It always happens in droves.
You're doing well, mostly. Your brain hasn't yet attempted to plague you with the past.
Therapy only stirred the faint echoes into full-bodied roars of all the things you did wrong or bad, flipping back through all the people you've hurt in your mental Rolodex of self-hatred.
It's an addiction.
You quit smoking and drinking and partying and sleeping around, but you can never run from your head. It stays with you.
You don't think about the guilt when your conscience is coated in a viscous, organic layer that moves with you. It's a second skin you never shed.
You don't think about your mind paying itself back once you've settled down and been a good, law-abiding and helpful human being.
Instead it just plagues you.
Maybe it's a sign. Maybe it's a beckoning to tempt you back into your former ways.
Or maybe you're just, finally, growing up and your mind is trying to atone for what it's done.
To go back and ask forgiveness would be unbearable. Unbearable and selfish, really.
You did what you did. You're living with it.
They've probably moved on.
Except that one guy. He was crazier than you are. He still hates you like he just caught you in bed with another guy, even though you didn't say you were back together with him. He just assumed it in his distorted little mind.
Okay, maybe that other guy, too. Oh, and that one…
Life is a bitch and you wielded the sword that severed more than you intended. But you're not that person anymore.
You aren't cold. In fact, you're so warm that the thought of not seeing your husband's handsome smile crack across his bearded face is chilling. Tears pool at the thought of not getting a tight squeeze from your beautiful daughters every morning as they wake you far earlier than anyone should ever wake.
You couldn't give that up. Nothing would ever be worth it.
If you were a religious person, you'd think you had a devil in you or something. But you don't. You don't believe in that.
Maybe you just don't want to.
Maybe it's this undiagnosed problem you have. This issue that seems to ferment when left unattended.
Or maybe, just maybe, it's all still inside you, fresh and untampered by time.
Waiting for you to crawl back into it's warm and familiar embrace like the weak woman you really are.
'How's your business going?'
'Fine.' I hate it.
If only he knew her, then he'd understand.
'I wouldn't do it again, if that's what you mean,' I said, pulling my MacBook Pro closer to me atop the long work table in the mall.
What was she thinking?
They always end up letting you down.
I like being flawed. It gives me something to write about.
I let my kids examine my naked body yesterday.
There's no winning with blame.
Every time I think I'm getting better at this whole life thing, I do something wrong and set it back.
It was cold that day. Odd for Florida.
I gave twenty dollars to a woman on the side of the road today.
I like getting older.
There's something about with age and experience comes wisdom that's exhilarating.
The bad thing about family is you can never escape the past.
They remember everything.
I'll see this one through, I tell myself. I'll finish it.
After this, I'll put it to bed. After this, I'll move forward.
I'm the one who makes the show happen.
I was supposed to be an artist.
She asked me.
On her deathbed, she told me.
Something I learned as a visual artist and writer is that some of the best healing comes from expression.
There's something surreal about standing in front of a crowd of strangers—writers who all want the same thing.
At the end of the Writers In Paradise sessions, everyone got a chance to present a refined version of their submitted work, or a new story they were working on.
I was the only teenager at Writers in Paradise with Dennis Lehane, Sterling Watson and other well-known authors back in 2006.
I wake up to an alarm on the iPhone 7 I make payments on because all my older iPhones stop working properly whenever a new one comes out.
(I bought in, didn't I?)
I tried, but it just wasn't for me.
I love how my oldest daughter's friends come to the door to invite her out to play.
It's the third day since I made my decision.
In three days, I've learned more about myself than I have in the past three years.
Sometimes it just doesn't matter.
You can lay out your perfect, step-by-step roadmap, but when it comes down to it, you're never really prepared for anything.
It’s been 12 years since I expressed myself through writing—the one creative outlet that makes me truly happy. It’s going to be a messy, crazy ride, but one I need to take to be the whole person I want to be. Coming with me?