Category Life

Drawing on my own love story

June 23, 2016 LifeWriting  No comments

The funny thing is, I do not consider myself to be a romantic person.

I remember being grossed out by Disney movie kisses—Pocahontas and John smith beneath the willow tree (ick!), Aladdin and Jasmine (good grief people, get a room already), Simba and Nala, Belle and the Beast. It was all just a little too much for me.

Except, of course, Lady and Tramp. Because they were eating spaghetti and it was just too cute.

So, like I said, I don’t consider myself an overly romantic person. I think Valentine’s Day is a capitalist scam. I almost forgot my wedding anniversary one year. The idea of intentionally romantic dinners makes my lip curl.

But the irony of that is that my love story has pretty much been textbook

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The world as I see it

June 16, 2016 LifeWriting  No comments

Some rough-cut pictures I took of places that inspired me before and during the Running to Stand Still writing process.


Lake St. Clair. On a chilly November afternoon.Not frozen over here, but beautiful, none the less. 


Downtown Detroit bar. Before the Twenty One Pilots concert at the Fox. The bartender who served us that night inspired the character of Jacob in the book.


Wayne State University.My alma mater. View of downtown from top of parking garage. 


Harper Woods.







Kind of how I picture

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Finding beauty in brokenness

April 21, 2016 LifeWriting  No comments

Finding beauty in brokenness…

It’s a theme that runs through my work.

It’s my “brand” slogan.


But I feel the need to clarify…

When I talk about finding beauty in brokenness, it doesn’t mean that I believe things always need to be broken before you can find the good in them.

That everything happens for a reason.

Because I don't believe that.

Sometimes bad things just happen. For no apparent reason.

Or maybe, that reason is because you’re stupid and make bad decisions.

Hey, we’ve all been there.


What I mean to say, is that, acceptance is not approval.

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Kill Anxiety: One Zombie at a Time

February 24, 2016 LifepsychologyThoughts  No comments

A few weeks ago, I talked about how I often find myself in a place of freak out and anxiety because I'm trying to figure out how to solve a problem before it even becomes a problem. 

And as frequent as my large-scale life/identity/existential crises have been lately, it's my run-of-the-mill, everyday anxiety about routines and tasks that is the more common antagonist in my life. 

And my anxiety these days is nothing compared to how it used to be.

The first times I can remember feeling anxiety was in middle school. Everyday after school, on the bus ride home, I would get this searing pinpoint of pain in between my shoulder blades like clockwork. (At the time, I didn't know that it was a physical manifestation of anxiety.)

This is also about the time where my mind

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Be where you are: the myth of “figuring it out”

January 27, 2016 LifeWriting  4 comments

I find myself always trying to "figure things out". 

For the most part, whatever I'm trying to figure out is a preemptive attempt to thwart future anxiety by freaking the fuck out in the present in a scrambling attempt to solve a problem that isn't even a problem yet. 

It's like trying to figure out an answer when I don't even know what the question is. 

Let me give you an example. 

I'll try to figure out what kind of career I would pursue if my circumstances changed tomorrow. Would I go back to school? For Archeology, maybe? Or Anthropology? Or what about grad school for Psychology? Sociology? Could I picture myself as an Environmental Scientist? Maybe I'd just stick with Barnes and Noble. Or would that get old and unfulfilling after a while? WHAT WILL I

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Be where you are: There is no path

January 20, 2016 LifeThoughts  4 comments

Not only did I used to have big plans for my life, but I used to believe that there was a right way and wrong way to achieve those plans. I used to think that there was a certain path I had to take, and that any deviation from that course was detrimental to reaching my destination successfully. 

I used to believe that there was a path--One True Path to my best, successful life. 

But, the thing is... there is no path. 

Life-altering, I know. 

This One True Path (clearly there's some blatant Christian theology influences here) looked a lot like one linear milestone achievement after the other. No wiggle room. No allowance for detours. 

And yet, despite my belief in and of this One True Path, I found myself following one detour after another. Pausing

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Be where you are: the Truth about growing up

January 13, 2016 LifeThoughts  5 comments

I used to have big dreams for my life. 

If you were to ask my sixteen-year-old self what my life would look like, she could take you by the hand and tell you exactly what would happen next. She'd tell you: I'm going to graduate from high school.Attend Columbia College in Chicago and major in Journalism.Write and edit for the school newspaper.Graduate. Get a job working as journalist (details were vague in my head, but I imagined myself running around the city with a messenger bag and a notebook). Cover breaking news, heart-wrenching important stories about the suffering and exploit of people around the globe. Travel a lot. Have a cool apartment. And that was about the extent of it. But all I knew was that I was going to be somebody. I was going to do important

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The things I learned in 2015 & anti-resolution experiments for 2016

January 6, 2016 LifeWriting  No comments

2015 was a year of tremendous growth, movement, and discomfort. I think I learned more in those 365 days than in the entire four years of high school. Well, at least, for myself as an adult human person trying to navigate the world. 


I learned a lot about fear and guilt. And letting shit go. 

I learned a lot about trusting myself. And trusting the process. 

I learned a lot about who I am at the core - past all the obligations and expectations and baggage.

I learned that, hey, I am an artist. And I need to just accept this already because this back-and-forth shit is getting old. 

The past year has been a lot of chipping away at old, useless things and stripping away all the bullshit. 

And I needed to get to this place where, no matter

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Embrace the space of nothingness

December 16, 2015 LifeThoughts  No comments

Recently, I found myself in an art studio on King Street in downtown Charleston. (It was during my lunch break wanderings at YALLfest 2015 that I stumbled upon it.)

My eyes roamed across the walls and sections until they came upon the Walter Arnold Photography collection, and I literally could not look away. 

I was captivated. Breathless. It had me all geeking out like Cisco Ramon from The Flash... (got the "goosies" as he calls them)

In a world where no one stops talking, where new content pours out onto the internet and into our worldly sphere every second, where there's just too much stuff vying for your attention every waking second... it's a rare and beautiful piece of art that reaches out to you, makes you pause, makes you stop in your tracks, makes you

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Rewrite this Story: Identifying & Rewriting Bullshit Scripts

December 2, 2015 LifepsychologyThoughts  No comments


Scripts are those stories that are so ingrained in us that they are our truth. For good or for bad, they determine our lives. 

It's only by becoming aware of them that we are able to challenge and rewrite them. 

In my last post, I delved into the dirty details of my scripts so that you could have some concrete examples of what they look like, how they manifest themselves, and the seeds of where they come from. 

So how do you start to identify your scripts? 

Let me start by saying, the best way to do this is to see a therapist. Because that is what they're trained to do. (As I am not a trained professional, just a mere Psych major with many a year spent in therapy and self-exploration, what I'm about to share with you is not to be taken as the utmost

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