• Writing

    Friendship And The Life I Left Behind

    When I was younger, like so many others, I thought that best friends were people who knew me better than anyone else in the world and with whom I shared everything. That was certainly true of me, my best friend and I were like siblings! As we grew up, things started to change. We both had jobs and responsibilities now. There were no longer any more sleepovers or wild adventures to be had; it seemed that our friendship wasn’t meant to last forever after all! The memories of the life I left behind come to me in waves, like whispers in the night. Although the time has passed and the…

  • Writing

    Dark Horse: How I Learned To Embrace My Unconventional Nickname

    When I was younger, my nickname was Dark Horse. For most of my life, I hated it. It didn’t reflect the person I wanted to be seen as, and it wasn’t even accurate—while we were growing up, I was anything but the dark horse. I recently had an epiphany about why my friends gave me that nickname in the first place: they saw things in me that others refused to acknowledge—my will, my inner strength, and my potential. A dark horse is someone who excels in an unexpected field. In the world of horse racing, a dark horse is any horse that’s not being considered a favorite to win the…

  • Diary

    An Old Friend’s Question: Would I Ever Return To Firefighting?

    An old friend called me and asked, “would you ever return to firefighting?” To which I replied, “that all depends on what you have in mind”. He clarified that he wanted me to come back and fight fires with him again. He was referring to the way things used to be, and how we had a lot of fun together. I told him, “the way things used to be weren’t the way things are now, and perhaps they never will be.” “I just wanted to know”, he said, asking me again, “would you ever consider coming back to fighting fires?” I thought about it for a moment, and then I…

  • Cornerstone Content,  Writing

    Now Is The Time To Let Go

    Most of us live for cheap thrills. Whether it’s diving into a plate of nachos or watching an action movie with our friends, it’s easy to get sucked into the allure of fun that doesn’t really matter to our lives in the long run. But at some point, cheap thrills fade away and we need to start thinking about the bigger picture. You can’t make up for lost time or replace what is lost. Whether it be a relationship, an ambition, a skill, an opportunity or a moment in time, you’ll never get it back. The highs don’t stay high for long and the lows don’t stay low forever. The…

  • Diary

    I Have So Many Thoughts, But Have Lost My Breath To Say The Words I Need To Speak

    November 10, 2022 I have so many thoughts, but have lost my breath to say the words I need to speak. I’m left with only the pressured space between my ears to push them out through my mouth and into the open air of the world around me. My mind is an unstoppable machine, constantly churning out ideas which spill over the sides of my cranium onto every inch of surrounding my brain matter. But, I can’t find it in myself to give these things form and substance through articulation of thought and word. It’s hard enough being a loner, and recently all of my life’s problems seem to be…

  • Diary

    Summer Camp And The Rites Of Passage

    November 6, 2022 These past few days, my mind has been preoccupied with thoughts and memories of my time at summer camp. It was a time of firsts in my life; at summer camp was the first time I felt at home, where I had my first kiss, and eventually, when I held my first job. My first year at summer camp was 1991, and my last year was 2000. Everyone who made it through camp signed their name on a door in the living room of the Heights Cabin after completing a summer in Wilderness. This was an important step because it showed you were part of something bigger…

  • Writing

    Autumn Is A Time Of Reflection And New Beginnings

    The cold weather has finally arrived, and this means that the autumn season has begun. Autumn isn’t just the time of year when we start thinking about cozy sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes; it’s also a time of reflection. Autumn is a season when we look back on the year that has passed and ponder how to improve our lives moving forward. As the leaves begin to change colors and fall to the ground, we find ourselves reflecting on how our year went through the hourglass of nostalgia. I lost a lot of friends this year, yet held out hope for a call that never came. I was there when…

  • Diary

    The Doctors Laughed At My Body

    October 27, 2022 The doctor and his assistant looked at my body and they laughed. They said they had never seen anything like it before, but that’s because it is a rarity. It is a rarity to be born with internal female reproductive organs, while also having genitalia that would typically be considered that of a male. The doctor was primarily interested in examining my breasts and my genitalia. Most doctors I’ve seen have historically approached their exams and questions in similar fashion. The doctor barely listened to my concerns, let alone how I identified from a gender standpoint. He was just looking to see if I had a vagina,…

  • Diary

    Nearly 4 AM

    October 23, 2022, Nearly 4 AM I have lost my friends, my family, and almost everyone I thought I knew. But I can’t let myself get caught up in the past because it’ll only bring more pain and sorrow to my heart. Tomorrow is a new day and with it comes new beginnings and new possibilities; if I want them to happen, that is. It’s nearly 4 AM; the darkness of the night engulfs me, and I am lost in its embrace. I am alone in the night, surrounded by shadows that try their best to envelop me with their dreary arms. Yet despite how much they try, they will…

  • Fire Department,  Writing

    The Art Of Saying Goodbye

    It’s an awkward feeling – the one you get when you have to say goodbye to someone you don’t want to let go of, be it a friend, colleague, or loved one. If you do not understand the art of saying goodbye, your relationships are bound to suffer. There’s nothing more important than solid relationships in this world if you want to succeed in life. I defied my parents’ wishes and dropped out of college. I was extremely intelligent, but struggled within the modern educational system. Regardless, my parents expected me to pursue an academic degree. I was adamant about not going back. I knew that there was more for…