SoCal Sickness

southern california is a bitter place

every year it takes more space

spreading across the country

like a depression

a tan blonde

with little clothes on

is the new face of oppression

How to Take “Constructive Criticism”

Being a parent is hard. It’s a job that requires no qualifications- but demands 100% effort. Nobody goes to school for this. The most guidance we receive comes from the 90 minute classes on child birthing during the second trimester of pregnancy. The “oh shit” moments don’t start happening until the first night home from the hospital. That’s when we realize that these tiny humans are going to dictate the rest of our lives. Forever. No really. Forever.

The pressure starts before the contractions. Three months into the first trimester, I broke the news to our family. It was a Christmas party. I remember hugging each family member and whispering the news into their ear. The sweetest surprises are the ones that are the most anticipated. Everyone was ecstatic. The putrid droplets of wisdom, long since expired, dropped from their lips like they had been saved, all this time, just for this very moment. But everyone is going to have their own advice. Their own stories. Suggestions.

Parents are good at feeling attacked. It’s not because we are too sensitive or emotional. Becoming a parent is like being signed up to a class, dedicated to telling you that you don’t fucking matter anymore. And every lesson plan is a new piece of advice, conflicting with every other piece of advice you have ever heard. And at the end of each day, you’re told that everything you have done is wrong and that you failed. No matter who you listen to. No matter what tools you use. You are wrong.

Older generations have told me that I am easily offended. I see it every day in the comments section of every controversial facebook meme. I can’t figure out if they honestly believe that their advice is so important that it should be valued above research studies and personal experiences. Social media has allowed opinions to be valued over relationships. It’s easier to delete Aunt Karen on Facebook than to tell her that taking castor oil in labor can literally kill an unborn baby. People want to believe that the advice they followed was the right advice. So much so that they will steer other people to follow it. There is a fight to be right in parenting.

Social media holds my generation accountable for every word we say, every step we take, and every second of our parenting. The more we share, the more we are criticized. There are like, 40 states between my family and everyone I grew up with- but social media makes it feel like they live right next door. I’m faced with the challenge of wanting everyone to be as involved in my son’s life as possible, while not wanting to share the most intimate details and decisions in my life.

I do not let fear of failure or judgement control my decisions. The two faces of facebook became apparent to me when I climbed a mountain with my son when he was 9 months old. My photos exploded with likes and reactions. But my inbox was beaming with questions of criticism and worry.

“Don’t you think that is a little dangerous…”

“What’s the matter with you!? You could have gotten hurt!”


Why the fuck would I listen to that? Is that my responsibility as a parent? To fucking drown in someone else’s worries and concerns? Because my lifestyle as a parent is to go hiking and mountain climbing with my family, do you honestly believe that it gives you the right to have an unchallenged opinion? News flash: Opinions do not have to be spoken and shared every time they run through your head. You can actually just not say anything at all. There’s this really cool thing that I’m allowed to do as a parent. I’ve been doing it for a while now actually and it’s working out great. I don’t really have a name for it but I highly recommend that you try it. Don’t fucking respond to people’s criticisms or questions. Ignore them. It’s fucking amazing, I’m telling you. I literally get to decide how much negativity people dump into my life. And I do it all by not giving a fuck.

It’s ironic because the generations that are the quickest to accuse millennials of being “too sensitive” are the quickest to get hurt when you don’t accept their opinions blindly. Don’t let social media tell you how happy you are allowed to be.


History Lessons

the funny thing about history is that it doesn’t matter. it doesn’t matter whether it is true or not. history is always written in the perspective of the victors. history is rarely written correctly. but no matter what happens, one thing will always be true. history repeats itself. we built mediums so that we could write history and decide, for the first time in history, how the future plays out. and instead of building a fantasy, we write the same words that have been written on tombstones for centuries. not everyone can be a good storyteller. but everyone tells stories.


On Being Thankful

The holidays are always bittersweet for my family. While everyone seems to be shopping feverishly for deals, filled with excitement for the Christmas season, I notice that I actively try to disappear into the chaos. My inbox fills with questions about where I will be spending Thanksgiving, how my family is going to spend Christmas, and my favorite; “Will you be flying back home so that you aren’t alone?”

As much as I love my family and understand that they are just trying to include me in their love for togetherness, being “thankful” for generosity and kind words is a lot harder for me during this season. As much as it appeals to everyone else for me to book a last minute flight and empty my bank account to make the family happy, THAT is not the life I chose.

In November of 2014, my favorite person in the world took me to the most secluded spot he could think of- Dauner Trails. It was a cold winter in Michigan- but that was irrelevant to us. We were in love. When we got to the end of the trail, pitch black and freezing, he shined his flashlight on a bouquet of Dahlias he had placed out there earlier in the day, and knelt down into the snow. There, in the frigid trails and completely secluded from the rest of our loved ones, he proposed to me.

And I said “yes.”

I said “yes” to more than marriage that night. I said “yes” to leaving my entire family behind so that I could start my own. I said “yes” to the cold reality that is being alone. I said “yes” to the dark days during the holiday season when I will not be sitting around a table with my family. I said “yes” to being alone in a life that we created together.

I’m not a martyr. This is the life I agreed to. My husband will not be sitting with me at my dinner table this year, complimenting my green bean casserole and joking around about how I can’t cook a turkey so I always have to cook ham. My husband will not be helping me put up our Christmas tree after dinner in lieu of tradition. And guess what! I’m still here. I’m still living this life that we created together.

