Michelle Weber
Senior editor, Longreads. Chief Semicolon Advocate, WordPress.com. Professional writer, editor, napper, and dog-snorgler. Knows you are, but what is she?
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  1. “I carried shame from generations I had never even met. Generations who had shame imposed on them for nothing more than being the wrong people at the wrong time. Wrong stories, wrong skin. I have lived a life carrying things that were never mine to carry in the first place.”

    Identity
  2. There was a knack to winding it up, or getting it to actually supply electricity to the bulb or stick to the inner tube. It was just a knack. There was a knack to getting it started in the morning. If you didn’t have the knack, you were already in arrears.

    Personal Musings
  3. “Imagine having a swarm of rabid bumblebees trapped inside your head. There are hundreds of buzzing bees, and every single bee has its own project to do. Every bumblebee project is emergent and needs to be completed, in its entirety, immediately.”

    Mental Health
  4. “The ability to disconnect from your identity to engage with an oppressor is a privilege. The ability to disconnect from your emotions and values to engage with someone else’s hate is a privilege.”

    Academia
  5. You should vote because hardly anyone else does, so your opinion is going to mean that much more. But mostly you should vote because this is your home and who you are, and you should take ownership of that. That’s what you do when you turn eighteen.

    Education
  6. “Did you know that nearly 9,000 people fell to the ground together in 2007 to make snow angels in North Dakota? Did you know that I’ve started a collection of door knockers to hang by our staircase? Did you know that some tarantulas are cobalt blue? WE ALL HAVE SO MUCH TO LEARN.”

    Personal Musings
  7. “Just having a mix of people (diversity) doesn’t mean anything fundamentally changes. And tolerance is terrible; I tolerate my annual mammogram but I certainly don’t like or look forward to it.”

    Culture
  8. Fantasy (along with its twin sibling, science fiction), is the conceptual test ground for the world we are in the process of constructing, and what that world is like will be ultimately determined by what we find it possible to imagine and what will remain literally unimaginable.

    Personal Musings
  9. “All the ways I know to ask for help slip through my fingers and I watch them as they fall. Pain makes me ‘authentically’ autistic, it strips back my mask and my connections, and it sits me down; silent and alone.”

    Autism
  10. “As for me? Childless lonely old spinster me? I got an education and a bunch of dear friends. I got over the notion that women were different from me just because they had kids. I got my heart and my mind opened. And despite my odd quirky weirdness, I got loved.”

    Personal Musings
  11. “The poor kid can’t figure out why he is unable to waltz beneath the dinner table. He can see his hands, his feet, his belly, even his junior if he sucks in, but what he can’t see is that ever-so-stealthy forehead that perches on top like a frightened cat.”

    Inspiration
  12. “We have a gun problem. We have a manhood problem. We defend enthusiasts who stockpile ready amplifiers of rage. We are the United States of America.”

    Current Events
  13. But, you see I am a mother who has to live with grieving a child gone, while loving the child I have, and they’re both the same. I love them both, I just miss one.

    Motherhood
  14. “Stuck in her mouth was a single blade of green grass, her last effort to stave off dehydration, hypothermia, starvation, as if by swallowing that blade she could puke up death itself, like a hairball, and be well again.”

    Animals
  15. “Your parents will . . . find a cemetery, one close by, so your Mom can visit you every day; pick out a nice four by eight foot plot, maybe beside a tree, and buy the only piece of real estate you will ever own.”

    Death