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Photo by Christian Jerez via Pixabay (CC0)

I was six years old when my parents gave me a radio, kicking off a period of locking myself in my room with Colors 94.7 and a pile of suspiciously naked Barbies. For the first time I grasped that there was a world outside of our small family unit, populated with strange characters like Monica, Erica, Rita, Tina, Sandra, Mary, Jessica and that guy from Sugar Ray. …


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Photo by RitaE via Pixabay (CC0)

In 2016, Two Door Cinema Club released a new album. This was exciting to me because, even though I was living in LA and had compiled an impressive playlist of fashionable Connan Mockasin knock-off music, I fondly remembered the time I spent in community college drowning in Dr. Pepper, anxiety-addled guitar music and the illusion that my dreams of being a successful bead sculptor/entrepreneur really would come true. It had been four years since their last album, “Beacon,” and three years since their strange “Changing of the Seasons” EP, which included one song with lyrics that I mistakenly heard as “you were a fart in the night.” …


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Photo via Pxhere (CC0)

My favorite music blog, Stereogum, has an album anniversary column, where they write elaborate retrospectives about albums that have turned ten, twenty, and twenty-five years old. Some of the albums, such as Biggie’s “Ready to Die,” were instant classics upon their release. Others, such as the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds,” were influential and important in ways that can only be understood in retrospect. Reading these articles is pleasurable, not just because they increase my knowledge of music and cultural history, but because they combine the excitement of suspense with the comfort of sure triumph.

I have been reading the column a lot lately; God knows I have the time. Ever since I graduated from college and took a part-time retail position to help me focus on launching a freelance writing career, time has stretched around me like an ocean, with many opportunities — and anxieties — lurking just beneath the surface. …


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Photo by rihaij via Pixabay (CC0)

Much has been said about the importance of socializing children, and rightfully so. Learning how to effectively and safely interact with other humans is one of the most foundational and necessary skills for human happiness and survival. To this end, many parents try to have at least two children, with some insisting on participation in team sports or other social activities. But another important aspect of socialization is letting children learn how to be alone, something that we don’t talk about as much. …


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Photo by ifinnsson via pixabay

Look, I’m not getting rid of my books either. “Fahrenheit 451” was written in the basement of the same library that I worked at as a student assistant for two years, straightening books and listening to preprogrammed chillwave playlists. What if I decide to reread one of them? What if I let a friend borrow one, or choose to give one away as a gift? How else will I signal to new lovers my unique blend of thoughtful, creative intellectualism? What about that one book that meant a lot to me at one point in my life, that I will never read again, but whose spine reminds me of an older version of myself? …


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Photo by israelbest via pixabay (CC0)

At what point does it become destructive to stick around, waiting for something good to happen, knowing that most of the time it won’t? Is it when the good diminishes to near nonexistence, or when the bad intensifies enough to make the good irrelevant? What if there is no bad, necessarily, just a general pattern of disappointment and diminished hopes, punctuated ever so rarely by brilliantly realized potential?

Every morning I sit in front of an empty notebook, a cup of coffee dutifully sitting next to my immobile right hand. The coffee in question, like the cliched image I just affronted you with, is lukewarm, tepid, room temperature, and not daring enough to be nasty. Yet here I sit, sipping from a cup of disinterested bean juice, foolishly hoping that the next swallow will bring with it the inspiration and clarity that the previous ones lacked. …

Crissonna Tennison

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