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


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Humans 101

My friendship failures taught me something important about marriage

I have a confession to make: I’m 24 years old and I’ve never had a breakup. I’ve never dated someone only to find out all the stars in their eyes were faded. I’ve never had a romantic relationship end in failure or loss or tears. I’ve never had the nostalgic pangs of “having been in love with someone.”

It’s not because I’m new to romance. I’ve watched my friends struggle with dating, swipe endlessly right, and get their hearts broken. I’ve seen them get engaged, and I’ve seen them at the brink of divorce. I’m always the eager shoulder, comfortable…

This Is Us

A poem about us

Two people walking, silhouetted against a wall covered with small red lights.
Two people walking, silhouetted against a wall covered with small red lights.

I try to stop thinking you
Every day.
Turn pictures face down,
To groan in bottom drawers,
Let go of gifts
You gave me the birthday
We broke up,
Forget the mix-tape somewhere,
Push the sturdy bike
You built from scraps,
Now flat-tired and rusty,
Slowly out to the bins.

I struggle to stop dreaming you
Every night.
Wake haunted by whispy visions
Of laughter under cherry blossom,
Bodies slotted together
Like nutmeg and mace,
A future baby with your eyes. …

On honoring your own feelings rather than society’s expectations

My fingers were flying across my keyboard late one night after my husband and I split, hoping Google would be able to validate my seemingly tactless behavior. I searched “My husband is great and I left him,” “I left a good man, now what?,” “Am I making a mistake for leaving a good man?,” and “Why did I leave a good man?”

My eyes darted across the screen every time I pressed “enter” looking for someone — anyone — who could reassure me I wasn’t making a huge mistake. As it turns out, there aren’t a lot of childless thirtysomething…

Nothing was wrong, but it wasn’t worth saving, either

Ironically, my future husband and I officially became official before a trip to the hospital, thanks to a frat house party two towns away, that at least no one went to jail for, as far as I know. I was scheduled to have knee surgery the following morning, and when my roommates stumbled out the door in too-high heels and too-short skirts for a “little get together,” swearing up and down they’d be home in the morning to take me to surgery, I knew I needed a backup plan.

The cute baseball player from across the street and I had…

You’re not crying, I’m crying!

Not to be dramatic, but this year has been the worst of my adult life.

The Cliff’s notes are these: In January, my relationship started crumbling in a way that finally, after months of slow erosion, felt irreversible and unignorable. Things that had previously been bubbling up as intermittent fights now merged into what felt like one continuous fight with silently agreed upon day-long breaks that existed to keep us both from pulling the rip cord.

When things felt like they were really going south, the worst feeling wasn’t that it was actually happening, but that it all just felt…

Learning to live outside our past relationship

“Will you ever get back with your ex?” is a question I get asked all the time. Sure, our breakup was intense, involving families, friends, cars, and credit cards. Ten years is a long time to be in a relationship. But to me, it seemed like everyone assumed I was waiting for him to come back, tell me he made a huge mistake and that I was everything he had ever wanted.

Unfortunately, the real answer to this persistent question isn’t nearly so simple. The demise of our relationship wasn’t only about what hadn’t worked. It was also about how…

Losing my first girlfriend was devastating but also — eventually — empowering

The first thing I learned after Ally broke my heart was to never pour quinoa on a whiskey-soaked laptop. I had been drinking over Skype with my best friend — who was inconveniently a thousand miles away — to try to sort out what had just happened to me when I gestured wildly and knocked over the open bottle of Jack Daniels perched on the floor beside my laptop.

I’d consumed several drinks by then, and my reaction time was way off. My mouth hung open while I watched the whiskey gurgle out of the bottle and spread across my…

They can’t all be “thank u, next”

The immediate, involuntary reaction is to play it between four and 32 times. Send it to your friends. Attempt to find the lyrics — a feature SoundCloud should really have, tbh.

All so you’re SURE. That it’s your ex, singing words they wrote, about you. That, yes, this is happening, and it’s happening now, and you better figure out what you want to do and how you want to react.

Which starts with concluding, in rapid succession:

  1. Yup, it’s definitely about you.

2. Nonono. You’re being neurotic, self-involved, and crazy — even more than usual — and it’s definitely not

“I had to be pure so that you…

We were still together. I made a breakup playlist anyway.

I am making a breakup playlist. The problem is we are not broken up yet, my boyfriend and I. But I imagine we soon will be, so I have started this breakup playlist prematurely, to get ahead of the game. The early bird catches the worm, avoids inconvenient heartbreak, and soldiers on with nary a stumble in her stride. Perhaps, I reason, if I can be sad now, I won’t be quite so sad when I lose this funny, doe-eyed man who is wrong for me in all the ways I think are right.

I begin this seven-hour opus the…

Human Parts

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

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