The first time I was certain I’d heard the voice of God was at your house.
It didn’t feel like your house.

Our relationship relented against its finality
while I learned to love myself.

We sat on the pea green sofa in-
I guess- your living room.
You talked
of work
and of people.

There was emptiness to fill,
so we moved to the bed we used to share.
Your new room. My old lamp.
Sheets I’d only glanced once before but can never forget.

Three times, was it?
The last one, we tenderly left the planet together.
We returned and said little,
holding each other, our bodies warm and damp,
on that bed
under the glow of my old lamp.

We sleep better apart but I chose to stay after a month of good rest.

Each time I woke that night to a voice,
like mine but not quite:
“You fill your own cup now, remember?”

If Wine Worked

The other day at the grocery store the man behind me in line told me it was unusually busy because everyone’s trying to fill their emptiness with consumption. While I tend to agree with such sentiment I think it had more to do with the anticipation of more snow. People were simply stocking up.

He also told me he drinks two bottles of wine every night because he’s uninsured and can’t afford therapy, then asked me what my poison was. I didn’t have a good reply to his question. I looked in my basket and talked about what was in it instead. Honeycrisp apples, pecan halves, sunflower oil, greens and blueberries. He told me canola was the devil’s oil, but he’d never before cooked with sunflower oil. No poison here.

I envied the man’s lived in fantasy, that wine sufficed. I could smell the therapeutic work he’d been doing on himself before he mentioned it, the familiar, metallic sweetness that once emanated from me as well. Saturation on a cellular level. This made him my brother. (His being human alone made him my brother.) I wanted to hug him.

The holidays left me feeling like one giant blister. My therapist is out of town for the next month or longer and if wine worked none of this would be of concern to me. If wine worked, I never would have stopped.

What is my poison then? What am I left with? Snack cakes, seduction, caffeine, spending sprees, attention seeking.

When I got home I put my groceries away, laid across my bed and ate a Little Debbie.

Utah, Chapter 2

The drive from Green River to Escalante-Grand Staircase alone made my decision to pass on Moab worth it. Wide towering buttes revealed themselves from behind flattened clouds of fog as I wound my way through the changing landscape. Through broken slabs of earth jutting up from the ground, to fall forests of bare birch and pine, I drove.

And I snacked. Beef jerky and trail mix, two things I could happily eat everyday until I die aside from the inevitable constipation it would likely bring me. (And has brought me.)

At one point I pulled over at a foggy vista in the mountains and squatted to pee right there on the side of the road in front of God and everyone, not even bothering to hide behind anything. I hadn’t actually seen any other vehicles for an hour or more, so I guess I was really only in front of God and some indifferent wildlife. I really enjoy pissing outside for some reason. I find it exhilarating somehow even when there’s no voyeurism involved, and honestly there never really is. I usually find a tree or a dumpster to get behind. 

I’m not sure why it matters that anyone knows these details, but perhaps it will help you better understand the protagonist of this story. She’s an animal.

The closer I got to Escalante, the more I said things like, “Holy shit,” and, “Oh my god!” I drove along a sliver of paved earth dropping off on both sides and opening to wide canyon bluffs bottomed with weathered junipers and scrubs on a narrow, uneven spread of subdued desert grasses. To the west, lumps of Navajo sandstone and stubby buttes in shades of coral, white and rust were parted by a stream that you couldn’t quite see but knew existed because of the autumnal cottonwoods auspiciously growing golden alongside it. I could see into the western canyon for miles and before I knew it I was winding my way down into it.

I pulled off at the Lower Calf Creek “recreation area.” There was a hike to a waterfall which sounded enticing and places to camp, but for a price. $5 for day use, $15 for camping. There were also lots of cars in the trailhead parking lot. It was a beautiful parking lot. I mean, just breathtaking down there in that marvelous canyon with all the “autumnal cottonwoods growing golden” along the crick. I considered it. I could pay $15 and do a quick six-mile jaunt to a waterfall and come back to camp at one of those nice spots with all the lovely fall trees and potential traffic.

Despite my sarcasm it really wasn’t that bad and I really did consider it. But something told me I could find better, so I left.

