Archive | Personal Essays

I’m changing my name

The day Matt told me he was done with our marriage, I took myself out of the house. I bought a dress from a thrift store and sat alone in a booth at a pizza restaurant, eating my favorite toppings and feeling numb about the uncertainty that lay ahead.

Sitting in my car, unsure what to do next, words by Mary Oliver that I’d read ages ago came to me: “I was a bride married to amazement… I was a bride married to amazement… I was a bride married to amazement…” Hungry for more, I googled the line to find the entire poem: (more…)

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Come stand on the blank page with me

I am not ashamed of getting divorced. Divorce has been a winnowing experience for me.

First, I cleared physical clutter from my life, giving up things that I did not need in order to stay close to my girls. I budgeted carefully, gave up my car and simplified my spending habits so that I could stay home.

Then I cleared out emotional clutter, letting go of relationships with people who did not believe in me. I was told to get a real job or to stop homeschooling or to parent differently. I was told that everything bad that was happening to me was my fault.

But there were other people, people who stood by me, and I couldn’t have made it through this year without their support. (more…)

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Winnowing

The dishwasher was the first thing to break. I told myself that I’d rip it out of the wall, use the nook for muddy boots and yard supplies. The truth was I couldn’t afford to replace it or fix it.

I saw an ad on craigslist where a handyman would exchange household work for women’s panties, preferably unwashed ones. How desperate would someone be to make that choice? I never want to be in that position. I realize I need to make more money, find a reliable handyman. Money is freedom. (more…)

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I don’t know why.

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I don’t know why.

At night, after my girls drift off to sleep, I slide out from between their two warm bodies, slip out of my bedroom, and find a bit of space to sort through my thoughts about Matt leaving. I’ve been numb for months. But now that I’m starting to get a handle on my single-mom life, the parts of myself I’d shut off to survive are waking up, full of pain. And I’m tired. Of everything. (more…)

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On the Threshold of Fear

threshold fear

I never thought that I would be accepted as a vendor for Renegade Craft Fair in Seattle this winter. Renegade is huge. Their Instagram account alone has 139,000 followers. I had to put up my entire booth fee with my application, and all autumn I was making plans for what I would do with the money when they rejected me and I got my refund. (more…)

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Discover the Wild Animal Inside of Your Loved Ones

animal personality portrait bear sable

Inside of each of us there lives a wild spirit.

It’s easy to overlook this intangible part of our being, but it creeps up into our awareness, through our nicknames, our slang, our childlike imaginations. We often use animals to help us describe the otherwise indescribable aspects of ourselves.

What is the difference between a hug and a bear hug? What do we mean when we say one person is sheepish and another is foxy?

Animals make terrific analogies for the different parts of the human spirit or the different personalities that people exhibit. Animals are fun. They are whimsical. And the anthropomorphism of our favorite critters is something that has been around ever since children sat around a fire listening to the first fables and stories known to man.

We tend to compartmentalize our concept of The Physical apart from our concept of The Metaphysical. But what if the two were intertwined all along? What if the skin on our faces reflected the face of our souls? What would that look like?

Maybe it looks something like this. (more…)

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