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I started lifting heavy weights; I began a real skincare routine; I planted a garden; I learned how to make candles and sourdough bread; I spoke real lines in a play; I bounced on an Olympic-style trampoline; I roasted my first artichokes and braised my first short ribs and baked my first sweet potato brownies; I gave the best man speech in my brother’s wedding; I traveled to St. Louis and Michigan and Maine and New Orleans and Philadelphia and the Outer Banks and Spain and Morocco; I took off my clothes in front of strangers at Spa World; I hiked all over Maryland and Virginia; I started being deliberate about saving money; And, if everything goes well, I might have a big, exciting announcement to share in the next few weeks.

Overall, not bad for my 30th year of life.

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checking myself out in the mirror
every morning when i wake up
doesn’t suddenly make my boyfriend
want to marry me

the green pants that haven’t fit
in over a year
now hang on my hips
but that doesn’t make my job
any less soul-crushing

i want to shout
“be kind to your curves!”
but then i get online
and see that yogi twisted up
and balancing on her elbows

dutifully planning diet-compliant meals
on sunday afternoons
only makes me pinch and prod and pose
a few hundred more times than usual

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There was only one toilet, and there were two of us. We tried to dance around it, and we tried to be strong. In the end, we had no chance: someone was going to have to shit in the tub.

I cried after my 6th bout of diarrhea, and he kept making jokes after he puked out everything in his stomach. Really good jokes with impeccable timing.

He sleeps on the twin bed pushed next to mine now, not even snoring a little. I eat a packaged croissant quietly and slowly. I have never loved him more.

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thank you for walking under the cherry blossoms with me
and talking to me as i cried afterward

the day before radka lisa day was a rough one
and a beautiful one

when i am able to walk down streets of english-style houses
and not worry about everything, i want to be walking with you

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it doesn’t show up
in the timeline you expect
when it’s rainy outside
and leaves begin to change.
it hits you in the gut
when your boss blindsides
you with criticism.

i filled my calendar with dates and appointments
and then the next month cancelled all my plans
i wrote letters full of love and made phone calls
and then stopped replying to messages
i ran and danced and hiked and swam
and then slept and cried and slept some more

it doesn’t show up
on schedule
when you arrive home
to your dark apartment.
it hits you in the chin
the moment your lover
climbs in bed next to you.

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What am I supposed to be thinking about when someone says “Never Forget?” 

The horrible images I saw from classroom televisions on a cool Tuesday in the fall?

The smoke and the bodies falling and the people covered in toxic debris and the number of missing and the stories of people rushing toward the buildings to help? 

Impossible to forget – and embarrassing that we’d need some hashtaggable phrase to help us out. 

When the combination of the numbers 9 and 11 appear anywhere, what do you remember? 

What we actually need help remembering:

We were told who our common enemy should be so we could make more sense of a tragedy, 

We’re still tied up in an unlawful invasion of Iraq,

We torture prisoners, 

We have veterans coming home and killing themselves every day,

We vilify and starve and bomb and kill people who just want to be happy, don’t want to suffer,

We don’t protest enough. 
#NeverForget that we continue to create tragedies around the world to distract us from the pain of our own tragedy. 

#NeverForget that we still use the fear we have cultivated to scare ourselves into thinking war is a necessary part of life. 

#NeverForget that we have put into place the conditions required to make others hate us. 

#NeverForget that we are just as bad and often worse than our “enemies.” 

#NeverForget that we could stop it if we really wanted.

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at my best:

i am peaceful, wide-eyed, finding myself in the right place at the right time, playing outdoors, encouraging and excited about others’ achievements, dancing and writing and free to create

at my worst:

i am insecure, constantly seeking reassurance, comparing myself to everyone and always ending up at the bottom, bored and stagnant, stuck in other people’s rules and expectations, paralyzed by fear

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