Life Advice



Not Just the Loudest Shall Inherit the Earth

I was never loud. When I was in my early 20s, I ran into a lady who remembered me as a child. "You were so quiet as a child, with those big blue eyes that would just stare up at me," she said. "It was disturbing."

She wasn't wrong. I could see how I may have been both quiet and disquieting. As an only child, I was usually a little pre-adult in ...Read more

Millennial Life: On Our Way to Make America Even Less Great

The kindergarten class was shepherding new chickens into the world. At least, that was the plan. At the beginning of the project, my son talked about the life cycle of a chicken and that in 21 days, there would be small, cute chicks in his classroom. He proceeded to ask nearly every day after if 21 days had passed.

Rumored cracks in the shells ...Read more

Millennial Life: How Happiness Slips Into Your Ambitions

When the teacher set the test in front of me and I saw the grade, I pulled the paper close to me and felt the heat grow in my face. It was second grade, and it may have been a math test, but it could have been a spelling test. The grade on the paper was my first C-plus.

I tore the paper up into little shreds and slunk over to the wastebasket to...Read more

In-Person Access Doesn't Necessarily Mean It's Accessible

I'm a strange person in some respects. I like Mondays. I enjoy spam, both the edible and the email if funneled into a folder to be read later with amusement. But the one that gets me into the most trouble is that I have no problem going to meetings when others do.

It feels like a cliche, but I started getting engaged with my community when I ...Read more

Millennial Life: It's High Time for Compassionate Change

When my dad retired from the military, he did two things. First, he grew facial hair. Then, he put on weight. He was tall, so it was a slow gain, but his round face grew rounder, even apparent under the slightly unkempt beard and mustache.

The weight fell off when he fought lung cancer for three years, especially when the chemotherapy started. ...Read more

Millennial Life: The Responsible Time-Traveler

After having kids, time seemed to have a different elasticity. Being a parent can make time seem unbearably long, particularly in the sleepless hours of the newborn phase and as the audience to a stuttered story told so slowly that your most important task is to not zone out. But time also seemed to jump. I've never time-traveled as much as I ...Read more

Millennial Life: The Unruly Nature of Our Inner Selves

During a more reflective turn in a procrastination-filled afternoon, I decided to ask my friends to describe how they saw me. It was a little horrifying.

Now, there's bias because they are my friends, so all the descriptions were flattering, but what pulled my mind through a cheese grater was that the ways in which they described me were not at...Read more

Millennial Life: Things I Would Like to Give My Kids

In raising our kids, one of the things that my husband and I have tried to stick with as much as humanly possible is to be a united front. Granted, there will always be the person who riles up the kids before bedtime or allows one more extra hug after we thought the bedtime routine was over. We are only human, our kids are awfully cute and fun, ...Read more

An Examination of the Scripted Life

One of the commonalities that my husband and I stumbled on was the tension-filled road trips of our youth. His family would travel hundreds of miles for church events, and he remembered the tense atmosphere radiating from the front. I recalled that my parents would start to bicker before the trip began, leaving me, as the only child in the ...Read more

The Impotence of Individuality and the Strength of Us All

My 6-year-old wanted to know what I had wanted to be when I grew up. I told him that I had wanted to be an architect. He asked me why I didn't become one. I explained that there's a difference between admiring beautiful buildings and really doing the math that came with designing them.

When I think back, I was enamored with the tilted desks and...Read more

Millennial Life: Reclaiming the Stewardship of Your Time

An email back in December had a request from a stranger. They requested I call so they could tell me a tale. Normally, I enjoy tales and replied that I would try to find time, but taking a chance on a stranger wasn't high on my priority list, particularly during a month when holiday obligations make time infinitely more rigid. I forgot to call. ...Read more

Millennial Life: Shine Bright on All the Picture Days

The email said that the kids were allowed to wear whatever they liked. Since they go to a school with uniforms, this was a relief, particularly for my daughter, who is quite the fashionista. A friend recently told me she admired my daughter's dedication to headbands. Does my daughter have one for every holiday? Nearly.

There are various sizes ...Read more

Millennial Life: Beyond the Mentalities that Change Us

Some people strike me as the type who never relished slowly pulling the plastic film off something new they purchased, something for which they saved all their extra cash for months. Those are the people who may have never been flush with cash, but who had the privilege never to think too hard about whether the money was there. They operate in a...Read more



Marshall Ramsey John Branch Phil Hands Peter Kuper Chip Bok Paul Szep