I hope you made it through election week and its current aftermath in one piece. If this year were a roller coaster I’m thinking it would be the Oblivion in England:
or maybe the Stratosphere Infinity in Las Vegas.
It was a week of late nights, choppy sleep, and disquieting dreams for many of us and I had the sensation of perpetually bracing myself for the next drop. Like, if I didn’t personally hold on tight or keep checking the news and calling loved ones, I would freefall out and crash to the ground. I’ve loosened my grip a little now and things feel better. I have a bit more mental space for writing and talking to guests for the podcast.
Last week The Start Literary Journal published “Alone in A Group” an excerpt from my forthcoming memoir When She Comes Back about a night I got separated from my friends by a pack of kids who had no intention of letting me go. You can read it here.
This week on the podcast in episode 52, What A Father Leaves Behind, Samuel Burwell tells the story of losing his father, becoming a parent himself, and the work he is doing in Philly to keep his dad’s legacy alive.
In episode 51, The End of Perfection sisters Dana and Sharon Sberro joined me to talk about hitting emotional rock bottoms several years ago and their realization that their mission had everything to do with normalizing the challenges most people face and offering a platform to celebrate our imperfect selves.
Hearing my guests’ stories reminds me again and again how many of us have learned to cover up the parts of our life or selves that worry us. Parts we think make us different or feel too scary to admit, too difficult to trust another with let alone the world.
I know this firsthand. I find those aspects of myself that I worried about when I was younger, the wobbly jellyfish parts that seem so different from how I thought I was “supposed” to be, are still there.
And once I started to realize they weren’t going away and that maybe the people who love me the most already knew about those parts, I let down my guard a little bit. Then some more. This is still a work in progress for me but I know now that I really have no choice but to be who I am. I’ve always been here, it’s time to be on my own side already.
Also—it’s never too late to start.
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