Personal Essay Filter
  1. I Think, Therefore I Am Getting the Goddamned Epidural

    Western philosophy clashes with Rebecca Schuman’s birth plan in her hilarious, harrowing Longreads essay.

    Essay
    Illustration by Annelise Capossela
  2. When Flood Waters Wash Up Memories of a Refugee Childhood

    “I couldn’t cry during the flood, but I did beg. Please God, just don’t let my kids lose their home. Because I know what it’s like to not be able to go home.” Anna left her home in the Soviet Union at age 7; her daughter Alma fled Harvey’s floodwaters at the same age.

    Current Events
  3. Writing Through Grief: Five Posts

    For many of us, writing is catharsis: a way to process and release difficult emotions. Few things are as emotional as the loss of a friend, family member, personal hero, or pet so it’s no surprise that we read a lot of posts paying tribute to lost loved ones and trying to make sense of […]

    Death
    Photo by Robert Couse-Baker (CC BY 2.0)
  4. Author Amanda Mininger on Coming Back to Writing

    “I don’t recognize the words anymore. Who was I back then?”

    Essay
  5. Reditus: On Coming Back to Writing

    “I’m coming back to writing today to peer down the silent well.” Author Amanda Mininger on the cyclical nature of self-expression, and what drives us back to the written word time after time.

    Essay
  6. The last days in our first home

    “Memories accumulated as we marked milestones and anniversaries. We grew older together in this house . . . but we grew happier, too.” Heide reflects on selling and letting go of her home of 20 years.

    Personal Essay
  7. Proximity Magazine

    Proximity “is a quarterly collection of true stories exploring place, space, and connections in the modern age,” featuring solid writing and a weekly blog post to help ease the wait between issues.

    Essay
  8. “It felt so odd to be so enclosed within a word, like I occupied a space—a space as small as their tongue. A coin perhaps, my value etched on the surface: gender: female, race: Asian, worth: half a regular person.”

    Identity
  9. The Pattern of a Writer’s Life in the Slow Turn of Seasons

    Get inspired by Andrea Stephenson’s musings on the writer’s life and the changing of seasons.

    Inspiration
    Photo via Harvesting Hecate
  10. What We Don’t Eat

    Jess and Graham’s aging Rhodesian Ridgeback, Bromley, has been a difficult dog to get close to: “she’s a miserable, loveless creature with no need to please anyone.” But after a bone cancer scare, they finally figure out how to love her.

    Animals
  11. Idaho: What Makes Love Last?

    Ashlin Horne on love: “It isn’t an illusion of stability that we can fit inside of cabinets and between four walls. That won’t keep us in the arms of another person. It isn’t just forty years of furniture and picture frames that keep it together.”

    Personal Essay
  12. On That Life I Always Wanted

    “In the end, the basic ingredients of existence never falter, whether you’re flying business or red-eye economy, or staying home.” Erin at outerNotes reflects on the lifestyle of a worldly jet-setter and wonders whether she’s “made it.”

    Essay
  13. Forced Intimacy: An Ableist Norm

    Mia Mingus on disability, access, and autonomy: “When someone is helping me with access, I am vulnerable; I am interdependent with them, even if they don’t realize it.”

    Personal Essay
    Photo by zeevveez (CC BY 2.0)
  14. cleaning the house, tending the weeds.

    On the accretion of stuff: “And so, without siblings in whose faces we might see our pasts, and without children who reflect back to us ourselves and our future, we cling to the representational, the inanimate, the stuff to which we attach memory and meaning.”

    Death
  15. I Write Down Wishes So That They Come True

    “Even at fifty, I feel the stirrings as strongly as a young shepherd boy who dropped everything he knew, crossed the desert, and ultimately found his  heart’s desire.” Musings on books and dreams by Michelle Terry, inspired by Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.

    Books