Not so long ago, talking about pregnancy was considered indelicate. Acknowledging a woman was pregnant meant acknowledging women have sex and, well… heaven forbid. We talk a little more openly about sex and pregnancy now, but we still rarely talk about something that can often happen next—pregnancy loss. We’ve never been comfortable with women and death, women and blood, women and something outside of living childbirth.
I think the thing that surprised me the most about my own miscarriage is perhaps the thing that should have been the most obvious about it. It was a work of loneliness. …
Sending a cold email — especially to someone you admire — is a modern leap of faith. You want to strike the right tone: complimentary, brief, earnest. You delete an exclamation point and re-add it two seconds later. No one wants to sound unhinged, but you don’t want to come across as Serious, either.
The beauty of fan mail, or any letter we expect to go unanswered, is that it gives form and intention to our thoughts. It’s an exercise in being direct, even if the person you’re directing your energy toward never sees it. …
“Sit with your feelings” is the lukewarm, nebulous buzz phrase we’ve all been hearing a lot lately. We hear it from our therapists, we hear it from mental health columnists, we hear it from yoga influencers showing off their smoothie bowls. Last week, I’m pretty sure I heard the Amazon delivery guy say it. The expression is decidedly mainstream, yet it remains a pretty vague instruction. Given the deluge of feelings we’re all currently drowning in, it seemed like the right time to offer some clarification on what this seemingly simple bit of advice actually means.
Let’s start with what it’s…
What’s the worst smell you can think of? Skunk? Brussels sprouts? Sour milk?
For me, it was a mixture of Coca-Cola, coffee, Gatorade, and rotting bones. The smell was so pungent it clung to my hair and clothes for hours after the air had cleared. I was a student teacher in a regional high school in Vermont, and I had asked my students to do an experiment on bone density. They each chose a liquid to soak a chicken bone in for a week.
I knew the acidic liquids would leach the calcium out of the bones and make them rubbery. What I did not anticipate were the angry, horrific smells that would fester in the sealed containers in the back of the room as I cheerfully drew diagrams of calcium molecules on the board up front. …
Given the political, social, and economic climate right now, tension and conflict are apt to surface more than ever.
People under stress are more likely to display a “bad day” version of themselves. Emotions close to the surface are easily triggered. When someone is stressed, angry, or irritated, they are less rational and empathetic — making the ability to resolve differences even more important.
Everybody wants to be a witch. Well, every woman.
Oh come on, you with the 75 bottles of essential oil in your kitchen drawers. Don’t even try to argue with me.
This is how I know, if you were curious. The essential oil phenomenon is a dead giveaway. Those MLM companies packaged it brilliantly — just a few drops of “natural healing,” a teaspoon of “aromatherapy,” and a dash of “energetic properties,” and voila, you’ve awakened a deep, primal instinct in women.
This is what we do. This is who we are.
It doesn’t matter what ethnicity you are — once upon a time ago, we all lived in tribal cultures, living off the land. We relied on the plant world for food and medicine. …
what they don’t tell you
about getting your PhD
is that your childhood memories
of growing up
on the Westside of Detroit
and sitting inside of
with more students than desks
will be etched across
of your mandated
they don’t tell you
that your carefree moments
of sharing textbooks
with your classmates
and bike riding
pothole-ridden side streets
past boarded up homes
with caved-in roofs
tall dense grass
will be placed inside of a frame
hang it on a wall
and gaze at it
and their faces will frown
I was falling in love the morning my grandma died. It was December 2017, and I was snuggled in bed with a woman I’d met just a few months before. We giggled and kissed under the comforter as we greeted the chilly Southern California morning together. When we finally broke apart to check our phones, I saw a Facebook message from a cousin simply announcing, “Grandma is gone.”
A week later, I sat in my aunt’s living room in Louisiana, surrounded by parents, cousins, uncles, aunts, and other kin. Fully hoping to escape the moment, I checked Facebook and saw post after post extolling the virtues of Black women. …
Deep into state-mandated quarantine, two of my dearest friends come to my house to drink wine and eat take-out on my roof. Maybe it’s the shared experience of pent-up-ness, six months into being told friends are off limits; maybe it’s cosmic alignment. But we’re having similar existential crises around our bisexual identities, and community care feels like — well — communing.
Late into the night, we get to know each other deeply — our histories, our fears, our dreamscapes, where they overlap and intertwine, where they fork only to come back together — while decontextualized fireworks pop overhead. …