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Fear/lessness

Guest Contributor Amy Gigi Alexander offers her journey through fear in this lyrically complex exploration of writing, courage and the personal narrative. This piece is universally compelling. It reaches beyond the page and what we desire to record, to that tender place between fear and fearlessness, and touches the heart of childhood.  ~~~ Someday I Will Be Fearless written by Amy Gigi Alexander  ~~~ The first story I ever told myself was a story called How to Be Afraid. I did not think of writing it down at first as

I woke up this morning to find a pitch rejection in my inbox. This was happy because the rejection was expected, but not within four hours of submission. I expected to wait 2-3 weeks for any response. I can’t take the immediate rejection as an insult because, while the pitched piece is strong, the essay walks just over the line of what this magazine publishes. I was well aware of that, having done my research first by reading their published pieces. What I said to myself was, “It can be

On 9/11, my husband and I stood in our living room. The TV was on and I remember trying to turn my body to force my eyes to look away. The second plane hit. My husband’s hand covered his mouth. He felt too far away. I couldn’t move closer. One of us was saying, “Those people. All the people. Why would anyone do this?” At that time, we were learning to be practicing Muslims. I helped my university Muslim Student Union set up interfaith dinners where we sat with college students and

If you are coming here via HuffPo, welcome! This piece is linked because it provides a partial origin story to my anxiety. If this doesn’t quite resonate, feel free to check out “Confessions of an Almost-Abuser” as it more directly addresses PTSD and its source. If you are looking for something more positive, check out “She Could Love Herself.  *** As the media machine shines its unrelenting spotlight into the personal life of yet one more victim, the internet scrambles to separate itself into a frenzy of individual voices, although

My MFA program offered me the opportunity to work with several amazing writers. I was pointed to text after text and told, “Read. Learn.” I did. The more I read, the more I wrote. I experienced the world through authors who challenged. Their topics were race, place, institution, thought… Every piece struck a chord with me. Some works resonate on a much deeper level. Gil Scott Heron’s “Whitey on the Moon” (actually shared with me by my husband), is one such piece. If you haven’t read it, please click the

I have written and buried multiple posts in the last few weeks. It’s hard to know what work  to shop around versus what to press here. As I listen for the muse and follow the silence, more words come. More pain comes. I sit with it and work with it and grow. My discovery? I have a lot to say on a topic I thought I was done with. I admit it. I was reading the news. Ferguson reminded me of what I have worked so hard to change in

As expected, my public confessions of abuse resulted in an emotional barrage akin to a hurricane. The response was so swift and fierce that I was left breathless. It arrived via text message and frantic, tear-and-shallow-breath-filled phone calls. I read. I listened. I paused. Were the allegations true? Was I an emotionally unstable child in a woman’s body acting unfairly? Were my experiences the manufacture of an overactive imagination, my admissions false and vindictive? The accusations battered me. I shed my own tears, but I remembered my goals, assessed whether

I’m big on plans and lists. I like to plot out my day the night before. I plan my meals a week at a time. While my house is often a mess or I’m behind on chores, I have my ways of staying comfortably organized. However, for the last two weeks, nothing in life has gone as planned. My “simple procedure” to help ease the misery of repeat infections, excessive bleeding and other menstrual-related pain managed to amplify all of those problems to the point that I have had to

My son really wants to believe in God. He says, “I see God as a really nice man.” We have kept God out of our home for quite awhile now. Religion didn’t do us any favors. I’ve mentioned before that it became a framework for mental illness–a way for me to break myself down and punish myself for being female and sexual and human. When my son was born, I surrounded him with books and toys and songs that reflected my religious worldview. I told him how merciful and amazing

I was recently at a friend’s baby blessing. She was two weeks from delivery. Her face bore the signs of fatigue and anxiety. She wanted to know if I had any advice for her. She didn’t know what she would do, she said, when the baby was born. Aside from her husband, her family was far away. In her home country, the village raises the child. Extended family is present to help out. She was feeling the distance of her loved ones, and the ache of treading in foreign lands,

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