I’m standing at my kitchen sink, hands moving through the water to perform one of the most reassuringly routine and familiar tasks I know. Power ballads of the 1980s are coursing through my headphones as I attempt to drive out the frantic mental noise that has moved in.
Moments before, I had been swept into a tornado of toxic human interaction that I had no way of foreseeing.
First, a bit of context. Based in Sydney, Australia, I was one month into a Covid-19 lockdown which has since stretched to three. …
I’m not a stepmom but I’ve viewed the stepmom experience up close, as well as from a professional distance as a family lawyer and mediator. Among the observations I’ve made, one thing is clear: the hard work involved can often seem to outweigh any reward. So stepmoms out there, I see you and I salute you and I assure you that you count.
When you’re the stepmom, it can feel like so much is stacked against you that you’re defeated before you start.
You’re the partner of someone’s ex. Depending on the circumstances of the separation, that someone may not…
How do you get over someone when your time with them has forged neural pathways that remain long after they have gone? When at every turn, some small, inconsequential thing triggers a chain of associations that begin and end with them?
Long after it should have been tossed into the charity bin, the misshapen and holy green sweater sat in my drawer. It wasn’t a sweater as much as a portal into a time when things were at their sweetest between us.
I didn’t seek out these constant reminders of you but I didn’t hide them either. That would have…
There’s a narrative doing the rounds that goes something like this: I’m a relatively privileged, white middle class, heterosexual, cis-gender, able-bodied white man and one day I just decided I would indulge in an experiment where I engage complete strangers in conversation. I discovered something wondrous and good and I’m about to tell you all about it for your benefit.
I’m sure it’s been captured in book form but it’s taken hold in our public culture to the point that it’s become a trope. These days it’s more about acknowledging its existence than its source. …
My relationship to space right now is one of longing for what has been denied. After 8 weeks in pandemic-mandated lockdown, I contemplate my life for the next month in the knowledge that it will be limited to a 5km radius.
I grew up in a rural community where space was in plentiful supply. I still remember looking across vast plains to watch the sun set over the horizon. Being surrounded by an abundance of space feels like a birthright: I don’t remember ever having to fight for it.
The way in which a person inhabits the space around them…
Unsurprisingly, I first heard the expression “bring your whole self to work” at my workplace. I took it as being about inclusion and the importance of embracing the diversity among us.
Each of us is made up of a complex swirl of intersecting identities, all of which should be at home in the place we spend a good chunk of our waking hours. True inclusion is when you don’t feel the need to hide any aspect of who you are. You don’t need to censor yourself before talking about your life.
On 17 August 2020, I heard the words “congratulations, you’re autistic”. It probably seems odd that a psychologist would frame the news that someone has a neurodevelopmental disorder in those terms. But it shows just how important it is for an adult seeking the answers to lifelong questions about themselves to hear it.
Brimming with things to say about the experience of discovering I was autistic, I published my first article about it in October 2020. I was finding my voice through writing on Medium at the same time as exploring my new Autistic identity. …
It’s one of those expressions that we hear often enough and usually respond to with an obliging nod as though the speaker is merely channeling common wisdom. The very act of repetition has made it true.
But yesterday I heard an interview on the radio (because I am old) that made me think about the expression in a totally different way.
The interview was about declining birthrates in the context of a pandemic. The interviewee was the kind of academic that gets wheeled in to provide content; their media readiness betraying their dubious provenance.
I happen to know that underneath…
There’s a well-worn mantra from those proffering the secrets of their success on this platform: publish a story every day no matter what. You’ve got to feed those fickle algorithms before they go begging elsewhere.
I’m all for getting an insight into the processes of other writers but hearing this all the time is just making me tired.
Reducing writing to a productivity exercise skews its purpose and takes all the joy out of it. Writing is so much more.
Publishing every day isn’t the same as writing every day
I’d be the first to agree that regularly exercising the…
Historically, society has excluded us from being players in the main game of marriage and family. Although gains have been made on these fronts, we still sit outside social norms that shape them. And that is a good thing.
There is freedom in not having to conform to expectations that aren’t relevant because they don’t speak to you. You get to shape your identity and how you live your life on your own terms.
Freed from expectations, there’s space to carve out a more authentic self. Many of us do this through identity labels; they can be a stepping stone…