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  • Mental Health

    Unconventional Tuesday 

    woman hugging boy on her lap

    The morning of the first Tuesday of December, I was staying at my uncle's house because, until the night before, we had had a very unstable week.  Otherwise, I'm not someone who spends the night anywhere outside. There was something about that morning that did not add up.

  • Mental Health

    Two Secrets

    Silhouette of a Person Standing in Hallway

    When you discover a secret, you have two options.  I say “discover” because a secret is not made to be found out, except only by accident.  I say “when” because most secrets are easy to discover, and your two options are pulled by a scale.

  • Mental Health

    Sane

    woman and her reflection all fuzzy in front of her

    SANE: A word I have never quite been acquainted with. I was brought up by someone who physically used my head to punish the walls of the house she found no peace in.  How could “sane” possibly live here? Blindfolded by my desire to run from that hellhole, I thought the only road leading to happiness is marriage. 

  • Lifestyle & Relationships

    I Feel Closer to My Great Grandma Since She Forgot Who I Am

    Several hands clasped together, one old and one young

    “Are you sure you want to go visit Grandma T? It might be difficult for you to see her this way,” my grandma, whom I call “Oma,” asked me. “Why?” I asked in return. I knew my great grandma had recently moved from her home to a memory care facility, but I wasn’t aware to what extent her mind had been affected. I hadn’t seen her in a few months. “She gets really upset sometimes,” she replied. “And she probably won’t remember who you are.”

  • Lifestyle & Relationships

    What The Pandemic Was Really Like For An Introvert Like Me

    Candle, cup of hot chocolate, book, and pillow stacked in a window nook

    For introverts, you’d think that the pandemic would be fun. Or at least something they’d be used to. It all sounds pretty normal: staying inside, watching something on a streaming service, and spending too much money on a food delivery app. You’d be mostly right if you were talking to this introvert. But this introvert also struggled. And this introvert even missed talking to people.

  • Lifestyle & Relationships

    Adventure Hostess: Making My Home a Global Community

    Family cooking and sharing dishes

    Several people passed by my house this year. Many of them just passed by temporarily, but other people stopped by and stayed as long-term friends. For me, being an adventure hostess meant that everyone who needed a place to stay for some days, weeks, or months could come to my house. Welcoming people at home for over a year was my “specialty.”

  • Mental Health

    Cell

    Woman sitting sad and alone

    I handed over my watch and shoes, and we approached the turnstile where I was to enter. He supported my hand, moving it towards the small glass panel where a red beam would have scanned my thumb. Instinctively, I struggled and kicked. I was instantly cuffed by the four men who accompanied me there. The cold metal of the handcuffs cut into the skin of my wrists. I stopped struggling so that I wouldn’t hurt myself. 

  • Featured,  Humanity

    Sifting Through the Ashes

    I thought it was strange that my mom called me so early in the morning. It was 7:30am for me, so it must have been 4:30am for her.  It was Wednesday, August 9th. “I wanted to call you before you saw the news. There's a fire in Lāhainā, Kīhei, and Kula. Everyone in our family is safe and accounted for. I might go pick up grandpa from Kīhei today. Your cousin was in Lāhainā, but escaped to Nāpili. Aunty has not heard from him since last night. I will keep in touch.”  My cousin called my aunty the next day to check in. He was safe and helping with the…