My subconscious gave me exactly what I needed

Back in 2013, before a somewhat-racist Bubbly Blonde Life Coach turned me off of modern self-help culture, I was a super fan of The Desire Map author Danielle LaPorte. LaPorte’s work had an immensely powerful and positive impact on my life, and I voraciously read each issue of her newsletter as soon as it hit my inbox.

There was one issue, in March 2013, that has stuck with me through the years (yes, it is still saved in a special Gmail folder.) In it, LaPorte recounts traveling to India to meet the Dalai Lama. Just before the trip, there’d been…

A candid look at my abhorrent behavior

I saw Mean Girls for the first time as a senior in high school. All of my friends had seen it in theaters the year before, but I thought I was too cool for a film about catty high-schoolers — after all, I was almost in college — so I’d skipped it. But just before graduation, I found myself huddled in a blanket, home sick with nothing to do. Flipping through the channels, Mean Girls was just starting, so I decided to give it a try.

Cady’s story drew me in slowly with clever jokes and intelligently embellished characters: By…

A case study on the unexpected cost of silence

[Content warning: discussion of sexual assault and rape]

I have always felt at home in my grandma’s house. My father was in the military, so as we moved from state to state, Grandma Anne’s house served as a home base. No matter how far away I roamed, I knew that tiny yellow house would be waiting to envelope me with the smell of eucalyptus, the warmth of walls covered in framed images of me and my cousins, and the muffled call of cicadas and grasshoppers.

When I struck out on my own, I feared I might not be able to…

The significance of a year without justice

On March 13, 2021, Americans across the country hopped onto social media to remind one another that exactly one year has passed since Breonna Taylor was murdered in her Louisville, Kentucky apartment.

We all know the story, but if you need a refresher: Breonna, 26-year-old EMT, goes to bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, on the evening of March 12. The couple wakes up just after midnight to three plainclothes police officers entering Breonna’s apartment unannounced. Kenneth, thinking intruders are in the apartment, fires a warning shot. The three officers then fire blindly into the apartment, releasing 32 rounds, five…

It doesn’t have to be complicated

A lifebuoy hanging on a wall.

Before we really get into this piece, I need to be honest about one thing: I am exhausted. Starting with shutdowns across the country last March, the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in June, and the four-day election mania of November, I still feel the wear of 2020. Any of these events on their own would be draining. But the combination of all three on top of the demands of everyday life — work! chores! planning a wedding! therapy twice a week! maintaining friendships! self-care! writing on Medium! — is almost debilitating. …

Lived Through This

It took me three years to break free

I’ve written a bit about my decision to move to Los Angeles in 2012 and how it changed my life for the better. I was 24 that year—young enough to take a big leap and old enough to make it work.

My journey to Tinseltown wasn’t about finding fame or “making it big.” What I sought was freedom and possibility. I’d seen how difficult it would be to secure the life I wanted in my small Appalachian town, so I headed west.

When I arrived, I resisted the pressure to get a traditional desk job and decided to take up…

This Is Us

Talking to them helps silence my fears

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” — Albus Dumbledore

As a writer, I’ve been well prepared for the voices that manifest in the course of birthing a story. Everyone from high school writing teachers to literary giants warned me to fight inner voices that stifle creativity. Most of them describe the same critical voices: there’s the cruel one that says, Your work is shit, the one who worries, What if your boss reads this? What if your MOM does? And of course, the one who…

‘Do you know how to read?’

In the time of coronavirus, I spend a lot of time sitting around with the friends in my quarantine circle trading stories about our lives before the pandemic. Recently, our conversation turned to the worst dates we’d ever been on, and as I relayed one of my dating failures, I shared a racially charged comment one suiter made on a first date.

Immediately, one of my White friends balked at my date’s behavior while my friends of color laughed and offered to share similar tales of their own. Ignorant, offensive, and racist comments are old hat to most people of…

Heartache offers valuable gifts, if you know what to look for

Breakups are hard. It doesn’t matter if ending it was the right choice, if the split was a long time coming, or if you’ve lost a friend instead of a romantic partner— whatever the details, cutting your connection to another person feels bad.

This, in itself, is not news. Because breaking up is such a universal experience, the stories around it never get old. As a society, we’ve obsessed over vulnerable breakup songs and gotten lost in the on-screen sagas of broken-hearted protagonists. …

If you want to transform your life, alter your process

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been at war with goals. I grew up holding fast to the ones my parents provided for me (working a 9–5, getting married, having kids) to the point that I didn’t even realize there were other ways to do things. Each one of the goals I followed came with a subset of exhausting smaller goals and modest, yet painful, sacrifices. By my college graduation, I was exhausted. I was meeting the goals I’d adopted from my parents, but I wasn’t happy.

To make things harder, by senior year, I’d realized that I…

Sondra Rose Marie

Neurodivergent queer femme examining the intersection of trauma, love, race, & independence through personal narratives. 🧠🌈🖤

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