• Essay,  Journal,  Mindset

    If You Need to Cry, Cry When You Get to the Top

    A reader recently asked me, “How do you approach life so confidently?” I have been asked this more than once and decided this topic deserved to be answered in an essay. We all build our confidence in different ways. I don’t often share personal stories as I consider myself to be more of an observer and I am less interested in myself than in others, but this demanded a personal answer, so here is my story. Represent Yourself or Others Will Misrepresent You When I was a teen, I was a lot like I am now: outspoken, curious, passionate, and creative. I read as much as I could get my…

  • Essay,  Journal

    Roll With It

    Did you ever hear that if a drunk person falls down the stairs he or she will sustain far fewer injuries than a sober person?  The reason is that the drunk person is relaxed and therefore more flexible. The sober person, anticipating the fall, will brace him or herself for the fall. She will stiffen and tense up.  As a result, she will tear tight muscles, break bones, and be far more hurt by the fall than the drunk person. I’m not advocating drunkenness. Easy as that may sound as a solution, we all know the other drawbacks.  I am advocating for you to chill the fuck out.  Relax. Loosen…

  • Essay,  Journal,  On Writing

    It Sounded Like a Great Idea at the Time

    I’m editing my first book.  I wrote the book as well but I’m in the process of editing it and it’s turning out to be far more work than I expected.  Over the past 4 years, I wrote a series of dating advice articles. Most posts were for women, but some were directed at men.  The articles had more to do with understanding our own and other’s desires and motivations and how to read people than to do with specifics about dating.  Most people know how to plan a date, dress nice, and interact with someone of the opposite sex. What people don’t know anymore is how to interpret someone’s behavior, words…

  • Essay,  Journal

    What If I Never Break The Crystal?

    I was trying to get rid of stuff. STUFF. The Stuff that creeps into the house and takes hold in drawers and corners and on countertops. It hangs in closets and is tossed up on shelves out of reach but it’s not out — OUT — like it should be. It is just out of the way, out of reach, but it is still there. Still everywhere. Clutter. I have a lot of stuff. I’ve lived in my house for twelve years. I’ve raised kids from infants to preteens and have accumulated the stuff of each age: clothes in various sizes and seasons; toys they won’t choke on, toys they…

  • Creativity,  Essay,  Journal

    The Art of Finishing Things, A Meditation on Writing and the Paintings of Lia Porto

    There is no art in things left unfinished. There is no value in the incomplete. There is nothing meaningful in the unresolved. There are many things in the unfinished that can be admired: hope, inspiration, creativity, passion, indifference and ideas but not art. Art happens at the finish line. Art is where inspiration meets discipline, where passion meets fortitude, where creativity meets work. Art is when the work is complete and ready for an audience. It is when the artist reaches satisfaction, a place that is beyond exhaustion and knows there is no more work to be done. “I am finished.” I have no doubt there are many amazing words…

  • Essay,  Journal,  On Writing

    Why I’m Not a Dating Advice Writer

    I’m not a dating advice writer. I write about dating because it is the place where all our social problems intersect with all our personal problems. Where our heart battles our mind. Where our desires compete with our needs. It is where we try to be our best, end up showing our worst and then find a way to accept ourselves, the world and each other AS IS. Other than war, no struggle is as dangerous as passion. Other than divorce, no negotiation is more precarious than seduction. Other than giving birth, no experience will make you feel more alive than falling in love. Other than death, nothing rips us…

  • Essay,  Journal,  Mindset,  On Writing

    My Advice Isn’t Special Because You Aren’t Special

    I’ve been writing advice on dating, personal mindset, self-esteem and empowerment for a few years. My advice columns are full of what to me is obvious truths, common sense perspective and a mix of tough and gentle love depending on not much more than what kind of mood I’m in when I’m writing it. My Target Reader is a Fool for Love Most of my advice posts are targeted toward a specific reader who is a very hard-headed fool for love who repeatedly makes bad decisions. She is stubborn and leads with her heart or her nether regions but never — evidence can show time and again — with her brain. This gets her into…

  • Essay,  Journal

    Nicknames, You Called Me What?

    Nicknames belie a certain intimacy. They are gifted by someone who knows us or knew us in a way others didn’t. Then this bit of history carries on, sometimes long after the giver is gone. The name spreads to others without the history or the intimacy, giving strangers, acquaintances, new friends the impression they know you better than they do. Or that they know something about you that you didn’t share yourself. Do we choose our nicknames or do our nicknames choose us? Do our nicknames become us, or do we become our nicknames? At the same time, they can create distance and confusion as people struggle with what to…

  • Creativity,  Essay,  Journal

    A Case for The Arts

    I read a lot about the benefits of a STEM education. There is a lot of negativity about studying the arts. In a world where making money, having power and gaining status are valued above all else, the arts, appreciation of the arts and creative expression are getting a bad reputation. It’s true, the arts are not great ways to make a living. Your chances of making a stable, plentiful income as a sculptor or even a filmmaker is very low. Those who do make money are in the minority. Even so, there are still very good reasons to learn a craft and find an artistic expression. There are still…

  • Essay,  Journal,  Mindset

    Living The Dream

    We were talking about the trap. We were talking about the world, society, life, passion, dreams. Easy conversations for us. Topical subject because of the stress I’ve been feeling. We were slowing things down, in conversation by talking about big, intangible things and ides. We were talking about living the dream. We all have a different dream. We all want to live it. Almost none of us are living ours. He’s living the dream, he tells me. He means it. But it sounds funny to hear it. He doesn’t have a jet or a boat or a mansion. In fact, it’s not even that he doesn’t have the luxuries, but…