I love my therapist. She’s bold without being obnoxious, kind without being sickly sweet. I respect her, and I try to emulate her. During our sessions, sometimes she will say a phrase that stays with me.
In my list of five phrases, she says number three a lot: Nice breath. I think about my therapist during difficult moments, and I wonder, how would she handle this situation?
If I take in a deep breath, I often hear my therapist’s voice in my head say, “Nice breath.”
Other voices in my head are less compassionate: echoes from people telling me to…
I live in America. We value individual choice here. Fine. But I’m listening to the news on the radio, and I’m reading articles online, and I’m being given advice on how to convince my loved ones to get vaccinated.
Yes, I want all my friends and family members to get vaccinated. Hey, I want all eligible Americans to get vaccinated. It makes perfect sense to me. Our best chance at fighting this virus is by getting vaccinated. Cool.
Not cool: Feeling responsible for the “individual choices” of my fellow Americans, including my family and friends.
What if I convince my…
Emily Temple of Literary Hub has a great suggestion for feeling better: read a book. But, she clarifies, “I don’t mean just any book. It must be old — at least 15 years old, if not older. And, crucially, it must also be new — to you.”
To this advice, I would add, go support your local bookstore. Or, if you have access, find the title at your library. The third option would be to follow the links below, leading you to my Bookshop shelf. …
I made a mistake when I was nine years old. Flipping through my neighbor’s yearbook, I pointed to a girl’s picture and said, “He’s cute.” She had a pixie haircut, and I liked her face. My neighbor laughed and pointed to the girl’s name: Susan — proof that I had made a mistake.
Androgyny — when gender appears ambiguous — appealed to me at a young age, and it still appeals to me today. I felt stupid for thinking Susan was a boy, but I didn’t stop liking how she looked. It was her androgyny that attracted me. She had…
Childhood is formative for everyone. During our early years, we learn fundamentals like language and perception. Unfortunately, for about 40% of us, as we orient ourselves, we struggle to find security in our relationships.
The attachment style, usually developed with our caregivers, can set us up for a healthy, positive outlook, or a damaged, negative worldview.
I fall into the second group, having an insecure attachment style that is the most extreme: anxious-avoidant. Psychologists would call me the “fearful type.”
With a sociopath for a father and a co-dependent mother, I lost my ability to trust most people, and I…
His vulnerability made it easy to love him; he expressed his needs and desires, talked about his feelings. Not long after I met him, I saw him cry. I also saw him explode with laughter. His moods led him to bring me flowers, to drink heavily, and to take on the cloak of a chameleon. The more his social circle shifted, the more I saw him change his personality. He was usually fun to be around, but he would dip into different inks of dark humor.
A new friend would enter his life, and suddenly he would be wearing different…
When I read Carol S. Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success back in 2016, I found the research unsettling. If you’re familiar with the text, maybe you can guess why. According to Dweck, from an early age, we adopt a certain mindset. For someone with a fixed mindset, abilities are static. So if you perceive yourself as a smart person, then your actions need to follow suit. Failure to perform is not an option.
A growth mindset is less attached to identifiers of intelligence and creativity. This type of person will meet challenges with a willingness to learn…
We partied like it was 1999.
Until the clock became a computer.
Now, our feelings look like photographs.
Our thoughts scroll out like ticker tape.
Maybe we’ve been uploaded, finally.
The computers didn’t crash; they took over.
Now they speak for us.
They party like there’s no tomorrow, like there’s no consequences.
We’re no longer faces emoting empathy.
Our eyes belong to our screens.
We look at white space like it’s a dream, and we forget how to live in between — the updates, the notifications, the installs, the upgrades, the messages, the data stream.
Once upon a…