the day that didn’t exist.

January 7, 2009 didn’t exist for me. A decade ago, I was on a plane to Sydney, Australia. When you’re running away from a lot of things, you choose the farthest place you can swing.

I left on January 6th and when I arrived in Sydney, it was January 8th.

This girl was bopping around the big city by her lonesome:


What a baby! It was also very warm there. Like 110°.

She was likely listening to this song:

She was very lonely:


But trying:


Trying by adventuring and dancing in kitchens:


But it was the loneliest I’ve been. It was the darkest time in the brightest heat. And for long I looked back on this time—looked back at this 23-year-old—and felt regret and sadness.

That day didn’t exist. Then I wished this time hadn’t existed. This phase. Sometimes I didn’t want to exist. But without this time, this phase, I wouldn’t have known what it was like to really scrap things together from nothing. I wouldn’t have found a love for the writing I love today. I wouldn’t know know my strength. I wouldn’t know deep parts of me that I wouldn’t have tapped for resources. Now I know the path there and the path back.

I wouldn’t know this woman:


[photos by the amazing Catherine Abegg.]

And I kind of like this woman.

And she really likes this song:

I exist. And a lot of who that existence is was formed by the difficult times. Here’s to the huge failures. Here’s to the big swings that are big misses that make waves a decade down the road.




i would put my kids in the sydney public school system… knock on wood.

I ride the train a lot around Sydney… and so do a lot of kids.  I have heard some ri-diculous conversations over the last couple weeks, but this one is my favorite thus far:

[two teenagers, a boy and a girl, in tank tops and neon board shorts.]

Boy: I just can’t stand Tonya.
Girl: Well, maybe she like, won’t be there… knock on wood.
Boy: What?… “Knock on wood”? What the hell does that mean?
Girl: You don’t know what “knock on wood” means?… You dumbass. It’s like one of those old sayings that like everyone knows.
Boy: Oh shut up. Just tell me what it means.
Girl: Well it means like, “never mind”… Like you say something that like you don’t really want to happen and then you say, “knock on wood”.
Boy: So you say stuff that you don’t mean and then say, “knock on wood”?
Girl: Yeah, exactly.
Boy: Like… You got a fat ass! Knock on wood!
Girl: Hey! You jerk!
Boy: I said, “knock on wood!”
Girl: Haha… yeah, okay.