Why I Finally Believe in a Five-Year Plan

The five-year plan, with its smug emphasis on security and practical goal setting, long made me uncomfortable. Life often gets in the way, I’d say with sly or bitter irony, depending on how well things were going. But the five-year plan is really about internal motivation and growth. I spent most of my twenties planning … Continue reading Why I Finally Believe in a Five-Year Plan

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Ode to Indie Bookstores

After posting my dream to open a bookstore/café on Facebook—a fantasy if there ever was one—friends’ enthusiasm floored me. Some posted about the resurgence of successful independent bookstores; others emailed practical advice. One exchange turned into a date to catch up in person. The support helped me remember why I fell in love with books … Continue reading Ode to Indie Bookstores

The Difference Between Understanding And Experiencing Privilege

This month, pending a background check, I’ll start co-leading a writing group for clients at a mental health agency in New York City. It’s the fusion of two passions—creative writing and ending stigma against mental illness. After arriving at the agency yesterday to complete paperwork, I lingered in the lobby waiting for my appointment to … Continue reading The Difference Between Understanding And Experiencing Privilege

The Moment I Became An Advocate

Before kick off at my first-ever NAMIWalks with NAMI-NYC Metro on a recent soggy morning, a speaker remarked, “Rain won’t stop us, because we go through rain every day.” The comment was met with cheers, including mine. The speaker’s words perfectly captured the essence of mental illness. It is an often unpredictable condition; episodes can … Continue reading The Moment I Became An Advocate

New Year, Old Habits

Last Tuesday my husband and I married after a whirlwind process--an elopement with immediate family planned in five days. Though friends and family members expressed surprise, the decision was a long time coming. We had discussed marriage for months, ultimately deciding the act--more than a lavish ceremony--mattered most to us. Fast forward almost a week and … Continue reading New Year, Old Habits

Putting Myself In the Way of Beauty

I’m sitting among the musty shelves of New York City’s oldest independent bookstore, unable to stop smiling. After more than a year of living here, I’ve ventured—at last—to my first writing meet in the city. For months I blamed location—the relatively remote Woodlawn section of the Bronx—from joining fellow writers at work. Sure, I write … Continue reading Putting Myself In the Way of Beauty

Thoughts on Escaping the Comfort Zone

This week I was challenged in ways I didn’t anticipate: co-lead a classroom discussion followed by an invitation to lead part of an upcoming meeting. The key word here is lead. Though comfortable in small groups and one-on-one, I am often categorically shy, holding back to allow others to seize the reins. We often define … Continue reading Thoughts on Escaping the Comfort Zone