NOTE: All work titles are hyperlinked to their original postings, unless otherwise specified.
I worked so hard that, in the end, the degree I had taken so long to acquire didn’t feel like much of an achievement at all. The only thing I was leaving college with was a large sheet of cardstock paper with my name on it (that would be mailed to me at a later date) and tens of thousands of dollars in student-loan debt.
If my mom wasn’t proud of me, then what did I do this for?
I hand Mr. Booth a folded, nearly blank sheet of paper. “Do you think it’s too inappropriate to submit to Epiphany?” I ask. As the only creative writing teacher, he also serves as editor-in-chief of the school’s literary magazine and has the final say for what can be published. Truthfully, I already know the answer.
This is the fourth time that I can remember ever sitting in a dentist chair. Growing up, we never had insurance. It was just assumed we would never go to the dentist — or the doctor. I never took doctor’s notes to school to excuse my absences. I learned to take NyQuil when I was sick, to sleep through the discomfort.
In “Secrets of a Yogi: Losing & Keeping 40 Pounds Off,” I say that I didn’t lose a single pound without first learning to love myself. This is true to a large extent. […] But I’ve gained 20 pounds since the start of quarantine. […] It’s easy to look at your body with love if you feel like you’re on a path toward a particular beauty standard, but how are you supposed to love yourself if you’re moving away from it?
I was the white moderate. I was sitting back and reaping the benefits of white privilege while my friends and their loved ones struggled to keep their rights.
Today is March 24, 2020: My one-year anniversary of being sober. It’s nine o’clock at night and I’m just now realizing I never thought I would make it this far.
Before I became the marketing director of this day habilitation center, my experience with severe disabilities was limited.
“I’ve always loved you, Jessica,” I type in the messaging app of my friend’s iPod Touch. “I won’t let anyone get in the way of our love.” Although Jessica and I did make out once, I’m not in love with her. I’m writing to her under the clever alias “Jason Smith” because my friend, Ceci, and I are bored. The year is 2010, and we’re 19-year-old community college dropouts with only one hobby: baking. And I don’t mean making cookies. When Ceci asked me, “Do you wanna pull a prank on Jessica?” I was eager for a new activity. Plus, Jessica’s an esteemed partier, prone to good vibes and nearly nightly blackouts. If anyone can take a joke, it’s her.
Dallas Yoga Magazine
I’m no one in the fitness community. I do not have a personal training certification, a nutritionist license or an Instagram page with 10,000+ followers. I just started yoga teacher training, but I still can’t do crow pose, even though I’ve been working on it for over a year. I rock climb, but I’m terrified of heights, so my progress has been even slower there. But here’s why I’m writing this: I lost 40 pounds in two years, and I’ve kept the weight off for over a year now. This is my fitness journey.
Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, October 2020
Awarded “Runner Up”
An affair I had at seventeen with an older man led to my wavering faith in the Christian god.
Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, July 2014
Awarded “Runner Up”
When my grandfather, my “papa,” asked me to write his memoir for him, I didn’t know then that learning about the way he raised his children would help me forgive and reconnect with my estranged mother.
“Like Riding a Bike”
Season 3, “Ducks in a Row,” April 2014
Works to Look Out for
I suspect you’ll have a lot more to read soon! Be on the lookout for personal essays about these things:
- Meeting my dad for the first time when I was 22
- A conversation (or two) with my mom that helped me understand her better
- Coming out as pansexual
- Taking a Tinder date to explore an abandoned mansion
- Getting stuck on a cruise during Hurricane Harvey