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Human Parts
A publication about humanity from Medium: yours, mine, and ours.

Lived Through This

Moments when ‘everything’s going to be ok’ isn’t true

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Everything is going to be okay.

We whisper it to our children when they skin their knees or have a fight with a friend. We proclaim it to those who have lost their job, their partner, their health. We post it on Instagram, showcasing our optimism. We repeat it like a mantra to ease our own anxiety.

Everything is going to be okay.

We assert it to bolster our conviction that the pain is temporary or even inflated. …

Humans 101

There are so many ways we accidentally make ourselves feel bad

Do you remember that time something on your bike was broken, so the mudguard rubbed against the tire, creating a consistent and terribly obnoxious grinding noise whenever you pedaled? And then you thought, “Hey, I should fix this.” But then you thought, “Hey, I don’t know how to fix this.” And then you didn’t think about it anymore because you were preoccupied with life. Then you got back on your bike, and not only was it still making the grinding sound, but now it was impossible to shove backward, and the light fell off because the wire had been sanded…

This Is Us

When you forgive, you grow

Photo: David Wall / Getty Images

My father was a high-achieving, sharp-looking, charismatic, entertaining guy. He provided well for our family, and I learned a lot from him. He taught me the importance of hard work, paying attention to details, asking for what you want, anticipating what can happen, being a good conversationalist, and being friendly to and respectful of others.

He could also be a short-tempered, controlling, overbearing, critical, and perfectionistic pain in the ass. Like with anyone, overused strengths can become weaknesses. But it didn’t stop there — I heard many racist and misogynist remarks from him throughout my life. …

This Is Us

Culture taught me to pursue love, then sex, then marriage — but that formula has never worked for me

Photo: Zen Rial / Getty Images

I don’t remember the first time I said “I love you” to a partner. I know it was my first boyfriend, but I have no memory of saying it to him. I also have no memory of him saying it to me, though I’m sure he did.

I’m not sure I actually loved him. He pursued me and I surrendered. No one had ever taught me that it was okay to say no to something I didn’t want — not to dating and not to sex. So we dated and somehow, over time, I came to… what? Did I love…

You’re older and more mature. But your parents are just older.

Photos courtesy of the author

This essay is part of Medium’s Mind the Gap: Generational Differences series.

My parents are two of my best friends. Please do not tell 15-year-old me that, in 30 years, Mom and Dad are going to be two of his best friends. He will find that fact depressing. But it’s true. I’m proud of it.

The Leitch parents moved from rural Illinois to Winterville, Georgia about four years ago, after they retired, so they could be near my two young sons, their only grandchildren. After missing most of the boys’ first two years, they get to watch them grow up…

This Is Us

And I’ve got a plan to make it happen

I can’t shake the feeling that no one really cares for me. I worry that everyone I know is just tolerating me until I go away or eventually die. This may or may not be true, but wherever I go, I can’t escape the feeling.

If only…

It’s possible that what I’m feeling isn’t completely personal to me. It may just be run-of-the-mill, normalized indifference in a world that has grown increasingly distant and isolated. I can’t really tell.

Have we become more connected or more polarized?

Bill Oxford / Getty Images

Last weekend, I received the first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. Though I would have eventually got the vaccine, I hadn’t been in any rush. But I sought out the vaccine sooner based on the urging of my boyfriend, who had already been vaccinated. I likely would have waited for my next doctor’s appointment.

As I drove to the convention center to get my vaccine early on a Saturday morning, I started to feel a sense of relief. “Maybe this really will be over soon,” I thought to myself. But I felt something else too that I couldn’t quite…

When you dig deep, you’ll find that both victim and perpetrator were fighting silent battles

When I was 22, I spent a night in jail for credit card fraud. I was a mother to six-month-old twins, unwed, and an undergrad in college. My former partner and the father of my children had not paid child support in months, and I was struggling financially. So when I was issued a credit card under his name and purchased $300 worth of diapers, clothing, and other necessities for the babies, I was doing what I thought necessary for our survival.

While the arresting officers were kind to me, I was met with swift disdain by the officers at…

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