Five miles later, I decided to go back to the recreation area. It was nearing 4:00 and I just needed to do a fucking hike already. That’s what I came out there to do after all, and I had been in a car all day eating my weight in G.O.R.P.

I pulled up, got out of my car, paced up the lot once and back down. I decided to leave again and for good this time.

Soon after, I made a curious left turn onto a narrow dirt road where I discovered dispersed campsites galore, free, with ridiculous views. Am I even alive? I asked myself. As stupid and romantic as it sounds I felt destined to be there because why else would it be so perfect? Listen, you can be destined for something without it necessarily meaning anything. So, there. It was meant to be.


After settling in I grabbed my day pack and wandered up the gravel road for a pre-sunset walk (Finally.) and was immediately pulled in by deep gratitude. Gratitude for my full-functioning, strong legs, tireless little feet and the boots protecting them, and my eyeballs of course, all for allowing me to interact with and take in the vast desert before me, and then for all my other senses as well because what is life without sensation? Then, there was even more gratitude- gratitude for my gratitude. Because it takes daily practice, and damn if it doesn’t make for a rich life when you are able to acknowledge the abundance all around you.

After whispering my many thanks to the Universe, I came to an unmarked trail off the side of the road where I hiked a ways into a dried up creek bed of fine sand, woven with mounds of slickrock and sage. I found a place to sit down to take some deep breaths before heading back for dinner, a little meditation, if you will. It was the first time I’d been completely still and totally in my body for days. 


I’d received a text from a friend earlier that day asking how I was doing. When I told her I was in Utah therefore doing great, and confirmed that yes, I was there by myself she, like everyone else, was impressed. “Oh, wow, alone? Good for you! What an inspiration.” I used to get off on that. Okay, I still totally get off on it. Look at me. I’m a rugged, adventurous, kind of sexy, kind of smelly, bold, independent, self-sufficient, self-confident, mostly fearless, sometimes hairy, go-getter. A spritely young woman with primal tendencies and a deep appreciation of the wild. Even though I’m a tiny, weasley girl, I travel alone and sleep in my car and sometimes even outside. I rarely panic and I piss where I please! Could I be any cooler? No. Do you wish you could be me? Probably. (This is a bunch of half-truth, exaggerated bullshit. I’m soft. I get scared sometimes. I’m kind of weird. And I mostly only pee where peeing is allowed.)

Aside from all that ego masturbation, I do take genuine pleasure in doing things alone, especially anything outdoors. Great, uninterrupted thinking takes place or vanishes all together and I am able to pay more attention. But this time was different and my ego trip was lost to a peculiar thread of loneliness. (Come to think of it, isn’t that what it’s all about, chipping away at the pesky ego?) I didn’t feel threatened by it though. I didn’t take it personally or feel pathetic over its presence, which was a huge victory given that just four months prior I had what can only be described as an enormous drunken tantrum over how unlovable I believed myself to be at the time. Instead I was curious. This isn’t to say I wasn’t bothered by it. I found myself wishing for company on this trip and that surprised me. It didn’t align with what I previously believed about myself- all that stuff about being independent and self-sufficient, not needing anyone. While I didn’t perceive the loneliness as a threat, per say, I did find it to be a nuisance. I wanted it to go away but that’s not how things work so I “leaned into it” and asked it some questions. Questions like, why now?

I realized that I’d always dealt with loneliness to some degree since early childhood (I’m not special. Childhood’s hard on nearly everyone.) but I had a ten year respite thanks to my vices. Someone asked me recently if I drank more when I felt lonely. Generally speaking I drank enough that I never had to feel lonely, not for long anyway. Never had to sit with it the way I had more recently. Even when I stopped drinking I still had social media to turn to and did so often without an ounce of awareness of what it really was about. (I deactivated my last social media account three months before.) For nearly ten years I’d simply been unaware and anesthetized to it, but it was there all along, waiting to be addressed.

So, there I was in the Utah desert addressing my loneliness at the mouth of a deepening canyon, sitting cross-legged on creamy colored sandstone surrounded by a loose mosaic of petrified wood shards before taking my first and few meditative breaths.


I think it was my third deep inhalation that I burst into snorting laughter and gasping sobs, an unanticipated onslaught of emotion. I’ve never been so blindsided. Moments before I was in a pensive sort of state, neither high nor low. Now I was joyfully losing my shit in the middle of who even knows where. 

