What does it mean to receive a new pair of shoes? For many of us shoes are an abundant resource that is sometimes taken for granted, however, for millions of children and adults across the globe shoes are scarce. In many developing nations walking is the primary mode of transportation, so a pair of shoes keeps people happy, healthy and thriving.Read More
I had dreamed about going to Europe since I was eight years old. I specifically have always wanted to go to Paris. This was a dream I held onto and when I was sixteen I made a master plan to spend a year in Europe once I turned eighteen. I did research and detailed the plan to my parents who said that if I met my monetary goal they would match it. But then I did not find anywhere that wanted to hire a sixteen-year old and so the plan was put aside. I still vowed that I would see Paris before I turned twenty-four.Read More
Waking up at 3am with the thought “I need to go to Divinity school” was quite surprising. It was a fairly humid early morning on May 20th. I stumbled out of bed to grab my laptop from my desk to see if I even had the option of enrolling for the fall. The deadline had been extended an extra 11 days. The spiritual side of my personality took this as a sign as I slowly guided my mouse down the page. I knew I wanted to stay in Nashville for the time being and I had no idea where I wanted to go with my life. Leaving the world of college athletics and entering into a period of spiritual reflection while working in a mind-body-soul shop lent me a return to my love of philosophical engagement.Read More
Last year on my 27th birthday I wrote myself some advice. I told myself to stop comparing my life to those around me. I told myself to start living and stop worrying so much about what the future would hold. Today, I am 28th and I’m trying to figure out where the year went and what I was doing that whole time. Did I follow my own advice? I’m not sure.Read More
My mother pushed herself to graduate high school in three years rather than four and was therefore able to start university studies at age 17. She'd been in love with a boy since she was 14, and she wanted to be at the university with him. Her father didn't approve of this boy (he suspected that the boy was of sub-standard ethnic stock, and he also knew that the boy's family was far less wealthy and educated than his own). Mom, with the support of her own mother, didn't obey her father's instructions not to see the boy; Mom said that from the first moment she saw him, she knew that he was the love of her life.Read More
I had been in graduate school for over three years but hadn’t taken a night class. So when I started teaching Psych 280: Community Psychology from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, it was very possibly the first time I had found myself walking alone at night across campus. For the first week, I followed my autopilot footsteps – the same path I walked home every single day.Read More
Recently, my aunt met a good man and they got married. My family and I made the long trek down to Florida for the joyous event. We got to the hotel just hours before the rehearsal dinner and after a flurry of hurried preparation, we met with the family. As with most family reunions when you’re young, you tend to answer the same questions about your love life, college, and what your plans are for the future.Read More
In an age where minds are more open than any previous decade and equality is on the rise I expect these changes but I also expect that my choices be respected, even if they are not understood. Perhaps that is too much to ask, but I would hope in the year of 2015 our ideas about partnerships of any kind would be more accepting.Read More
In my healing work, one of the biggest discoveries I’ve made is the devastating effect of believing that our feelings are wrong, and how much of our pain stems simply from that.
It is without question the deepest pain I've ever experienced.Read More
There is power in telling your own story.
It sounds silly. To tell someone that their life can change if only they tell their story. Don’t we already know our stories? We’re living them. We’re breathing our stories in and out every day. But are we really letting ourselves live into our stories? Are we stopping ourselves, looking back—reflecting—and wondering what it is that brought us to where we are in our lives today?Read More
In fifth grade, for Halloween, I wanted to dress up like my mom.
In fact, I did. But only for show her. It was supposed to be a surprise, because I didn’t want to be a hippie for the third year in a row. I remember sitting on my pink, blue, and green swirled comforter thinking that I wanted to dress up like someone I like. I didn’t want to be just another witch or the fourth kid to have the brilliant idea to be the pink power ranger.Read More
You see, I was born into a system, a family, whose very history is fraught with the most insidious abuses; kept in the secret and in the dark. When you come into a world like that, you lose your power and your voice before you can even walk. Even as I took my first steps and learned my first words, how was I to know that a monster would step out of a closet and snuff out my life before it began?Read More
Growing up I had a love-hate relationship with scars. Well…Not exactly love-hate, more a covetous-content relationship. I desperately wanted a battle wound to proudly display for the world to see and yet I was intensely afraid of any permanent marks.Read More
I drove to 40 states during the month of November. I drove so many miles it took two rental cars due to oil change needs. Somehow I managed to finish $1k under my Kickstarter budget (thank you ramen noodles). I met so many people that names and faces began to blur. Thank god I recorded everything.Read More
Trigger Warning: Domestic Violence.
I am a survivor of Domestic Violence. Even six months later, it seems surreal typing these words. It’s so easy to naively pretend that it could never happen to you—you’d never miss the red flags, you’d never let anyone treat you like property—but I am here to tell you that is not the case. It can happen to anyone, because abusers are the most charming people you’ve ever met. They’ll sweep you right off your feet, convince you that they have nothing but your best interests at heart, and, in the process, convince everyone close to you that they are “great” for you, too. By the time you realize what is happening, you’ll be so tired of swimming that you’re almost content to drown, because that’s your only way out. You’ll wake up one day and you won’t even recognize yourself anymore. At least, that’s how it happened for me.Read More
I made my grandma’s oatmeal cookies on Easter Sunday and they didn’t turn out quite right. I wasn’t patient enough while mixing the ingredients and her handwritten recipe didn’t mention a bake time.Read More
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the intersection of vocation – or what I feel I am called to do, drawn to – and family life. I come from a large extended and loving Midwestern Catholic family. Figuring out what I am to do with my life and how I fit into my family is one part of what I’ve been thinking about. Biology of my female body is another. And here’s why:Read More
My family and I don't always see eye-to-eye, and I don't think we're unique in that. I have the variety of family members that regularly go to church but stay out of politics and social issues in the public space, and I also have family members that never talk about their church community but sure as hell talk about the lack of God in this county. (And by "talk about," I mean that they share memes, quotes, and articles that are kitschy clickbait at their best and downright lies at their worst.)Read More
“It’s because you took birth control,” said my husband’s good friend.
“It’s because you have bitterness in your heart,” said the founder of a women’s magazine.
“It’s because your daughter needs you more,” said a well-meaning acquaintance.
“It’s because I’m not a good enough mother,” said my inner voice.
I wake up each morning with the luxury of a roof over my head, food in my refrigerator, and a shower with warm water. I walk to campus, where I take classes in the departments of English and Women and Gender Studies. I have the good fortune to be studying what I am passionate about, instead of working for a degree that I hate but one that will earn me the most money down the road.Read More