When I first met Harry outside of Starbucks back in May, he wore khaki’s and a shirt-sleeved collared shirt. His forehead was already smeared in sweat, and his light hair was pushed over to his right side. He walked with a subtle limp, and his glasses were completely transparent against his pale skin. But his smile was confident, and we immediately began chatting about running 10 miles along the Capital Crescent Trail.
And then in August looking across from him at a German pub, taking a big gulp of my lager in a glass mug and losing certain motor functions, I realized how great he was. My palms were sweaty, and I wiped them along my deep purple work dress, the black belt tight around my small midsection, and my feet sweating in my navy blue flats.
It was still humid in DC. We spent hours catching up on the phone the past weekend while I was in Kentucky for my 10-year high school reunion. We agreed to stay friends after about six or seven dates when he hadn’t made a move and I realized I wasn’t physically interested in the relationship. But I enjoyed his company and the more I got to know him the more I became myself.
Although I’ve had my own series of sexual misadventures, I’m not one to make the first move. And I didn’t want to destroy the one good friendship I had going in the DC area. In the year since my move from Baltimore, I’ve met many young people, but I had yet to make any new friends or see anyone past a few dates. Continue reading →
Much has changed since I started this blog on September 11, 2013. My nonfiction grad school cohort can tell you how much I didn’t want to write about diabetes for my MFA thesis – the book that became the start to this blog. And in the six years since I’ve been diagnosed, I am still learning new things about myself with this disease.
I wanted to share those experiences with the world and contribute to a community of Type 1s. And maybe I wanted to prove to myself that I could manage life given this short end of the stick. What I didn’t expect when I started this blog back in 2013 was where it would take me and what kind of content my readers would inspire me to write.
I cannot tell you much I value your readership and support these past two years. You are the reason I keep this blog going. You are the reason I continue to write. And although this blog has kept me writing and contributing to this online community, I must now re-focus my priorities and take what little time I have to write to devote to other publishing opportunities. Continue reading →
When I’m in Louisville, Kentucky, on the border of southern Indiana, I see large Maple trees and gravel pathways lined with yellow patches of grass and fallen crisp leaves. A Beagle-Greyhound mix runs in front of me, sniffing at the brown speckled frog camouflaged by rocks and pebbles along the path. A man of 20, just starting out in the world, lights a cigarette nearby. And another man of 26 attempts to restrain the dog and keep her out of the way of the oncoming cyclist.
When I’m in Bethesda, Maryland, on the border of Washington, DC, I hear ambulance sirens and beeping horns of SUVs and BMWs. I sidestep an upraised brick in the sidewalk and bypass an orange cone of a construction zone, the latest in a series of luxury condo high rises. I pass by commuters listening to headphones and carrying laptop bags with their eyes glued to smart phones. I also attempt to drown out the noise of the city with my mood’s latest trend – this time dubstep. And then I move out of the way of an oncoming cyclist.
More than a year ago, I made the move from Baltimore to DC. And four years before that I made the move from Cincinnati to Baltimore. And five years prior to that, I left my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
So exactly 10 years ago, a few weeks from today, I ventured from my roots with no plans to return. Of my two brothers and various family members, I have so far been the only one to do so (not including those who left before me). But what I didn’t realize then was what I would be giving up and what I would never be able to have again: a home. Continue reading →
More than a week ago, I was in Louisville, Kentucky for my 10-year high school reunion. In addition to that, I spent a wonderful extended weekend with family and friends celebrating birthdays and life’s successes. And all of this while sleeping on a cot (because like myself, my parents do not waste space — as soon as I left for college my old bedroom was turned into a bedroom for my brothers and then an office for my parents).
And although I may complain every time I visit about the sleeping accommodations and the fact that I lay exposed in the living or dining room, I am secretly proud of my parents for not keeping my bedroom as a shrine, for making the most of what they have.
But since that weekend, I have endured countless awful days of stress and anxiety. And I sank into a small depressive hole, questioning what I was doing with my life and why my personal and professional lives could not co-exist in the same city.
That is until I learned one of my best friends was almost beaten to death on his bike over a cell phone. Suddenly my questions about a meaningful existence seemed irrelevant. Because all that mattered is that my best friend made it out okay. All that mattered was that someone I loved would survive this tragedy without too much scarring. Continue reading →
I gave Baltimore a pretty rough time of it in part 1 of this post so this time, I would like to showcase some things I will miss when I say my farewells less than a month from now.
The Inner Harbor. Ever since I made the move from Charles Village (where the recent infamous street collapse happened) to Little Italy in 2011 because my landlord had failed to pay his taxes and the house foreclosed, I’ve never wanted to be more than a 10-minute walk from the Inner Harbor. I especially love the promenade walk from Harbor East to Canton Waterfront. I used to run this trek three times a week during the summer. Now, living in Federal Hill, I run along the water to Harbor East on the other side of the promenade or take Key Highway to Fort McHenry.
Last Sunday, as I walked around the fort, beneath the cannons and Memorial Day flags, after a heated run, I knew I would miss this view. Even though the water is discolored and the smell can be overpowering after a rainstorm, the whistling sounds of sails in the wind, seagulls calling, and calm waters hitting the banks has always been a source of tranquility for me. I’m excited to explore new trails in DC around Rock Creek and Georgetown, but I will miss running along the bay, looking beyond as it opens wider and engulfs my dreams.
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After six months of a five-hour daily commute (sometimes six), I am finally making the move to DC (well technically downtown Bethesda but close enough). I will be a 10-minute walk from work.
Of course, my Baltimore friends are sad and don’t understand why I’d want to move to DC when Baltimore is so hip and has that small town charm for a city.
But after three years of graduate school and another year working in my field, it’s time to cut my ties with a city that was a stepping stone for my career and an escape from the Midwest.
So before I make my exodus at the end of June, I’d like to reflect on things I’ll miss and things I won’t. This blog post constitutes the “won’t.”
I Won’t Miss …
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