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Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 | 0 comments

Planting: a millennial’s guide to motherhood.

Planting: a millennial’s guide to motherhood.

I’m a millennial to my core. I fall in the correct age range. I took a year off after college to accumulate “experiences.” I completed a degree in theology which, as my grandmother keeps reminding me, will never come to any practical use or gainful employment. Like every 18-35 year old with their parents’ Netflix password, I binge-watched Stranger Things. (It was rad.) Vocationally unmoored, prone to frequent brunches, convinced I have a unique creative talent of which the wider world should not be deprived, I’ve fit the criteria a little too closely until now. But now, all of a sudden, my life is merged with a tiny dependent I’ve never met but am bound to in every way. The first month I stopped taking my birth control, every day was an adventure. I bought a 25-pack of cheap pregnancy tests on Amazon prime and took one nearly every morning. I came to expect it. The one dark red line, clear as a stop sign on the road. Not...

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Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 | 2 comments

A Net for Catching Days

A Net for Catching Days

For me, the phrase “writer’s bock” fails to capture the phenomenon. Block implies that there is inspiration idling somewhere in my brain; it just can’t run the proper channels to my fingertips. The term “writer’s block” gives my blank, Twitter-grazing mind far too much credit. I have just finished a year of hospital chaplaincy work and education, a year in which sleep came at a premium and death came at regular intervals. Now, freshly married and in a new city, I am in between commitments. I walk the tension-wire between obligations. I sail on a sea of free time; I can write for days and never hit land. The problem is, with a free place to stay and miles of leisure time, I tend to accomplish less than when I teetered on the edge of collapse, working sixty hours a week and planning a wedding. Having the entire day to myself, I shuffle around the house like a self-propelling Roomba vacuum cleaner: I never stop moving, bump into a...

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Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 | 0 comments

The Miracle of Flight

The Miracle of Flight

  When I was growing up in the Baptist church, I never knew what people saw or heard when they were alone with God. I just knew he never spoke to me so clearly. I watched as the men presented themselves, hands clasped behind their sports coats, heads bowed, stepping toward the altar. “Brother Jones has come here tonight to announce his calling into the mission field,” boomed the pastor. The congregation “Amen-ed.” I shifted in my lightly-padded pew, reached into my purse for a hard candy. At 10 years old, it’s the only thing I kept in that purse. Calling only happened to men. And when it did, they claimed it with such lock-jawed certainty, it was as if God had pulled them to the sidelines of their big football game, dropped to one knee and outlined their next play with the infallible tip of his dry-erase marker. I never felt called in the traditional sense. In college I joined a debate society out of a vague sense...

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Posted by on Jun 16, 2015 | 1 comment

Compassion Fatigue

Compassion Fatigue

Compassion Fatigue The hospital at night is another planet. Gravity sucks 40% stronger than in my cozy little apartment on earth. When the pager vibrates, I jerk into a bleary but adrenalized wakefulness. I lie blinking at the squared-off ceiling of the on-call room, the same kind we shot pencils into at school. I leverage the weight of my sleepy body and wriggle to reach the pager on the floor. The room is small enough, anyway. I wonder why I have signed up for such a job. When I do call, a nurse tells me that a 42-year-old man has been severely beaten and they cannot find any family for him. Can I come look through the file? I set my alarm for five minutes and drift back into sleep. Eventually I schlep down to the emergency department and into the trauma bay. Usually this room is a chaotic snaggle of colors: techs in green, respiratory therapists in black, phlebotomists in maroon, nurses in baby blue, doctors in their...

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Posted by on May 8, 2015 | 1 comment

Worry Lines

Worry Lines

Sitting in the noon light of the atrium, he locks his eyes on mine and says, “27? You look older.” The chatter of thirty lunching employees quiets to an indistinct drone. “You know that’s not a nice thing to say to a woman.” “Hey,” he shrugs. “I tell people, I gave my arm to live forever. I’m a demi-god!” He bears his teeth in a grimace-smile. I try not to glance at the half-sleeve that billows like a flag from one shoulder, empty. “How’s that working out for you?” I spike at him. “Great. Look at me!” We face off over a lunch table full of groceries and receipts. Hadi (a Persian name he claims is pronounced “hottie”) runs errands for the hospital employees as part of an initiative to improve quality of life for busy medical professionals. I look down at my lap full of dry-cleaning, worry the hangers into a neat stack. “So you think I look old?” “No, you look—I was kidding,” he shuffles his papers....

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