The perks of unemployment

    "Congratulations on your unemployment" I was walking my dog, Clover, in the middle of the afternoon yesterday (something you can do when you're unemployed), when a neighbor stopped to pet her, and we got to talking. "Do you work from home?", my neighbor asked. "Well," I hesitated, because for so many years I did work … Continue reading The perks of unemployment

There’s no shortcut to happiness

It's become increasingly apparent to me that I am always looking for a shortcut to feeling happy. We all are, right? Booze, drugs, social media 'likes' — anything to give us a quick hit of dopamine or a way to dull the pain. My vices aren't obvious. I guess I'd categorize them as a mix … Continue reading There’s no shortcut to happiness

Doing what feels right (instead of what we wish felt right)

If you read yesterday's post, you know I'm processing some intense feelings these days. Feelings of shame, of loss, and — at the same time — hope. All tied to finally, finally listening to my intuition and becoming the artist I'm meant to be. So when Facebook reminded me of this blog post that my friend Lauree … Continue reading Doing what feels right (instead of what we wish felt right)

A story about buttering bread and learning to ask “why?”

We were in high school, young and in love, and my parents had invited us to join them for dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in Washington, DC.

As we waited for our meals to arrive, we all started to help ourselves to the bread basket sitting in the middle of the table. Jordan began smoothing butter across the slice of bread he'd selected.

"Jordan," one of my parents said (I can't remember which one). "That's not the way to butter bread."

"Sorry — what?"

"The way you're doing it, putting all the butter on at once. It's more polite to tear off a piece at a time and butter each piece — like this," my parent showed him.

Jordan looked around like he might be on an episode of Candid Camera — like, "Was this shit for real?" — and then proceeded to ask a very reasonable question: "Why?"

Now, I say this was a reasonable question, and it was. You might also argue that it was an obvious one. And you might wonder, now that you find yourself thinking about it, why anyone would ever go along with a prescribed way of applying butter to bread without asking why.

It had never occurred to me to ask why.

There are certain things that happen in your life, and from that point forward, you think, always, in terms of "before" and "after." For me, this moment — the moment with the buttering of the bread — was one of those moments.