In a near instant I received a massive load of clarity. My loneliness was a farce. I was far from alone. I have never been alone. I wouldn’t have made it this far, relatively sane and sober, if that were the case. I have family back home, a budding community in Santa Fe, and close friends in Colorado and all over who really love me, support me and want to see me succeed and be well. I am insanely rich in love and in that brief attempt at meditation I swear to God I felt it all at once, radiating inwardly, outwardly, endlessly. I practically fell over. And ironically I was thankful no one was there to witness my unhinged exhibition. I couldn’t stop cry-laughing because there I was in one of the most mystifying places on this wondrous planet, just trying to make contact with God and nature or whatever, making some major event of it -I don’t even know-  and all I could think about anymore was how much I appreciate my day-to-day life and the people in it. 

I am struggling to come up with an eloquent way to break all of this down but it just wasn’t like that. It wasn’t without grace, but it was a haphazard sort of intoxicated grace. I couldn’t catch my breath. Why was it so funny? It may have been one of the best moments of my life now that I think about it. (I have many of those. I can’t help it.)

I got up, returning to lucidity. I wiped my snotty nose on my arm and stumbled down the wash and out back to camp and heated up a can of vegetarian chili while the sun had its last hour before trading places with the moon.


The next morning the tea I drank tasted faintly of chili as I did not properly clean my pot the night before. I wrote in my journal on the low cliff’s edge, wrapped in a blanket, sipping my bean flavored yerba mate while the sun yawned and stretched it’s arms up over the horizon, warming the morning. Its stimulating rays urged me up from my perch and onward to the next phase of my journey- a long hike, possibly an overnight.

I didn’t really know where I was in relation to where I’d come from. I didn’t care. I liked it. 

I headed to town, to the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center. I needed water, a national park sticker for my car and suggestions for hikes. I filled my water bottle and dromedary bag outside. I got my sticker. But I didn’t get the trail suggestions I’d hoped for.

The BLM employees, two oddly identical robust women with sparsely silver streaked mousy hair and khaki uniforms, were matter of fact and a touch ominous in their tones when they informed me that they couldn’t recommend hikes for reasons of liability since the majority of the trails were unmarked. (“If you don’t know what you’re doing and die or something we’d be held responsible, so it’s hike at your own risk.”) They stressed the importance of knowing how to read a topo map and use a compass out there. I never even know what road I’m on half the time. 

The idea of unmarked backcountry trails aroused me to no end. That was exactly what I wanted, especially after my stint in Moab where all I could think about was dead-legging selfie-taking strangers over the edge of cliffs for making a spectacle of the natural world. But the BLM twins did spook me a bit. (I guess I should learn to use a topographic map and a compass.) I knew their warnings were over the top, but I understood. They were doing their jobs and for all they knew I could have been some inexperienced twit who “ain’t never been took nowhere,” who just happens to dress like they’ve been outside before. I certainly wasn’t like the hopeless people I’d seen on trails in the past wearing baggy gym shorts and slip on sneakers with nothing on them but a single crinkly bottle of Nestle water I could drink in a single gulp. But honestly, I got it.

I actually pride myself in having a healthy fear of being in the wild on my own. Healthy because while I like to push myself beyond my level of comfort, I also know that having spent most of my life in the Great Plains I am relatively inexperienced compared to those who grew up in these regions, and that the desert or any wilderness area is no joke, especially here given that I was completely unfamiliar with the area. I just had to accept that I wouldn’t be pushing myself today. This was the compromise for being able to explore beyond more developed places like Moab and Zion National Park with their practically paved trails, vistas at every turn and hoards of tourists stopping dead in front of you to take photos of every goddamned chipmunk along the way. (I do think it’s important for people to get out and see these places, but I just wish there was another way, one that didn’t impede mine.)

My previous loneliness transformed that morning into a simple desire for someone who knew more than me, with experience and expertise to share. I shrugged it off, holding onto eventually.


I did a very 2018 thing and downloaded a map on my phone of a hike to a lesser known slot canyon. I have an inexplicable affinity for those tight, undulatory spaces. They are, if you ask me, the sexiest geologic wonders of the Southwest with their narrow yet curvaceous walls seamlessly carved out by water, spooky silence and soft sandy bottoms. The one I found, which shall remain unnamed, was pristine as any I’d ever been in and gave my trip a sense of satisfying closure. 