Yes, I am sad. I am disappointed. I am frustrated. But I chose this life and these holidays without the person I sacrificed so much for. Because to me, it wasn’t a sacrifice. It was a trade off. I traded my goodnight kisses for late night emails. I traded my home style holidays for amazon prime packages. And I traded my husband’s presence for someone else’s security.

I am thankful for the love that I feel unconditionally from family and friends. I am thankful for all of my loved ones in San Diego who reached out to me this season. I am thankful that I have a place that I feel welcomed for dinner. I am thankful that my dinner will not be Chinese takeout with my toddler.

My only request is that, instead of guilting me with your pity and your disappointment, be thankful for the memories you get to make with your own families. Because of the sacrifices of mine. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, especially those who serve.


Political Ramblings

“do you consider yourself a liberal”
you ask
as if there is
a correct answer to that

while I just sit
both hands
balled into fists

wondering where the fuck
you get off on
asking me to define
my education
my stance on
civil rights
bathroom talk
locker room talk
minimum wage
and gas prices

by picking a side
when they’re created by
the same institution
profiting from this divide

and i will reply
– “do you consider yourself an idiot”


it’s hard to tell

if the shit i’ve said

will ever be heard of

or thought of again

or if every word i say

is just plagiarism

of someone else’s thoughts.

but when i sit down

to the blank page

words bleed from me

like therapy

and as the ink melts away

i hope you can read

the words you are too afraid to say

and that you will be brave

enough to change

what makes you so cowardly.

it doesn’t matter if you tried, sooner or later we are all gonna die

How to be Successful

Ever since I was old enough to listen, I’ve allowed people to define the way I view my own success. I was born into a generation that was told that we could have anything as long as we wanted it bad enough. But I have spent my whole life wanting and asking and working and every time I find myself within inches of the finish line, I fail.

For awhile I blamed myself. I wondered why I was standing in my own way of success. When I got angry enough, I would blame the world. I started writing when I was 12 years old. My first work: a suicide note. After being bed ridden with an illness that rendered me unable to take care of my own basic needs for 6 months, I could think of nothing else that I wanted more than to go back to school. But when I got back to my 5th grade classroom, I found that my classmates had stolen my possessions. They filled my desk with trash and ripped up my artwork.

My classmates thought I was dying. Maybe they wanted something to remember me by, maybe they wanted to destroy my painful memory. But nothing hurt me like the day that kids started telling me that they wished I was dead. I had just beaten an infectious disease that nobody had ever heard of and that was my reward for such a great success.

I didn’t fucking ask for a participation trophy.

There are defining moments in our lives that shape who we become as individuals. My illness did shape the person that I was going to become. My definition of success shaped my character and my future and fuck, it probably shaped my morals and parenting and just about every other aspect of my life. At 12 years old, I thought it would be better to end it all than to continue living with that fucked up vision of myself. But I didn’t.

I remember my first day of college. I got lost in the science building. I felt like an idiot. My science professor was an asshole. He made every person in that lecture hall feel like a piece of garbage. I wanted to raise my hand and ask him why he had to make us feel inferior in order for him to feel like a successful teacher. I never thought that the teachers were supposed to belittle their students. I left campus feeling pretty shitty about myself that day. I found my car, navigated the one-way roads, went north instead of south on the freeway, and cried “wee wee wee” all the way home.

I approached my parents driveway slowly, wondering how I was going to tell them that I wasn’t cut out for college like I thought I was. I’ll never forget how I pulled in the driveway with tears in my eyes, feeling like the tiniest fleck of shit that had ever graced a public restroom. As I parked my car and wiped my eyes, I looked up to see my father standing at the top of the driveway. I could see his eyes glisten with pride as he smiled. His only child had just finished her first day of college. I had surpassed him in graduating high school and setting out to do things that he never could have imagined for himself.

Defining Moments.

I’ve spent my whole life telling people to fuck off and I’m not going to stop now. If you don’t like the way that someone paints your success, you have every right to tell them to fuck off. Not everyone is going to have the perfect paintbrush to highlight your best features. I’ve been struggling through adult life for awhile now and I’ve learned that age defines the things we hate, not the people we are.

As a teenager, I hated children. I hated that I was forced to transition into a different part of life before I was ready. I hated that I was sexualized before I was fucking ready to be. I hated that children didn’t have to care about what they looked like and I did. I hated that I was forced to be picked last for sports. I hated that I was still treated like a child, even though boys were allowed to touch me in ways that I didn’t even want to touch myself.

My twenties made me hate teenagers. I despise how they make mistakes and don’t learn from them. I don’t understand how they sleep all day and stay up all night and don’t pay attention to the world. I hate how they feel the need to be the center of attention. And then I stop. Because I do not want to be a part of the generation that hates the younger generation.

Every age comes with it’s own challenges and defining moments. When I’m 60, I will not be criticizing the only people who can save me. If I die at 70, a plate of success will be my last supper. I will decide what is on that plate. You can dine at my table or you can fuck off.



i am the wife of a man, who lives in a tin can. from the moment i said that ‘i do’, this is the life that i choose. i choose to love the breeze that brings his love to me from what ever fucking fleet that he sails through this week.

but my son didn’t choose this life. he was forced to accept this- like we accepted it, 6 months in, with a bulge between my hips, we cried together when we realized he would miss our unborn sons first birthday.

people tell me to be optimistic but follow it up with, ‘i don’t know how you do it’, and seal my casket off with ‘you chose this, so get over it’.

but i have to be careful with optimism. saying things like, ‘i have a surprise for you’ is a slap on the wrist to a boy with one wish so fatefully diminished. you can seal it with a kiss. but how insulting is it to fill a child’s head with hope, knowing that he is going to feel punished?