I have made it through adversity to become the happiest person I know, the best version of myself, and an individual who is worthy of love. I have a beautiful romantic relationship, a blossoming career and education, and all of my bills are paid. Yet as I write this, I am in a one-bedroom apartment with no savings to speak of and thousands of dollars in credit card debt. I wonder: how did I manage to get everything I ever wanted in life except for money?
A wise person might tell me to count my blessings and my therapist might ask me to make a “gratitude list” and write down all I have to be thankful for for an improved perspective. …
A bit careless,
Forgetting graciousness, he ignites jealousy.
Knowledge, like men, never obtains.
Relinquishing sexual tension under vanity.
Without Xanax, you’re zen.
Zapped your excuse:
When vitriol understands the scene, rumination quenches
Omniscient nighttime monsters
Left knife-wounds jagged in
Forge each devious
Struggling with facial dysmorphia means that I see an entirely different person every time I look in the mirror. It’s not necessarily that I see something “wrong” each time I see myself, but that I never seem to know who I am or what she really looks like. Every photograph of myself leaves me doing double-takes, wondering who the person I’m looking at really is. This failure to identify with myself on a daily basis leaves me vulnerable to my low self-esteem in ways that my accomplishments as an individual cannot make up for.
It begins each day when I see myself in the morning. I look to the mirror and I see a total and complete stranger with oily skin, protruding eyes, and the wild hair that comes after sleep. It’s instantly difficult for me to get work done and be my own boss as a writer because as early as 6:30 a.m., my low self-esteem begins sinking its teeth into me. It seems to be in my best interests to get rid of that stranger in the mirror and bring her back to some semblance of myself. …
I was 12 when I began to suspect that I was a lesbian. I was 14 when I started wearing flannel shirts and combat boots. At 16, I got a girlfriend. When I was 17, I figured out that I liked men. Now that I’m 23, it all regularly still comes back to haunt me.
As a young girl, there was no easy way to approach the fact that I was positive I only liked girls, so for a while I spent oodles of time watching porn to make sure I was right about my convictions. …
The longer I live through a great relationship, the more thought I give to wondering about why so many people, including my past self, stay in bad relationships. I wonder more and more about why relationships die so quickly when the one I’m in now has stayed so lively for two years, but I know that things weren’t just made to be this way. Making a relationship’s luster last isn’t effortless.
Imagine, if you will, a one-bedroom apartment in one of the most crowded suburbs in the country. John and I are always bumping into one another because we both seem to always be foraging for snacks in the kitchen and needing to use the bathroom at the same time. Like most individuals, we also have our own distinct tastes in entertainment and ideas on how we like to spend our time. …
When I was 20 years old, it had been two years since telling my family about the sexual abuse I’d experienced as a child. My abuser was subsequently removed from the family dynamic and unwelcome from being a part of our unit. Despite being afforded the freedom of having told my family the truth, the failure to ever confront the perpetrator left a big gaping hole in my sense of closure. I sought to fix this one February evening with a simple, diplomatic text message.
I texted Evan* simply asking if we could talk, but this was received poorly because he said that we’d have nothing to talk about. He called me up and began dismantling me, saying that I’d ruined the relationship with his family over something “silly” that had happened when we were children. His slights weren’t calculated very well, and it wasn’t long before he began crying over the telephone about how much he’d missed me. …
My home is filled with love letters, poems, and pictures of my two-person family. On the outside, we’re just a normal couple living in a small apartment, but on the inside, we’re rich in togetherness and fulfillment. We don’t have enough money to seal the deal and for me to officially be “wife” right now, so I’ve become “wifey”.
For a really long time, I defied any notion of getting married because I believed the rumors that married couples stop getting along and stop having sex once they exchange nuptials. I believed that once I got married, it would mean that I would have to be miserable and unhappy, but then I began to question that. …
Here on Long Island, bagels are the first choice for a Saturday morning breakfast. New York pizza is the famous staple of Friday nights and family gatherings. For people like me who have Celiac Disease, these are common rituals that we must abstain from because over time, they can literally kill us.
In America, we do not test infants for Celiac Disease the way that they do in other countries. I didn’t know that my body was intolerant to gluten until I was 15. …
After being Ms. Perfect in high school, I suspected that college was going to be the best place for me.
Despite my past of being an overachiever, it turned out that I wasn’t exactly ready for the responsibilities and that college was a breeding ground for anxiety, a feeling I knew all too well but had become complacent with in high school. I wish now that I had been more prepared for what was to come, but I suffered greatly for most of the time I was enrolled.
I began my education at a community college which the locals had dubbed “the 13th grade”. Since I’d done so well in high school, my life as a commuter to an “easy” school was supposed to be a breeze. Within a month of class starting, I already began to fall behind as I quickly realized that coming to class meant trekking through a campus filled with hundreds of people and sitting down in small lectures with professors who were much more serious and crass than high school teachers. …
The inexplicable feeling of being eaten up by an urge to verbally tic began when I was in the third grade. It was highly invasive — I always needed to clear my throat and make a deep humming noise several times per minute. No matter how deeply I breathed or tried to clear my mind, there it was — hmm, hmm. Hmmmmm.
I think that maybe there’s something to be said about my tic during the times for when I was alone. I was a solitary child who strongly preferred reading and staring at the wall to imagine things over playing with my peers. When I came home from school, I’d read, and at school it was my favorite thing to do during recess. The second I was finished with my classwork, which I’d rush through in order to read, I would often find myself imagining the books I would write once I was old enough. …