Buying your first piece of IKEA furniture. Backpacking around Europe. One-night stands. Splurging on dinner Friday night and spending the rest of the week eating ramen. These are just a few of the things most of us expect of our 20s.
Something that isn’t on anyone’s list? Slowing going blind from a degenerative eye disease.
It wasn’t on Nicole Kear’s list, either. And the Yale and Columbia graduate intended to live her life like it wasn’t. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, fell in love, got married and even attended clown school. Yet through it all, Kear knew a degenerative eye disease she had been diagnosed with at 19 was slowing taking her vision away. She was told she had one good decade before she would be entirely blind. Her family and husband knew about the disease (retinitis pigmentosa), but Kear was embarrassed and hardly told any friends — she had lots of excuses for why her eye makeup looked messy or she wouldn’t drive at night. However, Kear and her husband settled into new parenthood, and she had to come to terms with the realities of her disabilities, including learning how to walk with a cane.
I read Nicole Kear’s funny, fascinating memoir Now I See You in almost one sitting and came away from it thinking, I could be friends with this person. She’s smart, spunky, and makes it easy to put yourself in her (unfortunately, no longer high-heeled) shoes. I gave her a call at home in Brooklyn to chat about blindness, how she managed to write a book with three young kids, and giving strangers the benefit of the doubt.
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Michelle Obama spoke this weekend at the memorial service for beloved author Maya Angelou, who died on May 28 at age 86. Her tearful and touching speech remembers Angelou for celebrating Black women’s beauty. “Oh, how desperately black girls needed that message,” the First Lady said. “As a young woman, I needed that message.”
Read Mrs. Obama’s full speech after the jump:
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I just started reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed (yes, I have been under a rock for the past few years) and am completely swept away by it. Strayed, who’s also behind the much-adored Dear Sugar advice column at The Rumpus (which has been turned into a book called Tiny Beautiful Things, which you will read and then instantly buy for all your friends), describes tough decisions and what it is to be human in a way that nobody else quite can.
In honor of the campaign to turn one of her best Dear Sugar columns into an animation (and simply because her words never get less awesome), here are some of Strayed’s most wonderful and inspiring quotes about life, love, fear and forgiveness: Keep reading »
Shailene Woodley loves a lot of things: Mother Earth, eating clay, making her own organic toothpaste, basking her vagina in the sun’s rays. But she love-love-loves the author Danielle LaPorte, who, in a Daily Beast interview, she refers to as “a sister beyond sisters.” Shailene raved about LaPorte’s book The Desire Map, which she explained is about “ basically charting the things that you want in life, and not just sitting back and saying, ‘I’m going to manifest this … here’s how,’ but actively doing something to manifest your dream.”
Now, I’d be lying if I said that anytime Shailene Woodley says she loves something — such as eating clay — I didn’t go Google it immediately. So here are a few things to know about a sister beyond sisters, motivational speaker Danielle LaPorte: Keep reading »
The death of Maya Angelou, a lioness of American arts and letters, marked the end of her truly extraordinary career. She leaves behind a body of work that is, quite frankly, exhaustive. The Poetry Foundation has a full list of Angelou’s contributions to literature, poetry, theater and film and many her poems can be found on Poem Hunter.
I also thought I would share some videos of Angelou reading some of her most well-known pieces. Above is Angelou reading her famous poem “Still I Rise.” Here are a few more after the jump. Keep reading »