I headed home the next morning, sooner than I liked given that I’d just arrived, but the drive back was ten hours and I had to get back to work. Such is the nature of no plans.


A couple days after returning to Santa Fe a friend asked if I was interested in backpacking the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim with a group of five the following week.

Well, hot damn.


Moab Was Busy And The Weather Was Shit

I fell out of love with Moab almost instantly when I arrived last Monday. To the extent that I wondered what there was to love in the first place.

Leaving the house that morning felt almost rote, like an insect in migration. I checked in with myself once on the highway, scanning for any strong emotions of which there were oddly very few. This peaked my curiosity, so I asked myself what my intentions were for the trip, what I expected to get out of it.

I didn’t know.

I kept checking in with myself like that along the way between listening to a letdown of a playlist that never quite pulled me from my ambiguous mood and an episode of Waking Up With Sam Harris, pausing occasionally to take in the changing scenery and to swap out pieces of gum. I had purchased three different flavored packs, watermelon, traditional bubble and mint, about an hour into my drive to prevent me from eating an entire two pound bag of trail mix or gnawing my fingers to hell. Was I anxious or something?

A friend reminded me the night before that I was in Utah around this time last year, right before making the hasty move to Santa Fe. It was a classic “little did she know” moment in which little did I know my life was about to basically be gutted. I didn’t know when I was in Moab last year that I would return to Oklahoma the following week to put in my notice at work and leave. I certainly knew something was churning on that trip, but I chalked it up to having been on the road for almost two weeks.

One year ago, Canyonlands and clueless.

I didn’t plan for this get-away to coincide with my last, but it had me wondering if there was something more to the timing of it all. Was it something to pay attention to?

I’ve always believed myself to be a great finder of magic. It’s not that difficult, actually. Anyone can do it if they want to. You look for signs, draw connections, find meaning. And meaning is magic. It’s intuition. It’s God, the Universe, Spirit, you, me, Something. You don’t even have to believe in Something to do it, but you might after awhile. It’s how you paint your story. If I felt like it, I could stop paying attention, i.e. finding magic, and let my life become dull, or I could pay attention to the wrong things and succumb to life’s difficulties. Looking back, I suppose I have done both periodically. Sometimes bitterness overtakes a person, some unresolved, often entirely unknown issue from the past blisters up and it can deplete you. But by the grace of Something- no, because of the grace of Something I’ve never strayed too far from my meaning-making, magic-finding ways.

Anyway, no. Fall is just a lovely time of year to visit Utah. I had to leave it at that. It was as if I was trying too hard to find some significance in the time correlation, and that’s why I had to buy three packs of gum to sooth myself. Maybe not every trip is supposed to be some big soul-shifting journey. I let it go.


Moab was busy and the weather was shit.

What was my draw to this place? Where was the mystique I waxed on about before? This place was crawling with tourist types and all terrain vehicles.

I’d forgotten up until that point what it was like driving into Moab for the first time. I had been in awe of the natural scenery but confused by the array of unsightly corrugated steel buildings painted in a simple pallet of whites, grays and mostly primary colors and all the junk piles. I always find it irksome the way we humans will put up structures without any aesthetic considerations, especially in a place so beautiful. I guess I’m just a little pretentious.


Me on an arch. Naughty.

Once all the way into town where my cell signal improved, I checked my email at a red light out of habit, not really expecting anything. My very first Santa Fe connection finally replied to an email I’d sent him two months ago in which I apologized for how I ended things, very gracelessly without a whole lot of integrity. It was another one of those “Does this mean anything?” moments, as it was about a year ago that we’d made contact and traveled together through Utah, including my first backpacking trip right outside of Moab, followed by some crowded exploration of Arches.

Santa Fe was the first stop on my road-trip last year exploring the Southwest. Jay was the first person I met. I found him through a website for hosting travelers.

