The In-Between Place

I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago.  If anyone asks me where I’m from, I will always say “Chicago”, though it’s not exactly true.  For most of my life, I lived in not-quite-Chicago, less than two miles from the city limits.  However, I never really felt at home in the suburbs.  … Read More

A Life Update and a Story

I haven’t really been writing lately.  I’m just now trying to catch up on some writing projects, now that I finally have a couple of days when I’m not running around like a crazy person trying to catch up on life.  I tried to write a blog post last week, which came out sounding a lot like: Just … Read More


A year and a half ago, I went on a date.  We had only gone out once before, but we had been sending semi-flirtatious text messages for a month, so it was the point in the relationship where I expected something to happen.  But it’s hard to know the truth in the moment. We sat there, drinking … Read More

When the Days are Coming to an End

As I’m writing this, I have three and a half weeks left before get on a plane and leave Guatemala.  In my head, I’m thinking about home.  I’m thinking about my Chicago to-do list, the appointments I have to make and the friends I need to hang out with, and the jobs I need to apply for.  I’m … Read More

A Bigger Story

Four high school-aged girls are crouched down on the rug, playing with a four-year-old girl with cerebral palsy.  They help as she pretends to feed her dolls, they talk to her and laugh when she giggles and smiles and makes funny faces at them.  To each of these girls, it doesn’t matter in this … Read More

The Moment When Everything Changed

A year ago, I wish I had known how quickly everything can change.  Because nine months ago, I made the most impromptu decision of my life. I didn't know any Spanish.  I quit my job in Chicago, and I didn't want to teach anymore.  I'm not sure I could have found Guatemala on an un-labeled map.  … Read More

We are More Than a Résumé

Before I graduated from college, I visited the career center at my university to get help making a résumé.  I learned all about action verbs and bullet points and the sovereignty of Times New Roman.  But I remember thinking not even the strongest verbs or the most nondescript fonts could make my two … Read More


It's funny how some of my most vivid memories involve running. In second grade, we had a pen pal from the school across town—mine was a boy named Javier.  Our pen pals came to meet us, and he said "I bet you can't beat me to the fence!” "I bet I can!" I said, and without another word we ran.  I … Read More

The Story of Books and Postage

Expectations are heavy.   I remember the day when I decided to leave. It was about a month before I quit my job, and three months before I accepted a job in western Guatemala and bought a plane ticket.  At the time, though, something just didn’t feel right. When I moved out of my apartment, I … Read More

Will You Wait For Me?

I found this post buried in my blog archives this week, and decided it needed a second chance.  I originally wrote it two years ago, but I've rescued it, done some editing, and re-posted it here.  Maybe 24-year-old me had something to say, after all.   I'm reminded of a song by Alexi Murdoch - a … Read More