Archive | Personal Essays

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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I’m changing my name

The day Matt told me he was done with our marriage, I took myself out of the house. I bought a dress from a thrift store and sat alone in a booth at a pizza restaurant, eating my favorite toppings and feeling numb about the uncertainty that lay ahead.

Sitting in my car, unsure what to do next, words by Mary Oliver that I’d read ages ago came to me: “I was a bride married to amazement… I was a bride married to amazement… I was a bride married to amazement…” Hungry for more, I googled the line to find the entire poem: (more…)

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Come stand on the blank page with me

I am not ashamed of getting divorced. Divorce has been a winnowing experience for me.

First, I cleared physical clutter from my life, giving up things that I did not need in order to stay close to my girls. I budgeted carefully, gave up my car and simplified my spending habits so that I could stay home.

Then I cleared out emotional clutter, letting go of relationships with people who did not believe in me. I was told to get a real job or to stop homeschooling or to parent differently. I was told that everything bad that was happening to me was my fault.

But there were other people, people who stood by me, and I couldn’t have made it through this year without their support. (more…)

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Winnowing

The dishwasher was the first thing to break. I told myself that I’d rip it out of the wall, use the nook for muddy boots and yard supplies. The truth was I couldn’t afford to replace it or fix it.

I saw an ad on craigslist where a handyman would exchange household work for women’s panties, preferably unwashed ones. How desperate would someone be to make that choice? I never want to be in that position. I realize I need to make more money, find a reliable handyman. Money is freedom. (more…)

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I don’t know why.

Born of Starlight – Original Artwork 8×10 inches – $150.00 – BUY HERE

I don’t know why.

At night, after my girls drift off to sleep, I slide out from between their two warm bodies, slip out of my bedroom, and find a bit of space to sort through my thoughts about Matt leaving. I’ve been numb for months. But now that I’m starting to get a handle on my single-mom life, the parts of myself I’d shut off to survive are waking up, full of pain. And I’m tired. Of everything. (more…)

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