It poured rain the last stretch of my drive from Oklahoma to Santa Fe and I had just finished my second 20 ounce energy drink upon arrival, so I was beyond amped and also lucky I didn’t have a stroke or a seizure. (I had to. I stayed out late the night before doing unspeakable things and was running on very few hours of sleep.) I thought his adobe looked kind of dumpy from the outside, and I might have been more nervous going there alone, except he was hosting two other people, a nice married couple from Wisconsin or somewhere where wholesome people are from.

I called when I pulled up to make sure I was at the right place and he instructed me to let myself in through the gate which was secured with a large dog collar. As I crossed the threshold into the small, dark yard, I heard slow syrupy psych rock playing from inside and was immediately comforted knowing this guy was probably going to be super “cool” and know all the “cool” people and show me a really “cool” Santa Fe experience. Through the warm light inside he appeared, Jay, a few inches taller than me, ratty ginger hair knotted messily on top of his head, a dingy white t-shirt with Dr. Seuss fish all over, tight, faded black jeans, stick-n-poke tattoos on his arms, Chaco sandals on his feet and a bottle of cider in hand. He was sort of schlubby but in a very hip way. Seriously, he was cool, which was of utmost importance to me back then, and I knew I was in a good place.

I slept with him that night. I don’t waste time. I felt iffy about it in the morning because for one I had been pretty tanked and was coming down from the previous night of “casual” cocaine use, and two, even though I joked for weeks about all the “D” I planned on “slaying” from state to state, that wasn’t really what this solo excursion was about. It was supposed to be more of an “Eat, Pray, Love” thing. But like I said, he was cool, active, liked outdoorsy things and the arts, did yoga sometimes, drank and smoked cigarettes (edgy), and he was a physicist with a Ph.D. (My low self-esteemed ass secretly couldn’t get over the fact that a guy with a Ph.D. would ever be into me.)

He happened to be going on a canyoneering trip in Zion National Park around the same time I would be in Zion, so we discussed the possibility of camping together. I wasn’t trying to fall in love with anyone or let my solo adventure be hijacked by some dude, but it just made sense. So we did. You know- signs, magic, all that shit I was going on about before. The biggest indicator of all that we were destined to join forces was that we consumed the same things for breakfast everyday: yogurt and berries with granola and copious amounts of yerba mate.

Baby’s First Backpacking Trip

I don’t regret it at all. We had a blast together, and I could write an anthology of stories based on those adventures alone. Okay, it’d be more like an anthology of inside jokes. (See: Baby’s First Backpacking Trip featuring Candra “Lady of the Canyon” Lowery) But things definitely took a turn for the weird towards the end.

I did not move to Santa Fe for Jay. I still stand by that. I’m too smart to move across states for a man I just met. But I’ll definitely stay at his house, in his bed and act like his girlfriend for awhile if it means I get to make an adventurous, unplanned move to a new town. Or back then I would have. When I’ve mentioned to friends I felt some guilt for basically taking advantage of him, his house, his connections, his big sweet dog, some have been quick to suggest that perhaps his intentions with me weren’t so great either. I used to latch onto that idea, shucking all personal responsibility for anything bad that ever happened between us, but in hindsight I know there was something, not love by any stretch, but something. And I’d rather not discard the memories we made together or forget everything he did for me, which was a lot more looking back than I realized then.

His reply to my email was short, telling me not to worry or apologize, that things did get weird, that he’d been meaning to reply but he’d been busy moving to the Pacific Northwest.

“…while chattering people in floppy safari hats secured to their heads with drawstrings took turns posing for photos all around me.”

I looked for a hike to do before looking for a place to camp but every trail-head I pulled up to was packed, so I settled for a short hike in Canyonlands where I fantasized about tripping the French family dawdling in front of me as I pushed my way ahead of them. (I don’t enjoy having thoughts like that about fellow humans, but sometimes I forget strangers are more than just environmental props.) At the end of the trail we, the tourists and I, were met with an arch overlooking layers of canyons, layers of the earth’s dermis. I had my moment, taking it all in, breathing deeply while chattering people in floppy safari hats secured to their heads with drawstrings took turns posing for photos all around me. I reminded myself that nature is for everyone- not just for me. Let these people have their experience, too. But I had to get out of there.

Behind us dense, foreboding clouds rolled in and settled for awhile over the area I’d planned to backpack the next day. By that point though, I wondered if it would even be worth it to stay in Moab. Could I possibly have the type of experience I was looking for in a place so infested with humans?

