The 2022 Wrap

In the interest of full disclosure, I forgot that I’ve done a yearly wrap for many years. It’s strange to think that some of you have read those wraps. Some of you may know me better than my family. It’s special to me, so thank you for being here. This year, more so than any other year, was busy. In 2021, I asked for a powerful transformation, and, honey, I got it.

Honeymoon Bound

This winter has been hard. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this out of control, but it’s as exhausting as I remembered. The dry heaving, the racing heart, the upset stomach, the lack of appetite, the binge eating, the mood swings, the wanting to fall into the nearest river and not swim back to the top. Even when life is objectively good, things can feel so bad. Hopefully, tomorrow changes things because, well, I’m going on my honeymoon.

On Tarot

Each year, Salem, Massachusetts, puts on “Haunted Happenings” to celebrate Halloween all October. More than 500,000 people visit the tourist town. Given that this year is the 40th anniversary, the numbers are expected to increase. As a tarot reader, I dole out readings from 35 to 48 people on any given Sunday. 

The Worry Buffet

This morning, after my alarm went off at half past six, I went back to sleep. Thirty extra minutes, just for me. When I woke up for real, I nudged my husband awake, and we spent the next hour talking about the one thing both of us are very good at: worrying. If worrying was a sport, I think we’d each have a shot at gold in all three events: past, present, and future.

Leaning on Strengths

I work 40 hours a week at my desk job, at least 20 hours at school, and at least 20 hours as a tarot reader in Salem this October (I’d work more if my schedule allowed). While lugging my laptop across a classroom yesterday, colleagues gasped in horror when they saw the color-coded monster that is my Google Calendar. “How are you doing that?” they asked. The secret is suffering.

For The Sister I Got to Pick

Having a best friend is a gift. Having a lifelong best friend is a blessing straight from the heavens. Longtime readers of this blog, and there are a fair few of you at this point, will recognize Harriet here and know how much she means to me. For those of you who don’t know (or don’t necessarily care), I hope you someday feel the deep love and affection of real friendship. If you have that love, I hope you celebrate it. Allow me to go first.

Time’s Arrow

I used to waste a lot of paper in notebooks—like, a lot of paper. Whole book butts were left blank, half a sheet of paper used, chunks ripped out and discarded. In retrospect, it was wasteful, but I also understand that version of myself: the one who desired clean lines and spaces above all because it felt like control. Now, though, I write until the book is full, even when the spine is broken and the cover is stained with coffee. I hate carrying it around when it looks bad, yet I must admit that the books represent a chapter of my life. As I finish one notebook and open another, a new chapter begins.

Checklist to Live By

As I prepare for an incredibly busy September, my anxiety has been creeping up...a lot. I mean, there's a fine line between anxiety and excitement, but my body is very good at being anxious. To cope with getting married, taking on more responsibility at work, and going to grad school, I've definitely been flexing the organizational skills. Thanks, past me, for having on eye on the future.

Bodily Autonomy

In 2018, a doctor moved into the Bond House. As fiery Southerners, we had an immediate kinship. She had moved to Boston from New York to start her OBGYN residency program. Four years. Four years is how long it would take to get the stamp of specialization approval. Four years of late nights, no sleep, cups of coffee, missed holidays, painful evaluations, surgeries, births, deaths, social work, relationship strain, love, despair, learning, teaching, and many, many sketches of vaginas. On Friday, at last, she was 1 of 4 residents to graduate from a prestigious program. On Friday, the United States Supreme Court stripped women and people who can become pregnant of their right to bodily autonomy. Fifty years down the drain. Our grandmothers’ legacy? Forget about it. The states decide. Because that always goes so well.

In response to Gustavo Gutiérrez

Nothing is more expensive than being poor. Those who engage in social medicine and social justice scholarship know this to be true. For many of us who grew up in those impoverished settings written about in journals, it is a lived experience that has made us crusaders for change. Perhaps what we know most deeply is that poverty is a choice. It is not a choice of the impoverished but a choice made and perpetuated by a capitalist society interested in our bodies for as long as they can perform “essential services.”