Hey there. What a year this week has been, huh? Right?

I know you might not understand why we’re scared, not completely anyway. I have a hard time putting it all into words and having arguments about it because I feel like there’s a anvil on my chest, because I have the same dream every night and then I wake up and have it again and my throat feels thick and I’m still so angry and tired of being told that I shouldn’t be angry or tired or scared or that I should wait and see.

But, here it is…

Coming out, being out and doing it again and again.

Years ago, I tried to write an essay about why coming out is pretty much a never-ending process and it was really fucking hard to write[1]. I’ve found myself re-sharing it a few times since: During pride, on bisexual visibility day and, again, today on National Coming Out Day — each time, hitting send with a deep breath. Doing it all over again.

Much like the process of coming out, writing about the process of coming out involves not just getting your thoughts and feelings out there but also dealing with the ways your family and friends and peripheral connections…

Okay. So I want to tell you about my grandma who died and I don’t want to make it seem like you have to read or listen or feel bad about it. My little sister always says “It’s Okay! You didn’t kill her” when people offer those strange apologies and there’s always that lonely beat before they decide whether they can laugh at that or not.

Losing someone hurts and so does constantly wanting to tell stories and talk about them (not nearly as badly as you want to talk to them, as I’ve found out) and constantly worrying that…

— a happy pause at the bottom.

The first book I picked up during this trip was my well-loved copy of Albert Camus’ “Myth of Sisyphus.” We were hauled up in a motel and I’d just brought myself down from a particularly not-fun panic attack, fiddling through the the torn edge of page 112 between thoughts about the great amorphous future that made me want to curl up in a hole somewhere and never resurface. …

SoCal made my heart go pitter-pat because it’s like “Rocket Power” but with more pups and burritos. 10/10 would recommend.

Even though you’ll never actually be the version of you that juices more and scowls less.

My first Friday of fun-employment was unsurprisingly a real bummer. Loafing around in a ratty pair of my dad’s sweatpants, I spent hours fielding emails and messages that were far too kind and/or optimistic for me to digest at the time. The yorkie was thrilled to have my company and undivided attention and let me know it by obsessively licking my hand whenever I tried to touch my keyboard and aggressively sneezing at me if I walked anywhere he couldn’t follow. My younger sister (still on break from her first year at college) drove me to a bad American-Mexican food…

— And getting your Aux cord privileges revoked for life.

I’m a shit road trip DJ and I know it. Some people are gifted at dropping tracks that’ll make the suspension shake from the pure joy they’ve unleashed, and others (read: me) aren’t.

Like, look: Some friends can have their iPod on shuffle for an entire trip and score those validating nods and cheers of approval for every song they play[1]. And some friends have to cough uncomfortably and climb over the center console to silence the final number from “La traviata” that popped up after a ripped Youtube recitation of a slam poem[2] comes to its merciful end.


can you blame me? look at all that sky.

— So now I’m playing catch-up.

In my mind, driving cross country with occasional bouts of socializing left a lot of time for writing. I thought I could pull off some regular words-making considering the schedule I’d been used to before getting laid off and the sheer amount of stuff I’d be seeing, doing, experiencing.

But, realistically, I spent a lot more of that time watching mid-2000s romantic comedies, eating from the same tub of stale pretzels and making desperate attempts to Facetime with my dogs; otherwise the hours, days, weeks were spent talking to new people, driving long hours and wrestling with the guilt of…

not us, no.

Yeah, Bummer: #Patriarchy can mess with your travel plans too.

I’m standing in the doorway of our hotel room and I’m half-wishing we’d landed before the sun went down as Maya runs the eight to ten feet to our car to grab the extra gallon of water we packed.

She has the car keys in one hand in that all-too-familiar position, the one you just know if you’re a woman.

I’m keeping one eye on her, but I’m still wondering if our travel thermos is heavy enough to work as a weapon or what else might be within reach. I don’t like that I jump as a couple walks by…

— Finally adjusting to road trip time.

We woke up in Knoxville two days ago and didn’t realize we’d gone back in time. It was only an hour and mostly due to the human error of not fixing our car’s clock as we crossed time zones — but, still, it meant that we got to relive the hour between 12:30 and 1:30p.m.

Both 12:30 to 1:30s were spent in stand-still traffic on some icy Tennessee roads, with our fingers locked cold around the steering wheel (and several bluegrass playlists full of songs about country roads to calm our nerves).

“Half of the time we’re gone but we don’t know where, and we don’t know where.” — “The Only Living Boy in New York,” Simon and Garfunkel

Story goes that Andy Edison put a gun in his mouth early one April morning in ’78, just shy of my father’s fourteenth birthday.

Dad wrote that he remembered Edison for his heavy gin breath, unfocused eyes and penchant for leaving the TV on 24/7. He had a house overrun by plants, an unexploded shell left over from his days fighting in World War I and wife who was dead. …

Katherine Speller

Writer, journalist & puppy whisperer with bylines at MTV News, Bustle, Women’s Health, Daily Dot, PRI, WNYC and more. | News Editor at Her Campus | @kathriller

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