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When I was a kid, I loved going through the photo albums that lined our book shelf, looking at pictures of “young me,” as well as other people I knew. In one album were photos of this beautiful little dark-haired baby girl, often held by my mom. I was my mother’s only child and as blonde as blonde could get, so I knew that baby wasn’t me. When I asked my mom about the dark-haired girl from the photos, she told me her name was Jessica, that she was my sister whom my mother had at a very young age and that she had been given up for adoption. As a child — and now as an adult — I always had an insatiable thirst for information, so I had question upon question upon question for my mom, and she answered them as well as she could with what information she had and with what she believed I could understand. [Click to continue]
If you ever asked me to describe my childhood bedroom or recall my favorite hangout as a kid or try to remember the route I took to school most often, I probably couldn’t do it. And it’s not because I have a poor memory. I still know the birthday of the little girl who sat next to me in Mrs. Tachikawa’s first grade class in 1982. But the details most people remember about the homes where they grew up — the way the bathroom door would stick after a steamy shower or exactly what week in the spring the dogwood tree in the back yard would start blooming — are much fuzzier for me simply because I never stayed anywhere long enough consider it home.
By the time I left for college at 17, my family had lived in ten different addresses (and that’s not counting a hotel we lived in for nine months while we looked for a “permanent” home). Ten years later, I’d added nine more places to the tally, including two dorm rooms, one apartment I shared with a college roommate, three apartments I lived in alone, two apartments I lived in with a boyfriend, and one apartment I shared with a friend post-breakup while I (tried to) figure shit out. [Click to continue]
The following essay was written by guest contributor, Sarah Fetters. She’s pictured above on her wedding day with her new husband, Josh.
When I got married in November of 2012 I was a first-time wife, but a second-time bride. About four and a half years before I walked down the aisle towards my husband Josh, I called off my first wedding. My first fiancé at the time, Tim, and I met and fell in love almost instantly. There were some red flags, though like his parents’ emotionally abusive relationship, and Tim’s tendency to tell small lies. But despite these things we had several blissfully happy years as we moved in together, got engaged, and planned a beautiful wedding. We booked a swanky museum for our reception. I bought a gorgeous designer gown in a rose pink tint. And then about six months before our wedding, a bombshell revelation about Tim’s father changed everything. [Click to continue]
The following piece of creative nonfiction is part of a series I started on my personal blog a few years ago called “Alphabet: A History,” which is a collection of short, autobiographical vignettes, focusing mainly on relationships (familial, romantic, platonic, and self).
It’s July, 2004 — hot and sticky. We’re sitting in his backyard drinking Gin & Tonics and taking turns reading the latest issue of Vanity Fair.
“You have any beer?” I ask.
“No,” he replies, reaching for his wallet, “but I’ll buy if you fly.”
I stand up and take his money, my arms are full of freckles, and I’m wearing those Nine West flip flops with the little black bows and a shirt he later says makes me look washed out. My hair’s pulled back in a ponytail, and I’m wearing the cinnabar earrings I love. It’s before I lose one getting out of a car. It’s before the last time I ever see him. [Click to continue]
When I got pregnant in January of last year, I had just left a job with a stable paycheck and started this website as my full-time gig. There were several reasons I ventured out on my own, but top of the list was my desire to be a stay-at-home mom AND have an outlet that at least kept a big toe in the work force while maybe, hopefully, bringing in some money that would allow me to financially contribute to my family. Drew and I discussed this and were on the same page. We hoped we wouldn’t have trouble conceiving a baby naturally and that by the time I gave birth, this site would be running smoothly and I could enjoy being home with our baby.
And fortunately, that’s exactly how things have played out, though we haven’t been without challenges along the way. For one thing, I got pregnant right away — the first month we tried — which I am, of course, very grateful for, but it also meant that I didn’t have as much time as I was anticipating to get this new “job” off to a good start before having my hands full with a newborn. Add in some complications during pregnancy and PPD-like symptoms from my thyroid disease after giving birth and it’s safe to say that I was pretty distracted and as a result, I wasn’t able to give this site — my source of what I hoped would be a little income of my own — as much attention as I would have liked.
Fast forward almost two years since I launched DearWendy.com, and my son, Jackson, is 13 months old and I now earn enough from the site to employ a part-time babysitter about 10 hours a week. This gives me a little time to work, which is important for my self-esteem and intellectual well-being, and it gives me a break from what is often the tedious and demanding work of stay-at-home motherhood. What my job doesn’t give me is a sense that I am financially contributing to my household (because I’m not) and that is something that I grapple with constantly. [Click to continue]