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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
Julia NusbaumComment
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.

Read More
Julia NusbaumComment
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.

Read More
Julia NusbaumComment
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.

Read More
Julia NusbaumComment
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?

Read More
Julia NusbaumComment
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.

Read More
Julia Nusbaum Comment
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
'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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More