A Decade Without Annie

The vortex of my loathing for November stems from this date a decade ago. The day I lost my dog, Annie, to a freak accident. An accident I was convinced was connected to my first bout with pornography and God’s judgment. A decade later, I’ve laxed on the whole God punishing me thing; a decade later, I still miss that dog dearly. I hug and cuddle all these other dogs in Asheville, daily at my job and dog-sitting at people’s […]

We’re All the Same Here

The first time I used a laundromat was in Milwaukee the summer of 2011. I worked at a missions camp for three months, and every weekend my team and I would venture to the laundromat down the road to take care of our dirty clothes. I’d always had a washer/dryer wherever I’d lived, so this was a foreign experience for me. I actually enjoyed it. I enjoyed sitting to the side with my laptop while my clothes tumbled in a […]

When I’m Getting a Dog

I’m dogsitting this weekend. Before I moved to Asheville, I never dog-sat or cat-sat or any-other-animal-sat a day in my life. Now, it seems I do it every other weekend. At last count, I think I’ve kept ten different animals alive since moving here. It started with one pet-sitting request at work, and it just escalated from there. Now I’m pet-sitting for everybody who has my phone number. I enjoy pet-sitting. I do. I love animals. Animals are so faithful. […]

Goodbye, Chunks of My Soul

Some friends recently visited me, and now I almost wish they hadn’t. Almost. It’s still a shiny, new thing for me to host people in my home and city. A couple folks visited me back when I lived in California, mostly my immediate family. But nothing compares to these last 8 months in Asheville. I’ve had family visit me. Camp friends. Fellow bloggers and readers-turned-real life friends. The east coast has been kinder to me, more accessible for visitors. It’s a […]

Four Seasons Later

I wore a sweater to work the other day. I climbed half-naked out of bed with a shiver and noted the morning temperature a brisk 49 degrees. So, I grabbed a light sweater from my closet — the first time I’ve worn one since March or April. Since I first moved to Asheville. Winter. Spring. Summer. Autumn. I’ve now called the Blue Ridge home for all four seasons. I remember sitting in training for my job as snowflakes fell outside the […]

When the New Man Looks Like the Old Man

“If anyone needs prayer, I invite you to speak with someone at the back of the room before you leave our service today. We’d love to pray with you.” I do need prayer, I think to myself from the back row. I need prayer very much. I need freedom from passivity. I need courage. I need strength to take initiative and step forward again. But therein lies the problem: I need someone to pray for my impulse to move because I […]

Why I Share My Story

I launched my first podcast a few weeks ago. I’ve wanted to be an author since first grade show-and-tell, but I never dreamt of being a podcaster — if for no other reason than I hated my voice. Although I suppose not knowing what a “podcast” was until just three years ago is another significant factor. After discovering the world of podcasts, I started wondering: “How cool would it be to have a podcast and develop inside jokes over the course of dozens of episodes and […]

Re-Learning How to Take Care of Myself

I’ve been living in Asheville for over two months now, and it’s been a mid-range roller coaster with moderate ups and downs. The new job and the Couchsurfing; the church-searching and the solitude; newfound stability versus my inner nomad. I’ve been attending a local support group twice a week for the last month, and I’m learning how to take care of myself again after a year in Charlotte where I let my life slowly slide away. I’m learning to take care of all of myself. At […]