I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life. Even as a young child, I remember hearing about the terrors of the world and shrinking into myself in fear. I fashioned in my head a hiding place–a pod made of thick steel with padded walls–and I hid myself there. This was a place where no spears or guns or bombs could reach me. This was a place where my anxiety could melt away.
But I wasn’t satisfied to imagine myself safe. I wanted to be safe. I wanted to find that steel pod, and climb into it. So I asked my mother, “Is there any place in the world that is completely safe?” Read More →
Donald Trump is the new president of the United States. As such, I make the following commitments:
1. I will seek information about President Trump from reputable news outlets. I will try to avoid heavily biased and sensationalist media. I will do my best to seek out news that accurately depicts the facts, and I will even try to consider sources whose bias differs from my own with an open mind. Read More →
“135 over 85,” said the nurse, as she removed the blood pressure cuff from my arm. I looked at her in surprise. I was 32 weeks into a perfectly planned, perfectly healthy pregnancy. I was 32 weeks into a pregnancy with perfect blood pressures of 115/70. That’s higher than normal, I thought to myself. Read More →
Dear Mama of the sweet little girls in my care,
I love your children. I didn’t know I would so soon. I worried about your kids and my kids, tangled together in daily activities. Could I treat them fairly? How would I react when your youngest pushed my youngest? Or when my son wouldn’t share with your daughter?
I didn’t know how long I would have these children when I picked them up in the middle of the night, my hair and clothes in disarray. They reached for me so eagerly, and I was afraid. I’m not your mother, I thought to myself, and in the back of my mind lingered the word, yet. How long does it take to feel like a mother? How long will they be mine? Read More →
Our family has suffered through two cycles of viruses in as many weeks. This week’s cold/flu seems to be tapering off, and thankfully it did not have the shock and awe force of last week’s stomach bug. Did I mention that our clothes dryer is currently out of commission? Read More →
A friend on Facebook recently drew my attention to the fact that Harvard is offering a series of free courses about world religions. I signed up and I’m really excited to start next week. This is a great opportunity to learn a little more about a subject that most of us don’t know much about, apart from the snippets we hear from politicians or on the news. You can take the courses for free, but each course also offers the opportunity to pursue a verified certificate for $50. Read More →
In 2015, I decided to edify myself by trying to read a book a week. I knew going in that it was extremely ambitious and I don’t have a great track record with following through on my grandiose goals. But I do love grandiose goals. Read More →
I grew up in an area where conflict rose and fell like the tide—sometimes the fighting increased, and sometimes the calm. It could be measured by how often in the night we heard the war cry echo between our mountain and the next, and by how many late-night knocks came to our door asking for my father’s help to chase cattle thieves. This, to me, was normal. This was the way things were.
There came a time when things changed. We heard less about raids and more about battles. I was forbidden to play at the river with friends. We stopped taking walks when we found a warrior’s arrow on a path near our house. I was too young to understand the politics of this war, but the tension I could feel.
Late one night, my father’s truck rumbled into our yard full of women and children from a nearby homestead. Mattresses were spread out on every corner of the floor, and I felt simultaneously happy for the company and annoyed by the invasion of my private space. In the days that followed, we drove past their homestead and saw what remained. Every house had been burned to the ground. Read More →