Life Advice



Millennial Life: Missing Out With Old-School Tactics

My office is right next to the entrance, with some seasoned and stalwart administrative assistants bearing the weight of navigating employees to their meetings, fending off lost students on campus, and enduring the dad jokes from the mail delivery drivers. Since I keep my door open, I heard the student come in to ask to speak to a hiring manager...Read more

Millennial Life: The Rules of Engagement

The table had their agenda placed in front of the empty seats. I had been led back to the room and left alone. I picked a seat without an agenda as I wasn't part of their organization, but my name on the paper caught my eye. I was listed as the only item on the agenda, as a special guest speaker. Well, I wish I had known that before I came in to...Read more

Millennial Life: Is This the Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy?

I gathered my thoughts in an adjacent room, filled with the light of the sun already mostly set on the horizon. The bodyguard stood as a barrier between me and the throngs of people schmoozing at the mansion. He had tilted his head my way as I sat down against the window to take an introvert breather.

This was the formal living room, with the ...Read more

Millennial Life: The Room Where ... What Happens, Exactly?

If there has been a recurring theme that has kept popping up for me in the last few weeks, it's this: We should probably get some adults in this room to get this worked out. And then it dawns on me: Oh, that's me. I'm the person who is going to have a hand in making some of these decisions.

It's similar to the feeling you get when you finally ...Read more

Millennial Life: My Hands Are Not Gray but My Soul Feels the Color

At the beginning of the pandemic, my mom and I had a phrase we kept using: "It's just two weeks." At first, it was earnest, with a tinge of hope. Then it became progressively more sardonic, saying we're up for the next installment of just two more weeks. I suggested that we get matching tattoos at some point. She turned me down.

There was ...Read more

On Being an Effective Elected Official

It was about 45 minutes before the first meeting of the day, a double matinee of first-time meetings on boards I had never been to before. I had just dropped off the kids at school and wanted to make a few calls from the new office line at City Hall. My morning coffee had gone right through me, but I knew my new badge could get me in the back ...Read more

Millennial Life: The Little Red Food Truck That Could

The food truck's chef was slow, their generator wailed, and the traffic sped by uncomfortably close. But their sopes were delicious. Seasoned meat, fresh fried masa base, and they weren't stingy with the queso fresco and crema.

My husband was incredulous that we had no real, identifiable street food culture when he moved roughly 50 miles up the...Read more

Millennial Life: The Currency of Your Attention Is Worth a Resolution

The host of an NPR podcast explained how, as a kid, he was someone more eager to go to bed on New Year's Eve than wait for the fireworks. He wanted to get started on his resolution list for the new year. I felt very seen; I have memories like that, too. I always think of a list: I should stretch more. I would like to meditate more. Maybe I can ...Read more

Millennial Life: Changing the Language but Not Our Search for Meaning

With the pandemic, there was a rumbling about jumping into a strange timeline we hadn't prepared for. Popular media had prepped me instead for soundly plausible things like zombies or finding a good man during a trip back home for the holidays, or how low-rise jeans would always win out against high-waisted jeans.

Now, I'll walk behind someone ...Read more

Millennial Life: Given the Time We Have, All We Can Try Is Our Best

I had seen the founder of my kids' school about two months before he passed away at 102. He was masked, with a blanket draped over his legs in a wheelchair, but he was still there to support the students from his school who had their artwork showing at the local university.

Earlier in the same semester, students embarked on the yearly tradition...Read more

What Ranks Our Value

In a sea of blue, he was the green dot, packed in the rows with everyone else. He hissed, "You didn't tell me I had to wear my dress blues." I hissed back, "I didn't know that."

I can't remember the details of the event or why he needed to be there, but I remember that my father showed up. He sat with me, stone-faced with embarrassment and ...Read more



Joel Pett Caption It Daryl Cagle Barney & Clyde Clay Bennett 1 and Done