This year has been a real challenge, a step forwards and one back in so many ways. A significant relationship ended and short term love became something I understood, could grab on to and remember later. I made decisions and I worked hard some days and was lazy others. I met people, friends who changed my life and became family. I listened to one song, fifty two times in a week. I moved in and out and dropped dishes on the floor.

I made peace with ends and beginnings and I fought silently so hard just to be okay. There were times I felt I could burst with happiness and others where I was not sure I would understand anything again. There were hospital beds, slept in more than one, two or three times but I was most at home in the house I grew up in and so I return, grateful and pleased.

I missed everyone and I wished you were here. Hundreds and hundreds of days and I wished you were here.

This year was something, something new; straddling youth and adulthood, whispering into the ear of both, I was bewildered. I felt changed and I consider it significant.

This year, more than any before, taught me that every month, minute and day means something. We are not here for long so let us remember this at least. Let us remember this, at least.


things i've said today due to hangover

1) i’m dying

2) i’m dead

3) i think i’m not alive

4) someone help me

5) someone shoot me

6) i hate christmas

7) this hangover is jesus’ fault

8) stop telling me to stop blaming jesus

9) kill me.

10) i’m gonna puke.


I'm a snob and now my whole family has written proof

Email I sent out this week to my parents, brother and sister:

hi family,

i’ve decided i’m only giving books for christmas this year. aside from that unreadable trash that is sarah palin’s memoir, is there anything you would like? (coughmomcough) actually, never mind, don’t tell me. i’m just going to buy you books that are awesome* and that you would like and should read.

dad, you said something about lewis and clarke?

also i’m not buying anyone anything that has dan brown or malcom gladwell as the author.

snobbily yours,

the first born.

*preapproved by kelly bergin, who holds a b.a. in english and a weekend subscription to the new york times (AS OF YESTERDAY!)


Another One Where I Get Stopped In The Street By My Neighbors

This morning, as I walked to the F...

Hip New Yorker: Excuse me
Me: (Takes off headphones that are blaring Joshua Radin, don't judge me) Yes?
Hip New Yorker: Do you know you have all this white powder on the back of your jeans?
Me: (Screwing my body around to see) Oh wow. No.
Hip New Yorker: And a Forever 21 tag sticking out.
Me: Oh.
Hip New Yorker: Yeah see?
Me: Oh! Haha, wow, so that's where my gram of coke went.
Hip New Yorker: (Silence)

I really need a full length mirror.


I walked into the church, noticing immediately the crowds, the dispersion, the families with the toddlers and their strollers. I want to be inconspicuous so I sit, inconspicuously, in the middle. In the middle I blend in and I don’t invite stares because my head is down, iPhone off, hands folded.

I remember how to do this because I’ve been here a thousand times before. The knee rest comes down and with it my joints hit the padding, not immune from the painful wood that lies beneath. I bow my head to say a prayer; I recite the ones I know, the morning prayers from Catholic school. The Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.

The Mass begins and for me it is a time warp, a reversion to the child I Once Was. Reverent, wicked, funny. Sometimes we’d laugh in the pews, shoulders shaking in desperate silence. Everything was funnier when we were shushed, one finger to teacher’s lips.

The priest takes to the pulpit for the first reading and I take it in. The smell of incense, the families huddled together in silent prayer. The Bible passage that I can remember so clearly, the Septembers when the light would hit the stained glass in its morning gaze and I would close my eyes and listen. I watch the families now. They each pray separately and I hope that their wishes are one and the same; that their prayers are for each other.

As a child, I always believed. I believed that if I asked God to spare my family pain, he would. I believed that Santa Claus would bring me a bike and the Easter Bunny, the marshmallow eggs I ate with admirable ferocity. Mostly I prayed that God would make me good, show kindness to my family, keep his distance but show his love too. Occasionally I’d get sick enough to pray for myself, for a reprieve. I like to believe that I received it. That I was immediately relieved.

A miracle was created here, every Sunday. Every Sunday we were given something to believe in, cling to. And I don’t regret it for a second. It taught me to see outside of myself, to have faith in the things I could not see.

But things didn’t get easier, they only got harder and I floated more and more away from the child I once was, the cross I once wore.

I don’t need it. This is what I told everyone. It was easier not to believe than to believe because I am tough and that is the story I told. I don’t need religion, I said. To save me, cure me. To make this journey easier.

But I’ve found that for me, there is no absolutes and so there is part of me that wants to to go back, back to those musty pews and incense candles, to the thrill in the boom of the priest’s voice and the unique feel of holy water, caught on my cheek.

Back to when belief wasn’t a dirty word and our objections were met with answers that I could cling to.

Back to a time when I didn’t know I lived in a land of make-believe.