Coming Home

At first, there were so many firsts. All of these places that I had yet to revisit on my own, since the more memorable times there in my youth with my grandparents. So much time traveling to experience. But my firsts always brought memories of my lasts as well. Eating at this diner, I remembered the good times there, like celebrating birthdays and the new year after the Rose Parade. But I also remembered the hard times there, like going there for the first time after my grandpa died, then going with my great aunt for the first time after my grandma died, and eventually going there alone.

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Building the Foundation for a F*** Off Fund

I needed to channel this breakup rage into something more concrete. So, I methodically went through my emails and credit card bills, making a spreadsheet of all the money I had spent on him or us during the year of his deceit. It came out to a good sum of money, so I printed a bill and sent it, firmly giving a “due by” date and a gentle reminder that my best friend works with collections agents.

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Dinner for One

Ellen C. Caldwell explores what it means to care for yourself, nourish yourself, love yourself, and cook for yourself in the very same way you might offer love to others.

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The Art of Remembering

It wasn’t that I had to fight to bury or remember Rocky, but I understood more and more the desire and guttural need to do so—why someone like Antigone might go to such extremes to claim her brother’s body to say goodbye to him properly and on her own terms. I don’t know what happens to a soul, to our souls, or to our pets’ souls when they leave us, but there is an innate part of us that needs to both remember and to open a space to process that loss continually and continuously.

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The Writer’s Ledge

My very favorite procrastination tool is something random, self-serving, silly, and slightly secret: selfies. Yep, selfies. Specifically, PhotoBooth selfies on my desktop. For the past four years, I have been taking selfies when I am at the writer’s ledge. Sometimes I send them to friends I’m chatting with, sometimes they are just for me, but somehow they always help. There is something I love about capturing my mood at these strange tumultuous times. Sometimes I am playful, other times I am distraught, and other times, I am quite simply looking rough.

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But the thing is that whenever we come back home, we are a changed person, right? Every day when we leave our house and return from work, we are different in some way. Biologically even depending on what we ate, how or if we exercised, and mentally and psychically of course, depending on the day and the moments we have conquered, cherished, or endured. But when you are leaving your country, comfort zone, and routines for a month, you know the change will feel and actually be bigger – and more dramatic. So for me, the last two days turned into an exercise of looking, noticing, and feeling. The following are three observations I made on the road to Batuan…

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Life Lessons in Love Letters

Now, when I am thankful for someone or anyone in my life, there is no hesitation. Passionately, immediately, humorously, and unabashedly, I tell people – And this is how I learned to write love letters.

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Crying for Obama

Why are we crying today then? We are crying because many of us feared we would never see this day in our lives. We are crying because grandmas who were born into segregation and fought for the right to vote not just as women, but also as black Americans voted for our next president. We are crying because the American populous is saying that our way of doing things these past eight years is no longer okay. Today, we are crying tears of joy for the future and tears of remembrance for the past because we now realize we can loosen the grip on our stomachs, the clenching of our fists, and furrowing of our brows. And as we let go little by little, we can breathe a little easier and we can walk a little lighter–with the knowing smile of wizards shared amongst neighbors, family, and strangers. I am not naive in thinking that Obama can fix everything at hand. No one could. But today is a day to celebrate. We are in an amazing moment in time. Right now. And tears are the only way for me to sum this up joy and wonder.

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