I had purchased two bundles of cedar that day, so my top priority for the night was finding a place to camp where I could have a fire. I didn’t even care if it rained, as long as I could have my fire before it arrived. I easily found a spot on BLM land with an array of views, blue-green and black banded slopes of silty rock, towering red sandstone fins and miles-away mountains shrouded in rain clouds occasionally sparked with lightning like  steel striking flint. And no fire restrictions. Perfect.


It was too damned windy for a fire. It was too damned windy to even eat my tuna and avocado anywhere but inside my car, so there I sat with my headlamp on eating canned tuna and avocado on stale rice cakes in the dark, laughing at my Moab experience thus far. I even choked a bit.

I considered how seemingly quiet my night would have appeared to an observer while I sorted my gear and posted up. I wrestled the curtains I’d cut from thrifted fabric, using binder clips to attach them to a long line of parachute cord suspended above the car windows. I had one of the rear seats folded down, topped with a thick foam mattress pad and my zero degree sleeping bag. It was cozy if not cramped between the bins, firewood bundles, backpacks, boots and bags of snacks.

I didn’t experience the night as a quiet one with all the thoughts proliferating inside my head, the endless narrative. I worried for a minute that maybe I only really enjoyed this sort of thing when I was drinking. I don’t often think about drinking anymore, but that night I thought man, this wouldn’t be so bad if I had a box of wine to nurse. It wasn’t that I sat there obsessing over the alcohol or even that the night was so bad. But wine was always such a great comfort to me and I wasn’t exactly comfortable in that moment. I also thought this wouldn’t be so bad if I had someone else here to share this so far amusing experience with. For a long time the company of drink and the company of another person were interchangeable and almost equally satiating.


I slept 12 hours that night and I was ready to get a move on.

The weather didn’t look like it was letting up any time soon, so I determined a new plan was in order. I went to a coffee shop in Green River, Utah. It was appropriately eclectic in its decor with gold framed Van Gogh replicas screwed into the ceiling lined with pillowy hung coffee bean sacks. The gal working claimed to be the “biggest nerd” in the area and didn’t do outdoors so she couldn’t make any recommendations to me as far as hikes were concerned. An old nay-sayer, I believe perhaps the owner of the shop, overheard us then proceeded to waste about fifteen minutes of my time discouraging me from doing anything at all until tomorrow.

I sat for a bit sipping my coffee, thinking things over. (I would like to mention I had already consumed 16 ounces of yerba mate and a shot of espresso.) I guess I decided I would drive to Escalante. I say I guess, because I don’t really remember how I decided that was the new plan. It just was. I thanked the nay-sayer for his “help” and then God for the rain, the perfect excuse to back out of backpacking alone, something I was reluctant to admit I felt ill prepared for, and the perfect reason to go somewhere else besides Moab.

I took off.

I didn’t want to start a blog.

Blogs these days are too topical, often monetized and lacking in authenticity. (Let me tell you how grossed out, heartbroken, confused, frustrated, etc. I am by the lack of authenticity in the world these days. God forbid I ever fall into that racket.) But I desperately needed somewhere to exercise my tiny writing muscle and a small audience to share with, and I wasn’t sure where else to turn.

As with many modes of writing there’s a kind of formula or expectation with a blog, such as length of posts, a theme or a topic, including photos in posts and updating regularly, at least if you want it to be a good blog. I worried a blog would make me feel too constricted in my writing, interfering with my flow. And it did for a minute. But I am not here to become a famous internet blogger. Fuck that. I just want to write and keep it authentic, so I will. My posts may be long, short, sporadic, whatever, I don’t care, doesn’t matter as long as I’m enjoying myself and my needs are being met.

This for me is more of a baby portfolio than a blog.

I haven’t posted anything in awhile because I started to write about my trip to Utah and it’s turning into this very long, convoluted something or other about the last year with lots of time-hopping. I have no idea what it’s going to turn into, when it will be complete, if I’ll ever share it here or what. But I am enjoying the hell out of writing it. For the first time for as long as I can remember, I’m in a flow state with my writing. It just feels really good, like Ah, yes, memories, details, all coming together, yum. I don’t care about an outcome. I’m just doing it.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to.

