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Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

My platinum blog: 20 years of blogging

Hey, punk,

I was going to write “Dear Deborah” there, but realized that wouldn’t work for you, my June 23, 1995 self. You were so daring and bold that such a plain greeting would’ve chafed.

(I don’t mean to be sarcastic, by the way. It’s just that you’re so goshdarned cute in all your conviction you’re bad to the bone.)

Later today, you’re going to get bored. You’re going to wonder, “What can I do to make my webpage different than all the ones I’ve visited so far?” You’re going to contemplate starting a journal online (gasp!), and then just as quickly wonder if it’s a good idea.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 9.44.59 PM

It’s a great idea.

Now, hold your horses. I don’t mean you’ll be swimming in gold because you decide to add a .txt file journal to your hand-coded HTML site today. Some people will make money from writing journals online someday, but those people will not be you. You won’t have enough sense (or, most days, giggle fodder) for that, and that’s okay.

There’s something else you’ll take from it. Read more…

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Running & a middle school boy’s wisdom

My son and husband are watching a televised track meet being held in my hometown.

My mom used to take my siblings running along that track. We were all fast runners, something I thought we’d inherited from our dad until my mom’s cousin exclaimed how fast she always ran.

I was in middle school the one and only time I was chosen first for a team. My P.E. teacher explained my class would be running various durations for the next several weeks. She’d pool each team’s time for each run and tally them at the end. The team ending the challenge with the shortest total running time would get a school store credit.

Tim, a quiet boy I knew only as a skater, was named a team leader. He was told he could choose before other team leaders. He named me without skipping a beat.

I was shocked. A weirdo in weird clothes, I was always chosen last or close to it. It never occurred to me that a middle schooler might choose teammates based not on popularity but skill. Indeed, many adults haven’t mastered this! Read more…

Big red sandals

You know the straw that broke the camel’s back?

I feel like I’m living one straw from a broken back these days.

One little straw shifts on my back and I have to rebalance everything. That seemingly tiny change demands care, precision, time and energy to address, leaving me gasping and stumbling as I try to carry the weight of that shifted burden.

Today several minute strands shifted at once. Though unlikely perceptible from the outside, I felt it keenly. I wept as I tried figuring out how to shift my balance enough to keep standing.

A box was waiting on my doorstep when I got home. Read more…

Boo YOU, motherfucker.

Last week I wrote a post that’s left me feeling wrecked.

I’ve written about predators from my childhood before. But never, ever before have I written–or even thought–about them all together. Doing so was so devastating, even thinking about this blog has since left me trembling and queasy.

I think I might know the cure. It comes in the form of reposting an October 2011 post I accidentally deleted with hundreds of others.

I want it to have a place here again. I want it here as my reminder I am more than broken.

I am a force greater than fear.

Boo YOU, motherfucker.
Originally posted October 14, 2011

I felt confident and sure as I strode down the hallway in my new pantsuit.

I knew the case. I enjoyed pushing my comfort boundaries. Best of all, on the other side of the mock trial, I’d be closer to finishing my hated first year of law school.

All was well as I set foot in the classroom setting of my mock trial.

Then I was in the room, and I remembered. Read more…

In darkness, sweet darkness

The odd ones

The jumbo-est damn glass of lemonade

My mother was a Dumpster diver.

People throw away computers, TVs, stereos, music, movies, instruments, art, furniture, unworn clothing and all manner of valuable things. My mom, understanding their value, collected them and sold them at frequent garage sales. Her finds paid our bills.

My sole remaining garage sale picture, clearly unedited

My brother salutes me in my sole remaining garage sale picture, clearly unedited

It became more difficult for her to get around as her mental illness progressed. She could only move and sell items small enough to carry on her bike. Gone were the big-ticket items that used to draw customers.

One of the last times I saw her before she died of cancer, I climbed out of a rental car and saw her new sale sign pinned to a tree in her front yard:

JUMBO
SALE

I immediately hated the word “jumbo.” In the context of her meager sale, it accentuated the stark divide between all the possibility present in the once-was and the grimness of my mom’s new reality. Powerless to ease my mom’s suffering, Read more…

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