61. An Open Letter to Valentine’s Day from a Perpetually Single Female

61. An Open Letter to Valentine’s Day from a Perpetually Single Female

Dear Valentine’s Day,

We don’t know each other well – strike that – we don’t know each other at all. Aside from the few brief times in elementary school we were forced to converge for the sake of the class, I’ve been nothing more than a bystander to you for 32 years. I watched everyone else partake in your love-induced debauchery while I stood alone all that time. In case you missed the memo, I’ve been single since day one and have had no chance to celebrate you properly (read more about that here). You heighten my awareness of that annually on February 14th. I question my value when you come to town because it seems like time after time I fail to prove that I am worthy of your presence. I know I’m not alone. Read more

60. When “earning your ears” becomes literal

60. When “earning your ears” becomes literal

This is not my typical tell-all entry (I’m still drafting my next one), but I urge you keep reading.

A friend shared this with me on Facebook today. A little girl with Treacher Collins Syndrome wants ears so she can look like the rest of her peers. Her family is seeking help funding her surgery. My family knows all too well the costs involved with craniofacial reconstruction. My mom refers to my face as a “million dollar face” because of the numerous, money-draining operations I’ve had over the years. We were lucky to have had constant insurance to help cover the medical care, but if you don’t (or even if you do) you’re likely willing to sell your soul just to be able to pay off the relentless bills. Read more

59. ‘Cause it makes me that much stronger, makes me work a little bit harder

59. ‘Cause it makes me that much stronger, makes me work a little bit harder

I finally understand the anxiety behind releasing a second album or a movie sequel. Expectations soar and you’re left wondering how you’re going to compete with your initial success, not that my last blog post was “initial.” I posted 57 essays prior to that one game-changing post. The others were meaningless compared to the brutal honesty I shared a couple weeks ago, and since I wrote that, I don’t want to return to writing fluff. I enjoyed baring my soul, but I wonder how much soul is left to bare? How can I top it?

There’s my issue: I’m entirely too competitive for my own good. I always search for ways to improve. I can’t face that life isn’t a steady climb upwards. It’s a rollercoaster with enormous hills and valleys. I won’t always win. (Blasphemy!) I won’t always land the job. (Gasp!) Each essay won’t be better than the last. (Say it ain’t so!) That competitive nature stems from my very core, and for better or worse, it’s who I am. Read more

58. Caught in the in-between, a Beautiful Disaster

58. Caught in the in-between, a Beautiful Disaster

This will be the most raw and vulnerable you’ll ever find me. It is also one of the hardest truths I will ever write. I don’t speak of it often but it controls my life more than I care to admit. I’ve tried many times to express this but I guess I wasn’t quite ready to let the world know the deepest part of me. It only makes me a sliver of who I am yet sometimes I feel it controls the reins.

Many would call me hard or stoic. I would concur. I’ve worked tirelessly over the years to learn how not to cry, to build a wall around my emotions, and to never expose my heart. It comes with the territory. I’m my own worst enemy. I’m the sole reason for my own emotional sculpture.

Growing up I believed that everything happened for a reason. God only gave people what He knew they could handle. The strong were thrown curveballs because they would be more apt to hit homeruns than strike out. I clung to those beliefs for as long as I could; I had to in order to stay sane through years of hospital visits. Eventually I came to determine that life consisted of moments of chance, coincidence, and pure luck. A cynical, more realistic approach to life said there was no such thing as fate or destiny. My Treacher Collins Syndrome came from a random genetic mutation: plain and simple. It wasn’t written in the stars. It wasn’t because God knew I’d value my strength above all else. It was random. It could’ve been you instead of me who was dealt this burden. Maybe you would’ve handled life differently. Who knows? Read more