Crier

The term, she wears her heart on her sleeve is wasted on me. I wear my heart everywhere on my physical person. I am a crier. I always have been. My mother used to retell the story of when I was three and she found me sitting silently on the front porch with tears pouring down my red blotchy cheeks. She stroked by hair and a wiped each stray tear. She asked me what had moved me to tears on such a beautiful day. Moved me to tears? What moved me to cry?

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Sister

“Hey, ain’t you Jesse’s sister?” Jesse’s sister, that name should have been on my birth certificate. Not one of my brother’s friends ever called me by my first name. Did they know it? Even Kevin, who always found his way into my room when my brother was in the bathroom.

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Hair

I have my face waxed every few weeks. 

Hot wax is smeared down the sides of my face, over my cheeks, across my jawline and to my neck. Then, it’s ripped off in an instant. In that second before it is ripped off, my body automatically tenses, waiting for the pain that I know is coming.

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Love Entwined with Forgiveness

I wasn’t really sure if I should write about this incident on social media platform. Then I thought why shouldn’t I? It is indeed something that we all should learn from. We, as parents, often spend most of our time teaching our children, the right values, the right manners and many other “right” things that are too many to list here. We are so engrossed in teaching them things that we forget they also have a thing or two to teach us. Things, which, if implemented, will make our lives a tad bit simpler.

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Call Your Friend

Friendships can be hard to maintain. My thirty-three years on the planet have imparted a limited, yet I don’t think insignificant, view on how friendships change. What I know for sure is that, like any relationship, they require upkeep.

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A Story of Love

I have a new man in my life. His name is Dominic. He is gentle, humorous, wise, eloquent and loving. We have been spending a lot of time together during the past five weeks and our appreciation and love for each other is deepening. Dominic is ninety-three years old.

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Becoming Transparent

For years, my hair had been my nemesis—more foe than friend. Being called names such as curly, bush, and frizzy, it’s no wonder I had identity issues. While the girls in school had long, flowing locks, my tresses grew sideways instead of down, causing me to try any and all options to gain control. And so began my use of a litany of products from Dippity-Do, large curlers, and pink tape, to jumbo brushes, blow dryers, and flat irons.

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Unexpecting

When my mother tells stories about me from when I was young, she often highlights the fact that I never wanted to play with baby dolls. I never willingly pretended to be a mother. I liked stuffed animals. Theywould be my children, and I would brush them and care for them rather than baby dolls.

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'Bad Side'

Ten months ago, I stood in front of the mirror and called my body “beautiful.”  For the first time in years, I did not criticize my appearance.  I did not disparage my physical features.  I admired every curve, every scar, every tensed muscle.  I discovered strength cloaked behind weakness -- a powerful, invisible strength I have carried with me for my entire life.

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The Great Escape Artist

I remember my granddaughter’s fourth birthday party. I was there. So was my ex-husband and his girlfriend. I spent most of the time in the kitchen, avoiding them. When the cake was being served, I bolted out the door and into the safety of my car.

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Soaring with Eagles

Whenever I see a drawing of a bird, I think of my sister. Cherie had a fascination with birds and an encyclopedic knowledge of every species. She worked at a wildlife center and fostered the injured birds, but she had a particular fondness for the birds of prey. She took beautiful photographs of hawks, eagles and owls, and sketched them every chance that she had.

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Our Birth Stories

In early 2013, when my partner and I had just moved to LA, we found out we were pregnant for the first time (totally unplanned!). I was working on a small stipend in which over 75% of my income was going towards the rent of a furnished 400 square foot studio apartment; while my partner was living in a city an hour away in his first year at graduate school, also living on a stipend that was mostly going towards rent.

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Self Awareness

To me, knowing who you are is as important as remembering to breathe.  Self-discovery is a bit of a winding road. You never know when the curve in will cause you to veer and go off the road.  We all experience our fair share of darkness and light. That is almost a given in any life, no matter how ordinary or lavish. It is about creating a delicate balance between the positive and the negative.

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Perfectly Flawed

When I was a small child, my grandmother took me to see The Elephant Man, a movie about Englishman Joseph Merrick. Joseph was born with severe facial deformities and was exhibited as a human curiosity in the late 1800’s. The depiction of Joseph Merrick shocked me, but not for the reasons it shocked others. For me, the shock was recognition. I knew Joseph Merrick. I was Joseph Merrick.

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Natural Disaster

She said she thinks it’s terrible I don’t want to have children. Like being childless is the Plague or natural disaster. Maybe to her and to many others it is just that. It’s certainly not seen as natural not to want to do the one thing a woman’s body was built for.

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Hasidic Women Tell Their Story

It is Friday night in Montréal and Molly and I are walking along the sidewalk in Outremont, a historically Hasidic neighborhood. I am an anthropology student at Concordia University returning from a field assignment to attend a Shabbat dinner at Molly’s home and investigate the gender based boundary building in the Hasidic community.

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How My Tragedy Became My Passion

It was the fall of 2010 that change my life forever. I was a freshman in high school going through many changes in my life already and just trying to find out what I wanted to do in the next four years. Then something tragic happened that I would never forget.  On October 19, 2010 my longtime friend Daniel, who had cerebral palsy and a brain tumor, lost his battle to the cancer.

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