Fat Girl,

Never.

January 15, 2018 1 Comment
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The Process of Being.

April 16, 2017 0 Comments

This Sat­ur­day, April 22, I will turn 30 years old. (Want to help me cel­e­brate?)

Frankly, this ter­ri­fies me.

All my life, I nev­er envi­sioned myself liv­ing past the age of 28. I fig­ured that either the rap­ture would have occurred, or I would have killed myself. So you’d think 29 would have been my all-out pan­ic year, but I spent 29 deal­ing with a lot of oth­er things.

Now, with 30 at my doorstep, I’m caught in its head­lights, await­ing its impact with an ever-increas­ing sense of dread.

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Haikus with Dani: In Which There Is No Room.

January 26, 2017 0 Comments

It’s been a full year since I broke up with my spouse. A very hard year, if you recall. I’ve spent a lot of time try­ing to process things as best as I can, and that often looks like dis­till­ing emo­tions into haikus. Some­thing about the struc­ture and lim­i­ta­tion seems to lend itself well to express­ing myself in suc­cinct and pow­er­ful ways (much like how Twitter’s char­ac­ter lim­it can help focus one’s thoughts).

I don’t real­ly want to offer com­men­tary on this. There is so much I am still pro­cess­ing. But it feels impor­tant to share it, and to share it now. And one of my goals is to lis­ten to my intu­ition far more than I’ve been able to in the past.

One thing I will say is this: it’s a ter­ri­fy­ing time in our coun­try right now. To be a woman, not white, not straight, not healthy in body and mind. Most of my friend group — myself includ­ed — are fight­ing the creep­ing despair as we watch this new admin­is­tra­tion work so hard to make our lives at best uncom­fort­able and at worst nonex­is­tent. It’s easy to not take care of your­self in an effort to remain informed, to know what fresh hell awaits every morn­ing.

But the lit­tle things mat­ter. Lit­tle things like remem­ber­ing to eat. Check­ing in with friends. Ask­ing peo­ple to check in on you. Kiss­ing your loved ones. Snug­gling your pets. Or even dar­ing to sim­ply take up space.

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As dumpster fires go.

December 31, 2016 0 Comments
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Haikus With Dani: JerkBrain Edition.

June 21, 2016 2 Comments

There’s a lot going on in my life. I’ve deac­ti­vat­ed my Twit­ter for a lit­tle bit. Vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty is ter­ri­fy­ing, but it’s eas­i­er to be vul­ner­a­ble to an amor­phous mass of peo­ple than talk to any­one in par­tic­u­lar about what’s been hap­pen­ing, even the things that are only hap­pen­ing inside my own head. There­fore, you’re get­ting more of my depress­ing frag­ments of dia­logue, this time brought to you by my very own Jerk­Brain.

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The Stories We Tell: Purity Culture and Shame.

April 1, 2016 7 Comments

I had a very eye-open­ing con­ver­sa­tion with my mom recent­ly.

We were talk­ing about my mar­riage to my ex, and she asked me if her hunch was cor­rect that I’d have mar­ried him any­way if my par­ents hadn’t giv­en us per­mis­sion. (You see, in our iter­a­tion of puri­ty cul­ture, even as a 22-year-old adult, I need­ed my par­ents’ per­mis­sion to mar­ry.)

I thought a moment and answered hon­est­ly: yes, I would have still mar­ried him. Then I clar­i­fied, “I hon­est­ly thought I had to.”

You didn’t get that from us!” Mom respond­ed in aston­ished con­fu­sion. “You don’t have to mar­ry some­one just because you slept with them.

Let me state up front: that’s an entire­ly true state­ment. I agree with it 100%.

And yet it was my turn to be shocked.

Because that state­ment flew in the face the entire nar­ra­tive of my first 20+ years of life..

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Haikus With Dani: Breakup Edition

March 3, 2016 3 Comments

In so many ways, the dis­solv­ing of my mar­riage has been unspeak­ably hard. I lit­er­al­ly don’t have tru­ly appro­pri­ate words for this expe­ri­ence, only deep chasms with­in my being that alter­nate­ly flow with rage and sor­row, then ebb with hol­low mis­ery. So I decid­ed to put the frag­ment­ed shards of grief into haikus.

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The Stories We Tell: Purity Culture Edition

February 18, 2016 2 Comments

Puri­ty cul­ture pre­pared me for a world that doesn’t exist. The world that does exist is both so much bet­ter and so much worse than I was led to believe.

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When I must be “The Bad Guy.”

February 1, 2016 6 Comments

I could explain my thought process­es for every step of these var­i­ous jour­neys. I’m very prone to explain­ing and dis­sect­ing and hop­ing beyond hope that I can just <i>make you see why and how,</i> make you see cause and effect, con­nect dots for you, con­nect dots for me. I want to feel jus­ti­fied, val­i­dat­ed. I don’t want to be The Bad Guy. I don’t want to accept that to so many, I am petu­lant and over-shar­ing and run­ning away from prob­lems that could be fixed if I would just try hard­er. But I can’t change, even if I tried. Even if I want­ed to.* And so…here I sit. The Bad Guy. It’s not com­fort­able. I don’t like it. But if this is who I have to be in order to be <i>me</i>, then so be it.

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Great expectations: basic human decency.

October 5, 2015 11 Comments

In short: the low­est com­mon denom­i­na­tor in all rela­tion­ships ought to be basic human decen­cy.

When Chris­tians tell me that it’s not fair for me to expect them not to tram­ple on my bound­aries or treat me with dis­re­spect for my auton­o­my as a human being, all I can hear is, “You can’t expect basic human decen­cy from me or my peo­ple.” More than that, I hear, “You don’t even qual­i­fy as human enough for us to con­sid­er treat­ing you dif­fer­ent­ly.”

Chris­tians? This is a prob­lem.

How will the world know you as lov­ing if you refuse to act lov­ing­ly? How can you say you pos­sess the love of Jesus Christ when this is how you treat unbe­liev­ers? You claim that you’re no bet­ter than us, yet treat us like you’re the Des­ig­nat­ed Adult and we’re the naughty chil­dren you must put back in our places. You insist that for me and oth­er unbe­liev­ers (or even lib­er­al believ­ers!) to write and live and share our authen­tic selves is a direct attack on you, and so you try to con­trol us through silenc­ing tac­tics and what you must think are counter-attacks. You can’t see the dif­fer­ence between some­one being hon­est about who they are and some­one exert­ing con­trol over a per­son? How can you not see the dis­re­spect of that? How can you not see the con­de­scen­sion? How can you pre­tend to be shar­ing Christ’s love when you refuse to see the image of God in any­one but those who look and think and act like you?

Despite being an athe­ist, I do think the Bible has a few nuggets of wis­dom here and there. And one of those nuggets is this: “Let us not love in word…but in deed and in truth.” In oth­er words, don’t tell me that you love me while show­ing me that you don’t.

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