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Everything about my father was massive—callused, weathered hands from years of hard labor and broad shoulders squaring his 6’ 3” frame. He squeezed me as he shook me, and if he gripped any tighter I knew I’d snap in half. Trapped in my toy store sleeping bag, I went silent and still, my eyes forced...
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Just like I had done before, I skipped the sugar pills in the birth control pack to avoid having a period. I punished you; I shamed you. Instead of seeing my time of the month as sacred and beautiful, or, at the very least, completely normal, I just skipped it all together. I never allowed...
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I am fertile with contradictions, beset by exhaustion, love, worry and joy in a mud pie that can taste terrible. I’m touching deeper grief and sadness than anything I’ve experienced before. Every relationship is changing—with my parents, my career, my body, my husband. Even my relationship with time and space is changing, fundamental understandings of...
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Like many modern romances, my relationship with feminism began online. In the beginning, I followed outspoken women on Twitter, retweeting what I most related to. Then, I moved to Facebook, copying and pasting poignant snippets of shared articles into my captions. When a debate ensued on a friend’s status, I was quick to tap like...
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My quest for balance was just my familiar perfectionism, repackaged and rebranded in a wellness buzzword. I had swallowed the idea of balance as a perfectly curated life with planned, indulgent breaks; there was no room for improvisation, spontaneity, or feeling. 
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I was twenty-five the night Cameron proposed, and within hours, the sheer velocity with which the world had rushed to weigh in on the event left me depleted. It felt as if the front doors of our carefully crafted inner lives had been flung open. News travels faster than I’d imagined, and friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers inserted...
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The week before I met my husband I saw a psychic who asked me about the auburn-haired man in my life, the one with a “J” name. No one fit the bill, but one week later, I met him at a party. What the psychic didn’t tell me was that my future husband would be...
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I haven’t always been a combatant. I’m a cis, white chick, and I drank external validation Kool-Aid straight into my twenties. I was taught to desire desirability. I was groomed to be likeable. My life has primed me to find self-worth in acceptability.
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Fighting is eating in the middle of night. It’s crying as my hair continues to fall out, despite the nourishment I’m finally giving myself. It’s living in a gassy, bloated, and constipated body as my digestive system repairs itself. It is forcing myself out the door to have coffee with a friend, when all I...
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A woman holds her hand over her face to block the light
By the time I’d scheduled a consultation with a fertility clinic, I’d been trying to get pregnant for over five years. Normally a generalized aura, my worry had morphed into a hot, sweaty, magnetic force field. It drew in all of my fears so I could study them up close: I worried about the expense...
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Collage of a woman's face
I see the old me. Her hands tremble whenever she’s nervous, and just about everything makes her nervous. It feels like ghosts are slithering underneath her skin; they never give her body enough room to know what it feels like not to be anxious.
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I used to ask my mom if she wished I looked like her. I wondered if there was a certain connection she’d hoped to have—the sensation of seeing her own eyes reflected back at her in a younger version of herself. Was there a different kind of bond formed by teaching your daughter how to...
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