And I can stop feeling embarrassed now about having this damn thing. “Oh, Candra, you have a blog?” Ugh. Stop. Yes, it’s true. I have a blog, but I don’t wish to be part of that world or to participate in the internet all too much. (Social media traumatized me.) Maybe that sounds stubbornly immature and stuck-up. Or maybe in true hypocrite fashion I’ll sell out before you know it. As soon as I finish writing my NYT’s best-selling memoir ripping off both “Eat, Pray, Love” and “Wild.”

Welcome, I think?

It’s almost midnight.

I got home from work around 9:30, took a long bath with some shit on my face made out of some shit (oatmeal, yogurt, honey, moringa powder, tumeric) I found in my kitchen, washed my dishes, made some chamomile tea, ate a dill pickle.

And now here I am.


I just started the most self-conscious sounding ever first blog post about not knowing what my voice is supposed to be on here and blandly told a story about the time I took acid and discovered that most of my thoughts occurred in the form of social media status updates.

I just had to mention LSD because I need you to know that I’m edgy. I’m cool. I used to drink men twice my size under the table and party and get really introspective on psychedelics and really disgusting on other things. I know that’s the kind of stuff cool people are into reading about, at least I always was, so I just had to find a way to integrate it into my first post. (And look, I found a way!)

Clearly, I’m still a bit attached to my former carefree, no-fucks-to-give identity. She was cool. People liked her. I think. It didn’t a matter. I was drunk a lot and that was enough. (People did like me. Until I did something like sleep with one of their friend’s boyfriends or laughed at someone else’s expense while in a black out.)

Man, I really don’t want this to be a recovery blog.

I mean, recovery is so goddang inspiring, troublesome, unpredictable, beautiful, touching, frightening, etc. It has all the elements of some shit you might want to read about when you’re bored in your cubicle or trying to ignore your partner. And while I will forever be in recovery because that’s just how it works and I’m totally okay with it, I long to have an identity that extends beyond overcoming my beloved neuroses and addictive disorder. I mean, I already do have an identity that extends beyond all that.

I just don’t want to pigeonhole myself, the way I pigeonholed the rock climber guy I recently went for coffee with against my better judgement. To be fair, he totally belonged in the pigeonhole I holed him in. I’ve sort of dated four rock climbers in my life (This wasn’t by any means on purpose.) and they always find a way to relate everything back to climbing. Oh god, just like I will probably always find ways to relate everything back to sobriety, “my therapist” and spirituality!

Oh my god. I am so not totally comfortable with this new person I am.  I like her and all, kind of love her even, but she’s not someone I imagined myself ever being best friends with, you know? She’s got her shit together. Sort of. She hasn’t made any real messes in a long time, at least since the end of her last menstrual cycle in a hormonal fit of anxiety, and it wound up being a very manageable, deeply reflective, learning experience. I think I’m slowly becoming my aspirational self. Maybe I’ve actually surpassed my aspirational self.  Or no, it’s more like I took some detours then came back for her, so like, she’s here but it’s so much more. Come to think of it, I don’t know if I ever aspired to be much more than just relatively stable, so definitely surpassing her.

Anyway! I didn’t come here to start some easy-bake recovery blog.

I came here at the suggestion of my grandma (So edgy.) who I still and will forever call ManaMana, I don’t care if it makes you uncomfortable, who in sweet grandmotherly fashion thinks I’m brilliant and have some good things to say.  And because I wish to take my writing outside of the notebooks I’ve been filling over the last four months and get over my fear that someone may read what I have to say and actually like it.

Disclaimer: I don’t consider myself particularly gifted. I just have a lot to share.

Baby CansI’m a 30 year old Millennial who grew up typing away late at night about the minutia and pain of adolescence on Xanga, who secretly thought she might actually have talent because she made B’s in A.P. English without even trying. Because she had no idea that trying was how people actually made it in the world. In that case, have I really changed at all?

Change will definitely be a running theme in this blog. We can’t escape it, and just as we witnessed in the unfolding of this first post there are plenty of constants threaded throughout our stories as well. There are parts of us that will not die, for better or worse. We can relish the admirable parts and learn (with a whole lot of self-compassion) to work with the others.

All that being said, I wanna tell you my stories!