Nothing Serious Please: My Misadventures in Finding Muslim Love

n a childhood where my parents were always fighting, my escapes were the idealized versions of romance I saw in movies. The years leading up to their separation were filled with my frenzied consumption of the messages I received from Moulin Rouge (love is a many splendored thing!), Rodger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (the far superior version with Whitney Houston and the most beautiful Prince Charming there ever was), and The Little Mermaid(who fell for a man she saw once).

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A Remarkable Woman

On a hot summers day in June 1955 Molly, an unmarried mother, began bringing her child into the world. She cried bitterly whilst pleading to keep her child.  There were no words of sympathy she was told simply to go home and forget all about it. As Molly’s child was taken from her she vowed never to forget.

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My Grandmother's God

Evening drains quickly on the day that Tevin leaves. I arrive home from working at the brewery to a letter from my grandmother in which she has folded a cut out copy of the Lord’s prayer. Though I read the letter only minutes ago and was thus informed, I can no longer remember from where she cut the blessing.

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Worthy

Just eight minutes, but it felt like forever. I sat there  dumbfounded wondering if that really happened or if I was so drunk I had  imagined it. I was sixteen years old at a party. Like always my boyfriend and I were in a huge fight, so I was flirting with a guy he hated.

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Going the Distance

I am getting ready to travel again because my husband is living in Copenhagen for work. People describe our situation as “so cool.” I wish they would stop. There is nothing cool about a long distance marriage. And I’m certain the “so cool” people have never donelong-distance with a spouse working twelve hour days in a time zone nine hours ahead. These are people who have never spent a significant amount of time on a plane going back and forth. Our family planning has been suspended. My life has become a waiting room in perpetuity. 

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Alone in Iceland

When I first began to tell people about my plans to take a solo trip to Iceland, I was met with a lot of surprise, and even a little resistance. I expected some of this. Almost as soon as I announced that I had booked my flight, people began to voice concern over my traveling alone—a young woman—to a foreign country. 

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Lighthouse Mentality

Most of us have scrolled past this quote on Facebook or Instagram. You may have liked it or re-posted it. If you are the strong one then you know how painstakingly true this is. Like, ugh. Why is there so much truth in this statement? Somehow the people around you have created the idea that you have traveled through a magical parallel universe that rendered you emotionally void. No feelings, no heart, just empty.  

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Groundlings

My Intro to Theater professor laughed and pressed his thumb and forefinger against his lips. I imagined that in an earlier generation he would have paced around the classroom chain-smoking. I wondered if he could tell if I was the kind of person that watched that kind of garbage.

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Mirrors

I met my boss downtown yesterday. She asks me to do that every once in a while. I like her. We’ve known each other for a long time. Shared the trenches on many occasions. She wanted an opinion on an expensive top. I was just getting out of yoga and wanted to go home. But hell, I met her. The top was pretty. “Get it, it’s beautiful,” I told her.

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Ringside at the Movies

A few months ago, I was given a seat from an old movie theatre. The theatre was called The Regent, and it was the one my parents bought in 1949 when I was five. When it closed six years later, I never gave a thought to what might happen to any part of it—the projectors, the screen, the seats—but then, over fifty years later, I happened to hear that a small local museum was mounting an exhibit about small-town theatres. I contacted the curator, and told her what I could about our theatre.

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Flicker

The photo stopped me dead in my somewhat-mindlessly-scrolling tracks. I’m sure everyone does it, no matter what’s going on in the world; at some point, after reading so many headlines and seeing so many shared posts, even the most devoted activist and supporter sort of tunes out.

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How I Discovered I have Borderline Personality Disorder

“Actually that is part of a whole therapy method: dialectical behavior therapy. I want you to do DBT when you finish up the program here. I think it’s really going to be a good next step for you.”

Those words were from D, the lead therapist for my intensive outpatient program at my local psychiatric hospital. A single assignment, and that statement, started me down a rabbit hole of online reading and research that ultimately brought me to where I am today.

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Feeding the Soul

Sunday in Athens — most businesses remained closed. The streets deserted by people, energy, magic.

My travel partner and I walked the major thoroughfare. We passed shop after shop; each metal security door shut tight, its corrugated surface tagged with bold words and images.

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The Fine Art of Glamping

My maternal grandmother, Bubbe or Bernice, has moved around the continent regularly, every decade at least. She sheds her belongings like a molting snake with every move, and lately even with each of my visits to her. She bequeaths soup tureens and books, art pieces and ceramic bowls, clip on earrings and Czech shot glasses and vases. It's as if downsizing is a challenge, and she's punching back.

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