This is a weird thing for me to write about. You see, I’ve been spending the last 10 years running from my past. A friend said that I’m so dodgy about my old life, that I behave like someone who killed her entire family and moved out of state.
I’m that elusive about it.
But I didn’t kill anyone.
I was just an actor. Continue reading
“You have great hair.”
I was putting down my yoga mat at the studio. I turned to the woman who had spoken to me, she was sitting on the floor, stretching. I had never met her before.
“Pardon me?” I asked.
“You have great hair.”
My hair had been up in a ponytail all morning because I had been writing – fighting, really – a troublesome section of my new book and so now that my hair was out long, it had that weird kink in the middle where I had secured the elastic too tight. As I was writing, I had thought maybe the words would come more easily if I could feel some air on the back of my neck. It hadn’t really worked.
My last haircut was seven months ago. I’ve recently started using this special shampoo in an attempt to combat my eternally oily scalp and it leaves the ends of my hair feeling dry. But I hadn’t even washed my hair in two days. Continue reading
I wanted to share this clip from a talk I did in June – all about anxiety, depression and panic attacks. Even though I don’t entirely love living with these things – I love talking about this stuff. It makes me feel less alone, it reduces the social stigma around mental health and above all, it reminds me that healing is possible when we can connect and laugh and say to each other oh my God, I totally know what you mean.
Hope you enjoy this short clip. (I have been doing more talks lately, so I should have more clips to share soon.) And if you’re interested in having me come talk at your school, organization or conference – you can see my speaking kit here!
I’m super excited about the Hippocamp nonfiction writers conference in Lancaster, PA this weekend! I’ll be giving a talk about how to find your own unique creativity: how to refine it, own it, and how to make sure you never get blocked from it. I’ve got PowerPoint slides full of embarrassing old photos, helpful tips and cartoons. It’s gonna be fun.
There are still some tickets to the conference available, so come hang out and talk about words with me and a whole bunch of extraordinary writers.
And no promises, but last year at this conference – they had a mashed potato bar.
(If your school, conference or company is interested in having me come speak – you can see my speaking kit and contact me for more information.)
“I hate that phrase — ‘to be completely honest.’ Why do people say that? As if I want you to lie to me.”
My friend was saying this as he and I were sitting at an outdoor bar that has swings instead of seats. We were trying to solve the problems of the world over beer and french fries. So why do people start off this way when they are about to admit something difficult about their lives? Continue reading
I found myself saying this last night during an online book club for my memoir You Look Like That Girl. I truly believe that when we stop fearing failure – incredible things can happen.
Failure is not the end of the story.
Failure is necessary. Continue reading
I was talking to a friend about how much I like to burn my writing.
I don’t burn it all the time, but when it’s something I feel like I need to release, it’s incredibly powerful cathartic ritual. That got me thinking about a wedding I attended two years ago.
I didn’t want to go to the wedding because I had nothing to wear.
It’s humiliating to admit that. It’s such a frivolous, stereotypical girl excuse. I’d been to a million weddings, but nothing quite like this. There were going to be a lot of people there and my social anxiety was running pretty high.
It was silly to think that I was worried looking out-of-place…with a bunch of people who take looking out-of-place very seriously. The wedding was done “burner-style” (think Burning Man) and grounded in the spirit of community, art and self-expression. Continue reading
I’m thrilled to be giving a talk tonight in Charlottesville, Virginia. The event is called Embrace Your Weird: from Anxiety to Authenticity and it’s based on the new book that I am writing. There is even a whole fancy Power Point thingy.
Many of us are afraid to talk about anxiety, depression and panic attacks – it’s about time we change that. This talk is a deeply personal exploration of mental health, told with compassion and humor. It’s a hopeful, entertaining and enlightening look at the root causes of anxiety, the results of the latest research and ideas for how to manage stress in your own life.
The event is free and open to the public, as part of Retreat Week at Ix Art Park. For more information and to RSVP, please click here.
And in case you were wondering, yes, I’m feeling very anxious about giving an anxiety talk. But I’m gonna to do it anyway.