at a little café for just a wee bit more than minimum wage. Sometimes it’s exhausting. Sometimes it’s hard to juggle my day job as a barista and my freelance graphic design gigs and trying to Be A Writer and getting photos and widgets ready right here on the SheLoves blog and nannying and all my … [Read more...]

nostalgia and cigarettes

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{ Originally posted at littledidsheknow.net } Smell and nostalgia have been best friends for eons. Like peas and carrots or peanut butter and jelly, these friends seem destined to return to each other with a loyalty I only wish I could mimic. Should I ever have children, I envision myself being the kind of mama who bakes oodles of chocolate chip cookies so that even my grown-up children want to call me whenever they smell a warm oven. But for me, cookies and memory are not intrinsically … [Read more...]

The Idea: A New Name

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Reposted from SheLoves Magazine. “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet …” ~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet Last week, in front of a smiling judge, with my right hand raised, I legally changed my last name to Joslyn. (And no, I did not secretly get married … * yet *) I want to recount my reasons for changing my name, but I’m not sure my written words are going to fill the story with life the way I feel it woven into my bones. But … [Read more...]

When My Art Isn’t Deep, But I Am

I’ve always been a creative sort of person.   But I joke that I’m not really an artist. At least, not in the way other members of my family are. Don’t get me wrong, I’m handy with a paintbrush and I can wield a mean crafting knife. But my skills can be mostly attributed to a steady hand and an unabashedly wild imagination. It’s just that I’m not terribly emotional about the pieces I create. I meet artists who FEEL SO MUCH in their art. They have brush-strokes of sorrow crossing lines of … [Read more...]