Over the past month I applied to, was considered, and then rejected from two of my dream jobs. Initially, I didn’t expect to hear back. When I did, I became obsessed with the idea of potentially landing the jobs. And when the rejections finally came, I felt gutted each time.
I lost my sense of self when two external sources told me I wasn’t the right candidate for them. Everything I had done with my life up to that point disappeared in a matter of seconds. All of my past pursuits vanished. …
I turned twenty-five this October. They say it’s the age when you finish developing your prefrontal cortex. You know — that part of your brain that has a massive impact on your thoughts and behavior. People also like to say that you’ve made it through the first quarter of your life when you turn my age.
It’s hard for me to think of life in the hundred-year scope. In my late teens, I used to tell my friends that I envisioned death coming early for me. “Possibly as early as twenty-seven,” I said.
I was a teenage martyr.
But the idea of dying early — at least back then — didn’t cause me great distress. “If I die at twenty-seven,” I thought at seventeen, “that means I only have ten more years of suffering.” …
So you want to tell your story but you’re worried about structure, grammar, and fancy prose.
Every time you sit to write about your childhood or your most recent failed relationship, you can’t help but think about the technical aspect first. You are convinced that nobody will care what you have to say if you don’t know how best to say it. Why would anyone take you seriously if there are typos in your story?
Your fear is valid but not unique. All writers suffer from it. …
Before I decided to talk openly about shame, I lived in fear of people finding out the things I was ashamed of. I was afraid because in my mind, if they found out, they would no longer want me in their lives. I projected how I felt about my shame onto others so I could have a reason to stay silent.
It took me years to feel confident enough to talk about it.
They were years filled with lies, heartbreak, and many other forms of self-betrayal. All through those years I was in hiding because at some point in my childhood I internalized that the way I wanted to live my life was wrong. …
I grew up thinking that I needed a reason to justify my behavior. If I felt an emotion, I was taught to justify why I was feeling it before it was OK for me to feel it.
Later in life I learned to do the same for my truths.
One of my truths is that from the age of thirteen I performed sexual acts for older men on Skype.
At seventeen, that became prostitution with older men in the real world.
When I tell people this the first question they want answered is: Why?
“Does this mean you’re gay?” is the most common ask, as if being gay somehow justifies the pain I caused for both myself and for others. …
It’s been over two years since I last went home. I haven’t seen my dad, my stepmom, my cat, or my friends in just as long.
My last visit was with my ex-girlfriend. Our relaxing getaway vacation turned into a heavy hospital drama when we found out the night before our flight that my sister had been in a bad car accident.
We were there for ten days. In those ten days, I had a non-hospital related conversation with my dad exactly once. The rest of the time he bounced from hospital to government offices to airports to hotels.
My dad is the kind of person that springs into action when things fall apart. And things were falling apart for my sister and her boyfriend. …
Last week I moved from one apartment to another. It was a decision I’d been putting off for years out of fear. Leaving was a decision I had failed to make in other areas of my life before, like all the times I stayed in relationships or jobs I knew were bad for my mental health or had non-consensual sex with people I was afraid of.
Leaving has never been easy for me because I am much better at convincing myself of all the reasons I shouldn’t than I am at accepting the reasons why I eventually will anyway.
You probably know what that looks like. …
I started seeing Diego after I cheated on my ex-girlfriend. I was writing my memoir at the time, about another girlfriend I had cheated on. Diego and those blank pages I filled were the only place I felt I could tell the truth.
In our first session together, I told Diego I wanted one of two things to happen, both of which I saw achieving the same goal.
“I need to break up with MC or tell her the truth. I don’t want to be talking about this same issue three months from now.”
With his help, I built up the courage to come clean. I told MC that I had done the thing she feared most. By some miracle, she forgave me and together we decided to put in the work to overcome infidelity. …
June 17th, 2020:
It’s been calling my name again.
Not my addiction, but the destructive force of chaos that is behind it. The voice in my head that senses all the hard work I have ahead of me and tries to convince me to bypass it.
I grieved the loss brought on by the pandemic. I mourned the death of George Floyd. I watched and continue to watch people attack each other on the internet over what they think is right and wrong.
I hear Joe Rogan talk about how backwards everything is.
I consume all of this information and pain with the belief that I’m strong enough to digest it — that I should be strong enough to digest it because otherwise I am privileged, ignorant, weak, or lazy. …
In the last decade, marijuana use has become more widely accepted around the globe. States have started to legalize or at the very least decriminalize it.
And I’m all for that.
But here’s the thing: I don’t take that as an invitation to welcome marijuana into my life with open arms.
I’ve tried that and it didn’t work for me.
Granted, it isn’t that marijuana is inherently flawed. Marijuana was just my drug of choice. …