A neon blue sign that says “work harder.”
A neon blue sign that says “work harder.”
Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

My workplace has been sowing the seeds of returning to in-person. They casually mentioned it months ago during a staff meeting; “We know people are planning for summer holidays. We aim to have a definitive timeline about in-person work before the school year starts.”

Timeline, not decision.

Because we are definitely going back in.

I know plenty of workplaces are 100% back to “business as usual,” others never closed their office doors. There are many professions where remote work is unfavorable or impossible. …

Three months before my wedding, I didn’t have a honeymoon plan. I know some people like to be spontaneous or ask their future partner to be in charge, but if I asked my finance to plan our honeymoon we’d end up on a Civil War battlefield. While lamenting my lack of travel plans — because, you know, I guess the wedding was the priority — a coworker happened to be browsing Scott’s Cheap Flights and came across the ideal honeymoon destination. I jumped at the suggestion and twenty seconds later, I had two tickets booked for Paris at Christmastime.


Elastic until they break

I received a call from a metaphorically close, but geographically distant girlfriend who is starring down the barrel of a second traumatic breakup. The first heartbreak was senior year when the boyman she dated our entire collegiate career decided to simply not show for our final sorority formal. Cue Enya’s Only Time. This second one-two punch occurs many years and many boyfriends later, but on a much more serious playing field; that of canceled of engagements and dashed wedding plans.

“At least they didn’t put down a deposit,” my mom tittered from her end of the…

An open suitcase with various travel items strewn.
An open suitcase with various travel items strewn.
Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

If I have one superpower, it’s my ability to get shit done.

This first manifested itself in the throes of childhood, in one of the torture prisons known as “Girl Scout camp” where you pack seven outfits but return home wearing the same underwear. All the chatty pre-pubescent girls would gather around the minivans, singing songs about mosquitoes and ill-named, ill-fated children we did not want to become (“she had ten hairs on her head. Five were alive and the other five were dead.”) The caravan would wind its way through the backwoods of Michigan to deposit 20 girls and…

Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a writer. My childhood journals are riddled with spelling errors and earnest laments about my dreams of advanced English degrees and published novels. But I’ve got a job and a mortgage and while I’m hustling to do all the good stuff, I’m not naming and claiming or whatever other bullshit I’m supposed to have accomplished by the age of 30. But today I’m giving myself permission to just write and be.

Because I’ve come to realize that yes, you can make money and perhaps even be self-employed as a…

A lighthouse exudes a soft beam as dusk approaches against the backdrop of a dark, rocky ocean.
A lighthouse exudes a soft beam as dusk approaches against the backdrop of a dark, rocky ocean.
Photo by Mitch Mckee on Unsplash

I can’t recall where I first heard the term “lighthouse friend,” but after a decade of toxic relationship management, I am intimately familiar with the telltale signs and real-life angst and damage a lighthouse can cause. As the lost boat in this particular story, I first blamed nature, and then I blamed the friend, but nothing changed until I made the decision to leave the ocean. For while this friendship ebbed and flowed around me like the sun, it was my refusal to cut ties that allowed the poison to seep into my sense of self and wellbeing.

Built on…

There are moments in retrospect even Hitler had to say, “hmm, perhaps I’ve made a mistake.” From these learning experiences come necessary innovation: Fenced-in yards, childproof locks, sunscreen, condoms. As I emerged from my hellscape two hours later, I reflect: If I could take that back and do literally (literally) anything else (literally- garbage pick through used hypodermic needles, take the SAT three times in a row without bathroom breaks, go on a wilderness family counseling retreat with my idiot brother-in-law) I would say “yes, please, one-hundred times.”

Photo by Rubén Bagüés on Unsplash

I believe Hot Yoga is a sophisticated Japanese torture technique honed during…

Photo by Tim Trad on Unsplash

Fear can be an effective motivator. Scene: 2014, Friday happy hour at the local bar, an inspired conversation with a newish coworker who just loves to run which makes me feel both jealous (“I wish I loved to run”), curious (“can I run?”), and powerful (“IM SURE I CAN RUN”). After pulling on my Captain America figurative cape, I find myself punching my credit card digits into an online portal for some future half-marathon benefiting wounded veterans or shelter dogs (or wounded veterans who need access to shelter pets). We exchange a sloppy hug (friends!) …

Photo by Johannes W on Unsplash

Today is my 30th birthday (I’ll pause while you sing). Culturally, we “make a big deal” out of decade birthdays not because they are inherently more valuable, but because we are looking for milestones that can easily fit into compact boxes labeled “life lessons”. Each decade marks a formative transition from one very distinct educational bracket to another.

From zero to ten, you grow into a human. From a blob of fourth-trimester gunk and uselessness to a full-fledged, bonified person with a name, brain, and the ability to ride a bike and negotiate sleepovers. From ten to twenty you (arguably)…

Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

The alarm goes off at 6am every weekday. Even if it was a late night, even if I had three glasses of wine while watching The Bachelor from my cousin’s siphoned Hulu account, the alarm goes off and I get up. I know myself, and I know I must maintain some semblance of a schedule or I’ll hide in a dark, dark corner. I get up, put on my worn exercise clothes, and drive to the gym. The front desk woman has no idea she is a pawn in my morning ritual. If rule #1 is create a schedule, rule…

Molly Timkil

I spend most of my days day dreaming about cocktails and red licorice.

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