Category Archives: Growing Up

here’s what i remember

Here’s what I remember. A writer was going to teach a special class about writing at my school. It wasn’t open to everyone. You had to submit something you’d written and be accepted. I was. I remember that the class … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

pages from my lost youth

“Long walks, long talks, after dark; We vowed we’d never forget. Now it’s hazy.” -Stay for a While, Amy Grant My senior year of high school was disjointed and confusing and wonderful and stressful and joyful and tragic and busy … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

safe and sound

Childhood memories are rarely indifferent. If we remember something at all, we either truly love it or it fills us with hate, rage, shame, fear, regret. The childhoods of our memories are hybrids of blurry nostalgia and dark monsters under … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life, Travel | Comments Off

giant spider alien tidal wave cliff

I try to do too many things at once. I don’t mean I have too many browser tabs open and I answer email while I’m on a conference call, although both of those things are true. I mean that I … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

i don’t believe in anything but myself

Numerous books and articles and blog posts and well meaning advice givers exist with the lofty goal of helping one discover one’s purpose, what one really wants to do with one’s life, and so on. Quit your job! Move from … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

i’ve done everything wrong

When I was growing up, we were pretty poor. I think I didn’t realize how poor we really were as we were considered the “rich” relatives, what with one set of cousins living in a treehouse they’d constructed in the … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

from there to here

I’m sitting in a hamman in Morocco, drinking tea. Not a traditional hamman, where the locals go, where you pay $3 and you and your neighbor take turns scrubbing each others’ backs. This is a fancy, upscale hamman, with dark … Continue reading

Posted in Death, Growing Up, Parents | Comments Off

location, location, location

When I was maybe eight years old, my family inexplicably moved to the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Oklahoma, not far from a town of 200 people. We had a been living in a suburb of Tulsa for … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

firecrackers and beer for breakfast

On a bookcase in my living room is a framed photo of me and my grandma. It’s the summer of 1988. I have curly permed hair and am working at a fireworks stand by a lake in northeastern Oklahoma. I’m … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

before seat belts were legally required

I don’t know if my first memory is really a memory or if it’s just a patchwork of things I’ve heard and images I’ve created from remnants of conversations and photos and stories. Most of my childhood memories are faded, … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up | Comments Off

we all had childhoods once

I think most kids think their childhoods are pretty normal as they’re growing up. We have no frame of reference, so why wouldn’t we think whatever we’re experiencing normal? It takes a while before we start to compare ourselves to … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up | Comments Off

countercozen

verb. To cheat in return. (OED) My parents had an odd sense of parenting in a number of ways, but none more so than the utter randomness of their strictness. Case in point: When I graduated from high school, I … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up | Comments Off

she’ll tell you she’s an orphan, after you meet her family

I don’t know whether or not to get a Christmas tree. I used to love Christmas, maybe because my mom loved it and I used to love everything my mom loved. When I got married, I took with me all … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Growing Up, Life, No Longer Applies, Parents | Comments Off

making room for air

When I was a kid, I wanted things to mean something. I wanted to remember every holiday, every milestone, believe every myth was true. I wanted to find the ends of rainbows so I could talk to leprechauns and bring … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

learning the difference between empowerment and desperation

First, I bit of background about my boyfriend in college, who I’ll call “J” for no reason other than it’s not the first initial of his name. I met J at a party my freshman year. I worked with a … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

eddie and missi

The great organization event continues and tonight, I happened upon my box of scrapbooks and yearbooks. I have the usual pictures and ribbons and awards and “ice cream 90 cents” sign from the supreme court cafeteria that we all have. … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

common ground

When I was little, and I wanted to crawl into a grown up’s bed in the middle of the night like little kids do, the grown up I picked was my grandma. I remember that she used to tease me … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Growing Up, Life, My Grandparents | Comments Off

counting telephone poles

My entire life, the words softly repeated in the back of my mind, sometimes almost unnoticeable, but always there: nothing lasts. So, I counted milestones like you might count telephone poles as you drive down a country road. Nothing lasts. … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

the challenge of tomorrow

Childhood is cruel. I don’t mean all the usual ways, although those are cruel too. I mean how everyone tells you that you can do anything you want, and even worse, how you have all this potential — this newly … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

it’s a nice day when you wake up in disneyland

When I was little, Disneyland sold tickets for rides and Casey’s train still went around the park. The Indiana Jones ride didn’t exist, and the Haunted Mansion was scary. I remember getting a mug from one of my early trips … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life, My Grandparents | Comments Off

it’s a hell of a long way home

I never grew up anywhere. We moved just about every year to places that I’ll never have the need or the inclination to go back to. Whenever anyone asks where I’m from, I say with no hesitation and no second … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

jean

My middle name is Jean. When I was really little, this made me very upset because I didn’t understand why my mom named me after a pair of pants. She actually named me after my grandma — my biological father’s … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

is this what they mean by “life is a journey”?

Friends of mine often get confused when I mention my past. Where was I living when? What was I doing where? Was it the second time I lived there? Which state and which high school? Hell, even I get confused. … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Comments Off

go at your own pace

My job right now reminds me a lot of third grade. In third grade, I went to a Christian school that was organized thusly: elementary school in one room; middle and high school in another. Long tables lined the walls, … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Leave a comment

some girls want a pony

I’ve been telling my mom for years that she needs health insurance. I cannot imagine going without it. But she’s never been the least bit interested. Now, I wonder why I’m so surprised because I was talking to my sister … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Leave a comment

the proper way to iron

I was ironing P.’s shirts last night (shut up; I lost a bet) and it got me thinking about this time during the summer between my junior and senior years of high school when I lived on my own for … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Leave a comment

rapturous embrace: a story of erotic longing

A confession and a story: the first is true, the second you’ll have to decide for yourself. I have always loved to read. Always. I learned how to read on my own, sounding out words, watching as my mom read … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Leave a comment

my satanist friends

When I was in the second grade, my family moved to a very small town in Oklahoma (population: 200). And I spent the second half of the school year in a freezing building that lumped two grades into each classroom, … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Leave a comment

i’ll be home for christmas

You know the one about being home for Christmas, if only in your dreams. You’ve seen that Folger’s commercial where the guy is home from college or the Peace Corps or prison or whatever and he sneaks in and makes … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Leave a comment

snow

Someone, somewhere else, suggested a collaboration of journals for which everyone writes about snow. I’ve been sitting here thinking about snow, and the stories are like chips — I can’t think of just one. The memories aren’t exactly like chips … Continue reading

Posted in Growing Up, Life | Leave a comment