There was a lot more to it than it seems.

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Dear You,

So I’ve disappeared from your life unexpectedly and without explanation. We were getting to know each other, then I suddenly changed course and blocked all avenues of communication.

You are probably pretty confused, maybe even a little pissed at me. Possibly you are sad at the loss of the potential for something transcendent, and who knows. Perhaps you don’t even care; maybe I made more of this connection than was really there.

I have felt all of those feelings in spades throughout the years, for you see — I have been ghosted more times than I care to…


Single and quarantined? Try this 15-minute exercise in self-awareness.

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Hey, fellow single people — how are you all doing out there during this pandemic? For myself, it can be particularly lonely not to be able to cuddle up over Netflix and take-out with someone I love.

That said, I have stayed quite busy running my business and staying connected to others as best I can. I have utilized any free time wisely for self-care — lots of walking, a new skincare routine, and genuinely meditating on what I want my post-COVID social life to resemble. There’s very little time to mope.

While it might seem like today’s circumstances are…


It may have been a typo, but it’s also a truth

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This past week, I was helping my sophomore figure out a Language Arts assignment. Every student in the class had to determine a theme for the assigned novel. The teacher compiled these theme statements and asked the students to find a related event for each topic.

So this list had some of your standard literary themes like “seeking revenge leads to more problems” and “having hope helps one grow.” My engineering-minded son rolled his eyes a little — this is not his cup of tea, academically.

At the very bottom of the list, I read:

“In every situation you can…


Why maintaining a gratitude practice is more important now than ever

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When bad news hits, it can be nearly impossible to remain optimistic. Today was one of those days in my world.

In my little part of the world, just outside of Louisville, Kentucky, news of the COVID-19 pandemic escalated to a much greater extent today. There was a confirmed case of coronavirus in downtown Louisville announced this morning, and then the information started pouring in, one bit of bad news at a time.

The first sign of unrest was that my children’s band concert canceled tonight, and I was sure the same situation was going to happen with my son’s…


Is it true love — or just psychological conditioning?

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How often has someone in our life fallen off the map — only to return with a bang? Until the next time, that is.

Breadcrumbing” is when a guy or girl gives someone just enough attention to keep their hope of a relationship alive. You probably know how that looks.

Sporadic texts and inconsistent dating patterns commence even though you have great chemistry. You can tell interest is mutual, but something is missing — reliability. Communication goes in and out like a lousy satellite signal.

This dynamic can also set up an abusive cycle of “love bombing” and stonewalling when…


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How an eccentric friend taught me the true meaning of devotion

Back when my business was in its infancy, I met Hugh at my booth at the farmers market. He was a large, jovial man with a mischievous glint in his eye.

Some may have called it a devilish glint, but if you knew him, you knew he was a big marshmallow inside. He had recently retired and his new wife offered his services to me at the bakery, as she wanted him to get out of the house a bit.

My hours at the time were insane. I worked Monday through Saturday and usually shopped for supplies on Sundays.

I…


My first customer’s indelible mark on my life

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I still think about Russell every day.

I suppose every store owner has his or her favorite regulars, the ones who leave a lasting impression on your heart.

It’s why the business is so addictive — that inimitable human connection that drives the retail store owner (particularly in foodservice) to work insane hours for often meager pay.

The first time Russell walked into my bakery, I was a little taken aback. It was 2011 and we had just opened up shop in our small town. …


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Short answer — I don’t. But I do try. Here are 10 ways how.

“You’re so happy all the time.”

“Every time I see you, you’re smiling.”

“You have such a positive perspective!”

These are all the compliments I’ve received in recent years. Regardless of whether or not they are true statements, this is how I’m perceived by many, and that does indeed make me smile.

I think an outwardly positive impression is a testimony to a lot of hard internal work I’ve done in rewiring my brain to look for the silver linings. …


Are you actively problem-solving or just spewing negativity?

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I used to love to vent. It felt really good to let all of my angst and irritation fly forth from my mouth, a virtual rumspringa of the throat chakra. I wasn’t particularly respectful in terms of when I chose to vent, who I vented to or what I vented about, and in doing so probably caused a lot of my own problems.

Eventually, I learned to cut back on the excess venting, or at the very least rework it into ‘respectful out-loud processing’. Learning this communication skill was wasn’t the easiest thing for me. I’m feisty by nature, I…


Never underestimate the power of genuine appreciation

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Ever since my world imploded four years ago, I have thought often of the concept of appreciation.

It’s easy to tell someone you love them because love is an emotion that has many applications. You love your kids, you love your parents, you love your friends, you love your spouse (at least I hope you do).

Sometimes you might even say “I love you” when you don’t like that person very much, just to keep the connection intact until that wave of irritation passes.

Appreciation is quite different. Taken from the Latin root -appretiare, “to estimate the quality of,” appreciation…

Andrea Essenpreis

Insatiably curious about life. Reluctant entrepreneur, accidental politician, irrepressible optimist. Writing about how learning to own all those roles & more.

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