When I decided to go back to grad school, I knew it was going to throw off my schedule. I knew I’d have to shuffle around my routine a bit. I planned to workout 1-2 day a week at work instead of with my swolmates. I knew I’d have to use Sunday’s as study days. I was ready.Read More
A year ago, I booked a trip to France that I planned for months. In the twelfth hour, as I drove up interstate 95 to the airport, a snowstorm in Ireland canceled the entire journey. In the days following, I felt sad and almost wounded to have this trip yanked away from me, especially at the last possible moment. The cancellation underlined the fleetingness of opportunity. I rebounded by booking trips to Canada, Cuba, and Scotland, countries that had never been on my radar before the day I didn’t make it to Paris.
What bothered me most was, still, the intention. I had trains and tours booked and memories and pictures planned. I envisioned myself on the hill overlooking Nice’s beach and eating a croissant by the Arc de Triomphe. Even with new trips, I remain haunted by reminders that anything can vanish even when it’s most guaranteed.
The weekend after my canceled trip, I saw flyers for Richmond’s French Film Festival. A month later, I attended a “Spring in Paris”-themed gala. I took a photo beneath an Eiffel Tower that I’d never see, at least not so soon.Read More
When I told people I was getting my closet professionally organized, people’s reactions can be largely grouped into:
….Do you really need that?
…I’ll come so I can tell you what clothes you need to get rid of
….Is she hiring??
More recently, we were asked to try AfterDrink, heralded as a similar cure and preventive measure for when you have too many mimosas at brunch (or just too many beers at happy hour on a Tuesday—ignore the coworkers repeating, “It’s a Tuesday”). How could we deny several trials of anything that promises to fight off a hangover?
I, Cazey, am notorious for not having hangovers. To date in my mortal life, I have only experienced eight hangovers. Unfortunately for AfterDrink, that eighth hangover occurred the first time I tried AfterDrink. However, do not write AfterDrink off so readily—I have tried it several times since and discovered it works. Possibly I endured a false positive that first time—or just drank enough that no modern science could cure me. (Hint: It’s the latter.)Read More
My grandmother never had spectacular health. Since I was a kid, she hobbled around on either a cane or walker before she graduated eventually to a wheelchair in which, at family dinners, I rolled my cousins around the house while my grandma swatted at us with her picker-upper stick and shouted, “That’s not a toy!” What was even less of a toy was her electric scooter, and it was also much more fun.
In the last couple of years, my grandma became bedridden. I do not think she would have used that word. My grandma was an optimist. “Bedridden” may imply some failing or inevitability. My grandma did not have that outlook.Read More
At a recent happy hour, a coworker told me he had preened down his Facebook feed so that it only included the stuff he wanted to see. This included unfollowing multiple friends, even close ones, because, he complained, their shared life successes did not always align with the life he knew his friends lived.
Similarly, I have friends who share public victories that I know contrast with inward frustrations and insecurities. One friend never fails to remind us when he’s jetting off to a new city for work. He then texts me on his layovers to complain about the toll on his health and relationships. I understand that the public accolades may temporarily boost his spirits, but they also paint a false landscape of bliss for audiences. I always laugh when mutual friends remark to me that “Russ seems to be doing great; he’s always traveling and climbing the career ladder.”
Yes, isn’t he?Read More
This week is an ex’s birthday. Three months ago, we agreed to never speak again. We have made similar oaths in the past and broken them. This time feels slightly more permanent if only because we no longer live in the same city.
For the past seven days, I have brewed over breaking our silence to send a short, courteous “Happy birthday!” After all, while we swore it was over, we also assured ourselves that no one was mad, this was just healthiest. Insert eye roll emoji.
By these rules, I should not send a message on her birthday. Also, according to my pride and dignity, I should not reach out. Fittingly, my pride is one of my biggest prides—and arguably a large contributing factor to the demise of our relationship / friendship / whatever you want to call it, which fuels suspicion that I should.Read More
Dear Person I Didn’t Ghost (But I Sort of Did),
Heyy. I’m using two y’s to come across as more playful and less serious, but obviously I’m less serious if it took me six weeks to respond to your last message where you told me you were lying on your parents’ couch waiting to go to a concert. How was the couch? How was the concert?
It’s been a while. I know I sort of dropped off the face of the earth. (I don’t know why I’m saying “sort of” when I “kind of” did, and again, by “kind of,” I definitely did. But I want to downplay the seriousness of my lack of my communication. It really doesn’t mean anything except... well, we’ll get there.)
Once upon a time, I went through a break-up. Slowly over time people began to slide in minor bits of feedback about what they didn’t like about him in conversations. And then every now and then, it wasn’t minor.
I kept asking why no one would say those things when we were together. I mean, you see red flags that I didn’t, and you just let me keep playing on the train tracks!? What’s the point of having friends if they won’t have your back?Read More
In March, I became a doctor. No, not a medical doctor—but that doesn’t mean I’m less of a doctor. I spent nearly six tortured years in the Ivory Tower, thank you very much.
Becoming a doctor did not immediately feel very different other than when people called me “Doctor” as if a slip of the tongue. When my adviser congratulated me after my defense, he called me “Dr. Williams.”
That’s it? I’m just a doctor now?Read More