I turned thirty this week. Friends and family have been teasing me about getting older, sprouting gray hairs, and how “it’s all down hill from here.” But I have been rather looking forward to it. The twenties is such a fluctuating period – beginning under the shelter and idealism of college and your parents’ roof, then striking out on your own with weighty responsibilities and commitments, while trying to figure out your life purpose and goals. For me this transition looked like getting married, my first full-time job, moving cross country from the only place I’d ever lived, and back again. It was also a period where I had to deal with the fact that my life would look nothing like I desired – I had hoped to have a couple kids by the time I was thirty because the internet and everyone says I’m running out of time – and figure out what it would look like instead. All year I have been eagerly anticipating the start of a new decade, when I will finally be an adult. People will finally stop treating twenty-nine-year old me like the child I was at twenty. Life will finally be stable as I am settled in my identity, marriage, and life. I could’t wait to transition from the volatile, find-yourself phase of a twenty-something to the finally-an-adult decade. I was ready to be finished growing up. Continue reading →
I’ve felt like an awkward person all my life. Following a conversation with someone, my usual train of thought is something like this: “Did they notice me stumble over my words? Why was I doing that with my hands? Do they think my nose ring looks like a booger? Why couldn’t I think of something to say in that awkward silence? Why is my hair doing that weird thing?” And so much more. Someone recently told me that I don’t seem awkward to them. I confessed that it is still there, I’ve just learned to cover it better. On the inside, I know I still don’t measure up to what I want to be or how I feel I should be.
I thought I had already figured life out when I was a child. I was an obedient daughter, a good student, and faithful church-goer. By all outward appearances and standards of society, I was good enough. I thought I had it all together.
I grew a little older and began to understand I wasn’t actually as good as I thought. That was ok, though, because compared to others, I still looked pretty good. Maybe I made mistakes here and there, but I definitely ranked at the top of the class, and people still seemed to like me.Continue reading →
This is part of my series on stories. You can read an introduction here.
If you would like to read today’s short story, you can find the full text here.*
“Revelation” by Flannery O’Connor introduces us to the prim and proper Mrs. Turpin, the epitome of a Southern lady. Mrs. Turpin is extremely pleased with who she is and enjoys comparing herself to others. “Sometimes [she] occupied herself at night naming the classes of people.” She quantified and ranked their value: non-white people on the bottom along with “white-trash;” above them, the various levels of white people, like herself, ranked by increasing wealth and status.
We meet Mrs. Turpin doing this in a doctor’s waiting room. She is surrounded by people from various walks of life and sorts through them, determining that the dirty “white-trash” people and ugly girl that glowers at her the whole time are undeserving of her attention. She deigns only to talk to a pleasant, “stylish lady” she determines is of her own worth. As these ladies talk, expressing their smug contempt for the lower classes, Mrs. Turpin gets swept up in how glad she is that she is not one of those lowly people. Right as she exclaims how grateful she is that Jesus gave her “a little of everything and a good disposition besides,” she’s suddenly hit in the face with a large textbook by the ugly teenager. The girl, named Mary Grace, then jumps across the room, throttles Mrs. Turpin and tells her, “Go back to hell where you came from, you old wart hog.”Continue reading →
I set a goal for myself to post an article weekly on this blog. As I prepared for this week, it looked like I would have nothing written. I was having trouble landing on a topic, and the harder I tried to force something out the more displeased I was with my work.
As the days passed my anxiety grew and the harder it became to process my thoughts. I told myself there was no excuse for having nothing finished. I had to write something and it had to be brilliant and profound; otherwise, what’s the point?
I put so much pressure on myself because I am desperate to be defined as Writer. I’ve dabbled in writing for a long time, and now I finally have something to say and people to read. What a failure I am to be a writer that cannot write.Continue reading →
Ben and I have been married for a little over six years now, and we often get the question “When will you have kids?” We actually decided just a few years into our marriage we were ready to have children. It was exciting, and we were optimistic about our future brood. But as the months passed and nothing happened, my hope began to wane. Though it wasn’t our initial plan, we had always wanted to adopt; if kids weren’t happening naturally, we figured we might as well start the adoption process – another hope met with disappointment as we encountered various frustrations and delays.
As we pursued parenthood, the months turned to years. The repetitive tide of disappointment assailing my heart month after month slowly wore away the hope, leaving me with a rotten mess of vicious anger and soul-gripping depression. Continue reading →