Making a mess

Making a mess

Ten years ago, something bad happened and I lost most of my closest friendships. I’m forever shocked that I survived the year that followed, and as a person whose body typically reminds me of residual trauma before I bother to look at the calendar, I’ve been apprehensive about living through the anniversary of all of it.

Weirdly, though, thinking back on everything that happened in the context of what’s happening now, I see it as proof that I can live through most things. That year of my life was truly unlivable, and the one after it wasn’t much better. I hated myself and questioned all of my life choices—the bad ones, naturally, but also the ones that looked good on paper. I believed my life was irredeemably bad and, worse, that I deserved it. It was a long time before I recovered from this mindset in any meaningful way. For years, it dictated who I let into my life and how I let them treat me.

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In memory of my cousin, Matt Dore

In memory of my cousin, Matt Dore

My cousin Matt passed away unexpectedly this past week at the age of 26. I’m very much still processing this. The funeral was yesterday, and I was able to say a few words about who Matt was and what made my relationship with him special. Matt was a talented musician and writer who used art to process the things he saw happening in the world, as well as his own experiences. He was unlike anyone else I’ve ever met and likely will ever meet. It’s a devastating loss for our family, in particular Matt’s adoring parents Peg and Steve and his younger brother Michael. I feel fortunate to have had the chance to spend the past few days reflecting on the important role Matt played in my life, and how those of us who loved him can keep his legacy alive. The text below is the result of this reflection.

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