Within a matter of hours, I would take a step I once thought impossible. The master firewalker was about to prepare me and a roomful of other courageous and anxious souls to walk across a bed of hot coals on our bare feet. “What are the fears that have held you back?”  She asked. Now…

When I was a girl, I’d sometimes go to bed in my clothes just so I wouldn’t waste any time getting a start on the next day. For much of my life, a shortage of sleep silently signified I was half as hardworking as my German mother of eight. As a young mom of two…

She carefully leaned into the microphone, her voice vulnerable with anticipation. Separated from her siblings, in and out of countless schools, she shared how she was packed up without warning and taken to a stranger’s house. How the second home, the one that followed the emergency one, was not a refuge but a haven for…

As a young wife many years ago, my husband was suspicious about my spending. In an effort to defend, I began reporting my use of cash. Throughout each month I recorded my daily purchases on a small tablet:               5/3  Lipstick                 $2              …

Milling about were mostly millennial men half my age or maybe a third. When I signed up, I didn’t remember why people ask friends to take classes with them. It’s to not feel silly showing up at a beginner improv workshop at the local comedy club on a Sunday morning. Once a straight A student,…

Things end. Some endings bring relief. Some leave us lost. I feel relief at endings like time in the dentist’s chair, a successful surgery for my sister, or a flight taking me home to Omaha. I feel lost when relationships with those I love end because so much of who I am is connected to…

Martin was blown away by Gina’s exuberance when they met on campus for the first time.  Her smile and boundless evoked enough courage in him to invite her to a baseball game 9 years and three children ago. On this sunny April afternoon, Martin, an easy going and patient man, quietly explained to his attorney…

It’s tax time. Time for the annual review of my status. Time to once again remember that I am not married. There are a lot of boxes to check in life. At my doctor’s office. On my Facebook page. For my financial advisor.  After ruling out the “Married” option and while choosing from among “Divorced,”…

My head encased in a flurry of bright yellow yarn and wearing a giant yellow dress retrieved from the prop box, I stepped onto the platform as the emcee for talent night. As “Sunny”, I held the toy microphone and appeared a cross between adorable and absurd. Unable to discern any talent of my own,…

I was sweating. I clung to the handrail, lugging each leg up the next step. My head down, my chest heaving as I struggled to breathe, I heard someone shout “Only 7 more flights!” I wanted to cry. In the midst of an exuberant office holiday party I had I declared “I’m in” with more…