I like lists. Some would call me type A; however, the relative messiness of my life would beg to differ. My best friend would probably analyze it as my minor OCD coming out (she’s a psych major by the way). Honestly, I always thought I liked lists because every time I got to cross something off I felt like I just won a freaking Oscar. Even if the thing being crossed off was “1. Get out of bed you lazy bum.” A few years ago I started keeping lists of all the good things in life. The little or big things that brought me joy and happiness. My lists typically housed things that I had encountered or noticed that day or during a recent experience. I now have years worth of entries, all full of random scents, sounds, objects, tastes, people, and feelings that make me smile. During this time when everything is going to shit, I have been leaning on these little journal entries as a crutch. I mean it literally feels like everyt...

There’s something about the car ride to Newmarket from Durham that never fails to feel magical. It makes no sense -- there is literally nothing special about this 13 minute drive, yet it always manages to move my soul in some sort of funky way. Upon rolling down Main Street in Newmarket there is the typical debate about which side street we’re supposed to take. But once the car begins audibly struggling to chug up the steep hill we know that we’re close to the Stone Church.

Excitement builds as the slams of our car doors are mutilated by the escaped sounds of bands warming up from inside the building. Winning free tickets to the show makes this night even better, something I thought wasn’t possible. A $5 admission fee may seem like no big deal, but this is simply representative of the night. It feels like everything in the universe wants me to be right here, right now.

The Stone Church is a not-so-secret hidden gem, tuc...

The unknown is scary. No, the unknown is terrifying. What hides in the dark is captivatingly fearful, stopping even the bravest from progressing without a light. Nobody knows what the future holds and even with the constant attempts to morph it under our control it still manages to escape our grip. And strangers, people we are unfamiliar with, make us uneasy. 

I had always been scared of strangers. From a very young age, we have been warned of the much-feared stranger danger. Don’t ever get into a car with a stranger, parents threaten. Avoid eating food from a stranger, it’s probably been poisoned. Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t trust strangers.” Amidst a world full of horrific things like climate change, terrorism, war, food shortages, and systemic racism, just to name a few, strangers have always taken the lead as the number one public enemy. 

For most of my life, I had avoided interacting with strangers. I kept my he...

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