Archive | Darling Essays

7 Ways to Celebrate a Platonic Valentines Day

Platonic Valentines Day

I’d love to share some easy last minute ideas on how to celebrate a Platonic Valentines Day!

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I’m as shocked as anyone to realize this, especially since I haven’t had a serious romantic relationship in years. But February 14th isn’t just a day for traditional lovers. It is also the day I came out of the closet as queer. It is the day I chose to stand up and show the world who I am. It is a day about self acceptance.

It is a day on which I commemorate loving myself.

After my divorce I started a tradition. Each year for Valentines day, I ask a single friend of mine to be my Platonic Valentine. Every time I do, it creates so much joy and surprise that I can’t help but wonder why more people don’t do this. (more…)

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How To Bet On Yourself

How To Bet On Yourself

When I shared with a mentor that I realized I am neurodivergent, she told me to go back to my ex after years of divorce and try to make things work. She did not think I could continue on my own. She also told me that making a living from art was too hard and that I should give up.

That isn’t the only rejection I’ve received recently. I tried to join a peer group of artists for mutual encouragement, growth and support, and I was told my art was not good enough. I was crushed. (more…)

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Breaking the cycle

I want both my work and my kids to matter to me, but it’s so hard to balance. And hard to describe. And yes I know “it’s hard” is such a bland sentence. How about, “I feel like I’m dying, trying to do it all without fucking things up.” Maybe I should tell myself some saccharine line I don’t really feel. “It’s not your job to hold the world together. Everything will be ok. Just relax your grip. Don’t hold on so tight.”

Oh yeah. Why do I hold on so tight? (more…)

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Making Mistakes, Patreon & Online Dating

I started online dating. My app showed over 1,000 people who wanted to bang me, even though, when it came down to it, 99% of them never wanted to talk to me. I get it. A lot of us are just looking for the fantasy of something new, but meeting someone you actually care about is not as easy as a few swipes might make it seem.

I want to bang, too, but I want to bang someone I love. And love costs a lot. I wasn’t sure I could afford risking a mistake, especially not after my last broken heart. And I felt like my life was one wrong move away from spiraling out of control, and the only thing keeping it tethered was my ability to dig deep and find the will to keep going. (more…)

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The Curiosity Shelf

For the month of March, my art is being featured at the Portage Bay Goods curiosities shop located in the hip Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. On March 1st, I left my kids with a babysitter and hopped the bus up to Seattle for the First Fridays Fremont Art Walk. Assured that my kids were well loved and well cared for in my absence, I let my mind relax, enjoying the relative intimacy of sharing space with a group of strangers as we made our way up the interstate and into the city. (more…)

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Don’t Water Dead Plants

Kalanchoe dead plant overwaterred

“You gotta stop watering dead plants.”
Glennon Doyle

When my girlfriend broke up with me in December, I grabbed all the things that reminded me of her and shoved them into a box. There were Lucifer DVD’s, her bag of toiletries, the vintage Frances Burney books I’d never give her for Christmas…

One thing made me pause: a Kalanchoe plant she’d sent through a local florist on one of our anniversaries. It had since bloomed with deep red flowers which withered and returned several times. Staying alive against the cold winter light, this plant felt so innocent to me. I set it back on the windowsill thinking, “It’s not the plant’s fault that we broke up.” (more…)

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I’m Gay

When I was eight years old, I wrote my first poem. I remember the moment the words came to me. I was lying in bed at night, the lines rattling through my brain, startling sleep away. I turned on my pencil-shaped bedside lamp, grabbed my pink diary and huddled up underneath the little roses on my wallpaper to scribble the words down before they were lost to me forever. I re-read them over and over, letting them seep into my mind as I drifted off to sleep, so full of mystery and fascination at this new craft that had opened up to me.

The next day, I showed the poem to my mother. It was a love poem, and the only thing she said was, “Why is this written to a woman?”

I didn’t know. (more…)

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