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


No Longer Fearing the Mind

Today I attended my first-ever meditation session in an airy Chelsea studio, sitting with a dozen other novices on a stack of cushions, terrified I might become too restless to hold still, that others would notice. Fortunately, we were assured to be patient with ourselves. No matter our level of expertise, the pursuit of perfect posture … Continue reading No Longer Fearing the Mind

How Breaking Up With Coffee Changed My Life

The heady scent of brewing coffee is among my favorite childhood memories, marking my most beloved time of day: early morning. Stretching in bed, I listened to my father padding around the kitchen and wondered how the day might unfold. Anything seemed possible. I didn’t start drinking coffee regularly, however, until my thirties, instead developing … Continue reading How Breaking Up With Coffee Changed My Life

Embracing the Mystery

My mother sees her father, long passed, in cardinals perched outside her kitchen window. My father likes sharing his conversations with God with me. They question my faith because I don’t speak often about God, having long stopped attending church. I am dating their ideological opposite: a liberal atheist. My friend, also a devout atheist, half-jokes … Continue reading Embracing the Mystery

A Taste of Vermont Next to New York City

In the two months since New York City became my unofficial home, I’ve struggled to adapt to Woodlawn, a cozy neighborhood in the Bronx. The spill of intersecting highways combined with my aging car’s accelerating wheeze means I’m usually white-knuckled on the short drive to the gym. The search for accessible green space and lack of affordable public transportation has been … Continue reading A Taste of Vermont Next to New York City

Change By Way of Baby Steps

Last summer I discovered Woodlawn, a Bronx neighborhood known as “Little Ireland” for its booming Irish population, suburban solitude tucked fifteen miles from midtown Manhattan.  A year after taking pictures of brick row houses with rooftop balconies, stately apartment buildings, and Victorian-style homes, I helped my boyfriend move into a Woodlawn apartment while still maintaining my … Continue reading Change By Way of Baby Steps

The Young(ish) Woman (Sort Of) in the City

Upon learning that Vivian Gornick—one of my favorite writers—is appearing at The Community Bookstore to promote her new book, The Odd Woman and the City, a follow-up to Fierce Attachments, her bittersweet memoir about her relationship with her mother, I immediately thought of my own version: The Young(ish) Woman (Sort Of) in the City. Since … Continue reading The Young(ish) Woman (Sort Of) in the City