My parents stopped being able to help me with math when I got to algebra in high school. Math had always been my weakest subject. It was a subject other kids fawned over as being so concrete, so understandable. But it seemed to float around my head as a mist I couldn't see clearly enough to grab.
I remember a lot of tears trying to learn it. ...Read more
I used to work on a university campus. Women from various offices would use their lunch hour to put on their tennis shoes, change into tight athletic pants, throw on the old "1994 Gardening To Live" shirt and power-walk the halls of the building. I was young enough to find the women unrelatable. Years later, I remembered them when I plotted a ...Read more
Right after my son was born, a nurse came in to prick his heel for a test. She took his leg and he let out a yowl, one of those newborn sounds that shoot like electricity into your bloodstream. I leaned over, laid my hand over his whole chest and told him I was there. He paused; a final scared shudder rumbled through him before he took another ...Read more
I confessed to a friend the other day that I'm not entirely sure how to be a good friend. I'm making most of the ideas of friendship up as I go along. A common refrain that I've heard from people my age is the difficulty of making friends, especially when we hit our 30s.
I have no modeled behavior for making friends. My parents decided on the ...Read more
After my dad died, my mom moved back to her hometown to stay with her aging parents. When I came to visit, we walked through the small village, past a bar that could only fit about 10 people comfortably. I peered in as we walked by and a man looked up, swiveled on his stool and ran out to greet us. It turns out he was a cousin of my mom, who ...Read more
During the majority of 2020, my mom and I had a running joke, particularly after we would watch the governor's weekly COVID-19 presentations. We'd tell each other that we'd have to wait two more weeks to really know if any new mandates or restrictions would have any effect on the rising case numbers. Two weeks later, we'd say it's just two more ...Read more
I've been working from home since 2017. In March 2020, my internet speed slowed to a grind. The new demand on the infrastructure was immediately evident, and I started having childhood flashbacks of waiting for images to load, line by pixelated line.
That said, my childhood was technologically abundant. I received a hand-me-down computer from ...Read more
I'm still processing Jan. 6. It was supposed to be a routine day. A Wednesday. But suddenly, it wasn't just that. A match was lit and thrown in a powder keg of disenfranchisement and misinformation. We got to watch it all live, with a wildfire of thousands of rebukes and support spread seconds after choice tweets. In Washington, D.C., there were...Read more
It's been awhile since I can remember such a tangible etching of the previous year onto the next. There's going to be a shroud of 2020 that we carry into this new year, longer than the few weeks it will take to shake off writing the incorrect date on documents.
As it is the season, I've spent the last couple of weeks reflecting on the past year...Read more
There will be plenty of empty seats during Christmas this year. It's not just the overwhelming number of those we've lost to the pandemic but those with whom we have had a falling out, those who have gone before and those who have gone recently. Their memory can be both a blessing and a pang of loss that might be hidden during the year, but ...Read more
We sped past a hospital that was built recently and is attached to the entrance of our neighborhood. We didn't know if they had set up their insurance options. We were just a turn away from the freestanding ER when my husband asked if we should do urgent care instead. My emotions high, I told him I just didn't know where the closest urgent care ...Read more
The year began with such ambition in our household. We were going to learn how to bullet journal and get our lives on a page. I had turned my husband on to the idea of the "bujo" system, a slightly intricate system that supposedly streamlines your life from random notes on your desk into bulleted lists on a dotted page. It sadly did no such ...Read more
This week, a photograph in the paper shared a devastating, private moment: a daughter wiping away the tears of her father as he lay intubated in the intensive care unit. She is a nurse at the hospital, able to get dressed in protective gear, visit her father and report back to her family outside.
I saw the photo and at first couldn't even bear ...Read more