When the Heart Speaks, Or that Time I was Falsely Accused of Racism

In the fall of 2017, I suffered from a few palpitations. I chalked it up to severe exhaustion from participating in the development of a new broadway-bound musical. There is no excuse for art that breeds this level of exhaustion, other than the promise of a bottom line I will never see.

A few weeks ago, in the midst of yet another broadway-hopeful musical, the palpitations came back. In those moments when “symptoms” appear, the ghosts of diseases past whisper “did you miss us?” While my heart pounds pitter-patter in my throat, I worry the fairy tale is over—Prince Charming was a beast all along who can never be loved, changed, cured, or remedied. Miracles do not happen. I will always be broken, and the disease never left at all. Just another set of lies I like to tell myself in moments of doubt.

Sewing Seeds for 2019

But in an age that discourages exploration, we are left wading through the “could have beens.” Instead of breaking out of who we’ve evolved into/defined our selves as/let others mold us to be/ we continue to cultivate this version of ourselves. We give up on possibilities. Other lines of work become pipe dreams. Moving cities is too scary. We are bogged down the logistics, finances, and the rules of society we’re led to believe are true. You need to go back to school. You can’t go back to school it’s too expensive. You will never be able to afford a house on that income. It’s too hard to break out of your industry. A job is a job, does anyone really love theirs? These phrase bounce around our tired brains like the annoying music boxes our grandmothers gave us for Christmas when all we wanted was a four speed bike so we could get the hell out of our small town lives and explore what the world has to offer.

Now, some of us don’t live in these boxes. We’ve broken free. And we’re now the stuff of internet envy. Traveling the world. Working online. Living the “digital nomad” life. What even is a digital nomad? And in twenty years will you be proud to call yourself one?

Perhaps, the real problem is our need to label. The drive to define. The want to say “I am ____.” as opposed to just saying, “I am.”

18 Lessons I Learned in 2018

Last January 1st, I wrote myself a letter. It was part pep talk, part guidelines for 2018. I kept it in the back of my phone case, and in true Amy fashion didn’t look at it once all year. Looking at it now, I can’t say it all changed/came to fruition/magically appeared in a puff of smoke, but I will say there was progress on whatever this journey is. 2018 was a lot. It filled and drained my cup more times than I can count. But I think all in all, 2018 and I were good for each other.

2018 opened me up to analyzing communication, and how our experiences influence our perception.

Here’s what I learned. Don’t expect it to blow your mind, just maybe open your heart to another perspective.

Unlearning Adulthood: The Truth About Time Outs

If time outs were redesigned as opportunities to come back to ourselves, to really think about our actions holistically—not as “good” or “bad”, “right”, or “wrong,” but whether our actions really align with who we are as humans, then maybe they’d stick around past adolescence.  If the timeout matured with us into adulthood, we may not fear moments in elevators, being first to the party, last on the yoga mat, alone on train, because time, out, alone would no longer be a symbol of wrongdoing.  A timeout would be sacred.

Breaking Up With Illness, What Life Without Lyme is Really Like

Ten years ago, I was given a life sentence of Chronic Lyme Disease. It was horrifying and a relief all at once. Chronic illness conditions us to a mentality of stasis. What we are now is what we will always be. There is comfort in a reality of stasis. Without fear of the unknown, we can curl up in our little bubble of pills, supplements, brain fog, and heated blankets. It is safe here in the comfort of our distress.

Espillette Sweet Potato Frites

The French have an affinity for many flavors, but spicy isn't one of them.  Eating my way through Southwestern France, I was shocked by the mild flavor of "spicy sausage" made from ground veal and the signature French pepper, espillette.  My central cost California palette was sorely disappointed by the lack of heat, but the flavor of this Basque pepper left me ready for more.