I was born with Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome, a genetic bone and muscular disorder. I had 26 surgeries by my 16th birthday, so hospital rooms and intimidating doctors’ offices quickly became the backdrop of my childhood, filling up metaphorical pages that other kids had reserved for dirt hill races and princess tea parties with their stuffed animals. Growing up, I was always a little different than my peers. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just boiled down to different life experiences that I was having. I spent a lot of time reading, but it was tough to relate to the characters’ adventures when my world often seemed confined to a small, square hospital room.
Then a little book called The Fault In Our Stars came along. Keep reading »
My best friend works at a handmade art market in Portland. She meets a lot of interesting people when she’s sitting at her booth selling necklaces — earth mamas who share recipes for homemade toothpaste, wood carvers who claim very matter-of-factly that they were born on a different planet, chakra healers and aura seers and everyone in between. A few weeks ago, she texted me about a young hippie writer who had stopped by the market as part of his nomadic journey across the country and offered to pay for his items with “trippy treats” instead of money (I die for details like this).
“He said something really cool while we were talking,” she wrote in her message. “He said that life is about choosing paths. We all must choose a path at any given time, and there is no right or wrong path, but there is always a path with more heart. When you choose the path with more heart, life becomes easier and happier.”
I stared at her text for a moment, letting the words sink in. I thought about all the paths I’ve taken, the way I’ve drastically altered the course of my life over the past few years, the way I’ve been itching to alter it again, and damn, let me tell you: hippie kid knows what’s up. Keep reading »
From the time I learned what fingering was at age 11, it sounded not that great to me, and that didn’t really change for about 15 years.
Even the idea of fingering (or “fingerbanging,” yikes) sounded bad. It almost didn’t occur to me that fingering would be something I would actually want. I’d even tried it myself but it was just left me bored and with a cramp in my hand. Certainly it did not stand up to the newly discovered pleasures of the shower head. But it was still something I expected to happen to me at some point, a natural progression like moonrise following sunset or whatever. Keep reading »
I’ve always prided myself on being a pretty fearless person. I was born with Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome, a genetic bone and muscular disorder, and spent much of my childhood in and out of doctors’ offices and hospitals. I’ve survived some 26 surgeries. I’ve worked through the dark days following my father’s suicide. Oh, and let’s not forget about the time I went on the Jaws ride at Universal Studios and managed not to have a heart attack, despite my unnatural fear of sharks. Totally fearless, right?
But still, even though I’m in my early 30s and have it together (mostly), I’ve never really been able to shake those love and relationship hangups that most people seem to leave in adolescence. In some ways, I’m still that awkward 16-year-old girl, trying to muddle through all those confusing questions. (Full disclosure: I don’t have any dating experience yet, but enjoy living vicariously through sappy romantic comedies…) I know that my disability will help me weed out a lot of dud dudes, but I also know that it will raise a few questions. Questions about the role my disability will play in my life and in my future relationships. Questions that, honestly, I’ve been too afraid to ask, even of myself. Maybe I’m too scared of the answers. Maybe, deep down, I already know the answers. So many possibilities are swirling in this little head of mine, so I suppose I might as well just ask them… Keep reading »
As the song so painfully and beautifully goes, motherless children have a hard time. I am lucky I was not one of those children. And I’m not one of those adults. My mom is in excellent health and we have a close relationship. I’m grateful for that. But as mother’s day approaches, I can’t help but feel that life hasn’t been entirely fair to me where maternity is concerned. That’s because, at 37, I haven’t been lucky enough to give birth. I’m what you might call a childless mother. Keep reading »
The first time I asked my boyfriend if he had ever actually dated a black girl, we had not even met yet. It was during one of our online Skype sessions that the conversation came up.
“I’ve never really lived around too many black people,” he confessed.
“So have you ever dated a black girl?” I asked half-jokingly.
“No,” he responded simply.
Crickets… Keep reading »