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


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


The Dangers of the Self-Narrative

In an interview in the July issue of The Sun, Gary Greenberg, a controversial psychotherapist critical of psychiatry, believes that rooting mental illness almost entirely in biology overlooks the complex environmental, social, cultural, and political mores that shape identity. The article—“Who Are You Calling Crazy?”—was soon wrinkled, dog-eared, and covered in yellow highlighter. My favorite … Continue reading The Dangers of the Self-Narrative


On Making Excuses

I’ve spent the last month working on a creative nonfiction piece about the platitudes of marriage in the context of mental illness. Success has been mixed, the challenge to avoid the pitfalls of cliché daunting. My motivation, a writing contest on mental health issues, is explicit in its warning to avoid banal storytelling. In contrast to … Continue reading On Making Excuses


The Accidental New Yorker

Recently, nearly two years after I started working in New York City, I was told I refer to my home in Connecticut as merely that—“Connecticut”—no “home” preceding it. My condo is now mostly a place to sleep after a ten-hour workday capped with a five-hour round-trip commute. Still, it’s remained a sanctuary: a place to … Continue reading The Accidental New Yorker


Rose-Colored Glasses

Back in 2006, I lived in part of a multi-family home in New Haven, a yawning, hundred-year-old house with hardwood floors and an exterior painted Pepto-Bismol pink. I preferred calling it rose-colored, but everyone else dubbed it “distinctive.” My penchant for those rose-colored glasses was now a need; my longtime boyfriend and I had split … Continue reading Rose-Colored Glasses