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2016: In Review

2016: In Review

I am not sure how to do a year in review this time around. A lot of people have many things to say about 2016, and much of it isn’t encouraging. But what has been black for many has been more complex for me.

Here are some moments from 2016:

January

I dance the night away with my nieces at one cousin’s wedding. Megan and Hana think I’ve got the moves, and I let ’em believe it.

New diagnosis: Gastroparesis. It is the third autoimmune attack in under a year, and takes my diet from “gluten free levels of inconvenient” to “ask me…Continue Reading

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In Standard

Dear Past!Self: Some Advice

Dear Past!Self: Some Advice

Dear 24-Going-25!Self,

Hey, kid. It’s me, 25-going-26!Self. How you doing? I know the answer, but I thought I’d ask to be polite.

If your math skills aren’t working (it happens, I get you), I’ll just clarify: I’m writing from the end of your 25th year on earth. Kind of crazy. There are a few things I’d like to tell you, things that might make this coming orbit of the sun a little better. Maybe.

This year’s going to be nuts. You thought 24 was a ride, but this is a whole new level. You’re going to have amazing highs. You’ll sign with a literary agent, finally, about two months into 25. Your dear friend is going to get an…Continue Reading

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In Standard

The Homeless Man

The Homeless Man

I made a storify list of my tweets last night, because this encounter hasn’t left my mind since it happened. My heart is heavy and I’m longing for change after this brief interaction.

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24 Things I’ve Learned in 2016

24 Things I’ve Learned in 2016

Last week, I shared my mid-year report on my SMART Goals. As I reflected on what I thought this year would look like and what it has become, I started mentally compiling the things I’ve been learning. I know a lot of people (especially my age) are struggling with the darkness of this year. To us younglings, in many ways 2016 feels like the wider-scale darkest time in our lives.

Hopefully these 24 confessions will bring hope, or at least an honest voice to the craziness.

24 Things I’ve Learned in 2016

  1. There’s always something you can do. Last year, I started obsessing with the refugee crisis. If I had not landed my job with Christopher Newport University, I…Continue Reading
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In Standard

Suffering the Silence: My Portrait of Chronic Illness

Suffering the Silence: My Portrait of Chronic Illness

I came across the online campaign Suffering the Silence through this PBS article and immediately knew that I wanted to participate. It’s an awesome movement that encourages people with chronic illness to share their stories. I’d highly recommend browsing the Instagram and Twitter hashtag.

Scrolling through the pictures, I have found it so encouraging to see other young people discussing the hardest parts of chronic illness. These diseases can be incredibly isolating. And when I see people with multiple diseases, and read the things they’re saying, my spirit lifts a little. I’m reminded that I’m not alone.

I haven’t talked much on this blog about my recent diagnosis with Type…Continue Reading

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In Standard

Color in Afghanistan

Color in Afghanistan

Short piece I wrote for funsies/World Nomads recently.

When I told people I was going to Afghanistan, they looked at me like I’d gone mad. I was twenty-one, 5’2”, and grinning while I said it.

Our Afghan driver took a small group of us outside Kabul one day, to the valleys around Istalif. Freed of the city, our dust and dung coated lungs began to work again.

“Are you sure we should do this?” my sister asked in harried Pashto when the paved road became a dirt path became a rocky riverside became an actual river.

“Yes, yes!” he said. “It’s worth it!”

We emerged at the base of a canyon and tumbled out of the car. On our…Continue Reading

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Open Letter to My Autoimmune System

Open Letter to My Autoimmune System

Dear Body,

Well, here we are again, on the night before everything starts to roll. You remember last time, yeah? We were seventeen and they’d taken the bloodwork and there was a crazy Mississippi storm that night. Remember how we curled over and cried a little and then wrote some poetry? Yeah, it sucked – the poetry, and the night.

I’m not mad at you. I’m not breaking up with you. Partially because I can’t since, let’s be honest, you are me and I’m just personifying you to make sense of something that can’t be made sense of.

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