You never know who might be infected. Everyone seems completely normal at first; totally capable of having fundamental human respect, dignity, and decency. You know, the elementary basics. But the infected unknowingly lurk within our midst, and they’ve become increasingly harder to identify. Continue reading “Pandemic” »
“As soon as your passions are turned into careers, you risk turning love into work”
I watched her pace the room, tweaking and re-positioning the photos we helped her hang inside the art gallery. She stood back, studied the images from a couple vantage points and made a few more adjustments. The gallery was the culmination of a year’s work and the following week the show would be open to the public. This was her baby, and she was preparing for her moment. Kerri had become a close friend over the last few years ever since I first interviewed her for a magazine article about her inclusive, growing state-wide project ‘Jersey Collective.’ Each week, a different person in New Jersey takes over her Instagram account and shares their slice of the state. Kerri had no idea how big her brainchild would grow, or the mass amount of participation, wide-ranging diversity, and ways in which it would bring together countless people from all different backgrounds and walks of life under the unified banner of the state they live in and love. Continue reading “Work and Passion” »
It comes in waves, but they’re painful and smothering. Sometimes I have really good days and feel happy, but a part of me feels irreparably damaged no matter what I do to try to feel otherwise. It would be nice to wake up and feel relief, but it does not happen. Why was I so foolish to let people into my life, to give them my heart? What made me think that was at last a good idea to let my guard down? Shouldn’t I have known it would leave me even more crippling lonely than I was previously? I went from a fun, confident, extrovert to a timid introvert and haven’t been able to figure out a way to bounce back. I feel good around people, especially close friends, but it’s when I am alone, which has been and continues to be a large portion of my life, when things get really bad and I descend again. One punch in the heart after another, after another, after another. I feel so discarded, so unworthy of love, a person not worth being talked about or shared, and made out to be someone who is dull and boring. What was it about me? What was so wrong with me that I couldn’t be loved or celebrated? How many more months or years will have to go by like this? I lean heavily on my faith, but sometimes I cannot help these big waves that overpower me. I am naturally a naive, trusting and loving person who is overly affectionate and romantic. And it has destroyed me.
Every time I feel the waves of heaviness in my chest and my back I try to remind myself that I am fun and funny and an enjoyable person to be around. That there might be a time when I have a large group of friends again and won’t feel so alone. I hate having to do everything alone, go everywhere alone, eat alone, and never have someone to text or spend time with aside from the occasional weekends with my friends. I hold on to the hope of renewal, of things turning around on the inside as on the outside my circumstances have so drastically. I just want to be around people who enjoy my company, who I can connect with and let down my guard. I would love to find a church community with people my age but it’s been hard. I’m not one to show my hurt publicly, but sometimes I wish people would just reach out to me because I could really use it.