No Man Is An Island: An Ode to Our Neediness

The last few years of my life—so basically my Full Grown Adult Years—have been a reinforced lesson in this one simple yet slightly-jarring fact: we need each other. I mean, need-NEED each other.

“No man is an island,” says Thomas Merton, and my bae C.S. Lewis backs this up further by writing, “We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually; we need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves.”

We’re meant to be needy, but why is it so hard to acknowledge and accept this?

Unwritten: Overcoming Fear and Doubt

You know that feeling when you first discover something and that something new-to-you suddenly appears everywhere? It happens to me a lot with words, the once unfamiliar expressions jumping from each subsequent page I read or floating through the air, only to rap on my eardrums. 

Lately, I’ve felt that way about writing.

Say What You Need

Now maybe it wasn’t your family or your upbringing that made you neglect voicing your needs. Maybe it was a toxic relationship or a difficult work environment. Maybe it was someone who told you that your needs were selfish or that the desires of your heart didn’t matter.

Whatever it was, I urge you to identify those people or experiences or situations and start using that knowledge to change.

New Things, Better Things (A Reprise): Words for When You're Stuck in the Past

But while I’ve tried to convince myself that I am looking forward, staring straight at the wide open interstate ahead, I spent so many months still sneaking peeks into the rearview mirror every few seconds, not quite accepting that the road behind me is, in fact, behind me.

But this story isn’t the whole of my story, only a minor plotline amongst the greater. Even so, ignoring it won’t erase it like the stroke of the delete key. It may be a minor plotline, but it is a plotline woven tight around the greater story of my life for several years now.

I can’t ignore it.

A Beginner's Guide to the Enneagram

Maybe you, like me, have become curious about the Enneagram because it is popping up everywhere in conversations and on your social media timeline. Maybe you know everything there is to know and have become quite fluent in Ennea-lingo (you even know that there are sub-types!). 

Maybe this is the first time you’re ever hearing about this weird test and you’ve spent the last four paragraphs trying to figure out how to even pronounce the word “Enneagram” (In-ee-a-gram, for the record).

No matter where you’re at, we can all use some guidelines when it comes to personality tests, because none of us are immune to over-identifying, self-shaming, and becoming a walking personality-test-fulfilling prophesy. So, without further ado, here are my dos and don’ts of Enneagram-ing. 

On Going to Graduate School At Your Alma Mater

Flash forward to a year and a half after undergrad graduation and now I’m back on campus to begin the first day of my Master’s program at Boston College: I am a little nervous because I have no idea if graduate school will be as fulfilling as my undergraduate career and that scares me.

I’m going back to a place where so many memories have already been made. I’m afraid of change and afraid of beginning this new journey without the people who made this place my home. I’m afraid that this new experience will be completely different than the original one.

TUESDAY TUNES: Songs for Pauses

These songs are for finding more of those moments of pause—when the routine halts and all that remains are slow dances in the kitchen, mugs of tea, your fresh-made bed after a weekend of travel. For rainstorms passing, for long days within short years, when time for once isn’t moving too fast. For the spaces where frenzy stops, feelings find home, and we  stop to take them in.

The Battle to Overcome Your Rejection

Rejection is an issue I’ve had to wrestle hard with over the last three years. Every time Rejection and I had to face off in the boxing arena, I would always end up slammed and pinned down. In boxing, you have ten seconds to get yourself up before the game is over. For me, it took months before I could even peel my head off the floor.

TUESDAY TUNES: Songs for Chore Night

Paying rent is hard, and I don’t remember dust collecting this quickly when I was a kid. But having a place to live and love and grow in—whether it’s a rented apartment, a long-term home, or a sublet in between—is a privilege that I don’t want to go unchecked. So if you’re with me, pour yourself a drink, cancel your plans, and crank the speakers.

It’s chores night and it’s gonna rock.

How to Respond to Someone Else's Grief

But this post isn't about my own grief. It's not about the tears I've cried, or the questions I've asked. It’s not about my own days where getting out of bed felt too hard.

It's about a different side of the fight. It's about your mom's grief when she loses her college roommate. And your best friend after she has a miscarriage. It’s about all the people you encounter, telling you about their grief.

So Lonely I Could Die: What I Have Learned About Loneliness

The night it happens I’m alone. Afternoon slides into darkness, a day gone without notice. I put on a rom-com. I paint my nails. I wait.

I’m jonesing for junk food, so I walk up over the hill and get fries and a shake at the Park Street McDonald’s. On my way home through the Common, it starts to pour. My sandals take on water like a sponge. I squelch up to the third floor and towel off. The fries are cold and the milkshake is cloyingly sweet. I regret ever wanting them. I am still alone.

TUESDAY TUNES: Songs for the Optimist

My skin has purpled over the years, more so in this phase of life than ever. Every time I miss someone. Every time I’m disappointed, or a disappointment; every time I’m let down, or let someone down. Every time I work so hard to stand tall and instead get sent to the floor. Another scratch, another hit. And I peel myself off the ground and think, am I okay? Is this hurt all that’s left for me?