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There are some things that cannot be explained. Like a heart stopping only to revive itself moments later. Like certain individuals never catching a break. Like why two people who may not be right for each other in the slightest fall in love.

It’s the guessing — trying to fill in these gaps and figure out the unknown — that makes life so interesting. It’s coming up with stories to explain the unexplainable that excites the soul.

I’ve always considered myself a curious person. Growing up, I would ask a lot of questions to a lot of people (even strangers). I guess that’s part of my creative nature — I wondered about things and wanted answers even if there were none. …

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From a young age, I knew what it meant to be a “worrywart.” In fact, I was quite literally the definition of one.

It started right around the time my great grandma died. I barely remember her, but my mom says she was kind, and her husband — my great grandpa Ernest — worked as a sous-chef at a famous restaurant in NYC called The 21 Club. He used to make these elaborate dishes during family holidays. Even his side dishes—coleslaw, potato salad, chopped liver—were said to be the stars of the whole meal. (I tried to follow his renowned coleslaw recipe for a project in high school Foods class, and apparently I didn’t do it justice. At all.)

After Great Grandma Hetty died, I started worrying about my own life. Whether my heart could take anymore beating — thought maybe I wouldn’t make it through the night. I would lie there with my hand pressed hard against my chest, sucking in my breath as I felt for the gentle nudging against the fabric of my t-shirt. Once I felt it, I would sigh—relieved. Then I’d fall asleep on my side with my hand resting there like I was stuck saying the Pledge of Allegiance ’til morning. …


Sam Brodsky

Recent college grad. Forever writer. Previously at Good Housekeeping.

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