The Only Lucky Break that Matters

What’s the worst that can happen? You die. This idea is surely deserving of immediate retirement, but let’s pause here for a moment anyway. Do you believe it’s true? Is death the worst that can happen? Does the thought make you uncomfortable or is it comforting? For me, it’s the latter. If death is the worst, then the next idea comes easily. It is a privilege to be alive. To be privileged is to benefit from something unearned. There is no test to pass that confers the right to be born. It’s the luck of the draw. Never again in…

How to Give & Receive Criticism Like a Pro

When I went to college, I tacked on additional courses to my English major, so I could specialize in creative writing. I didn’t yet think of myself as a writer. Adding creative writing to my course load was an act of self punishment. On its own, lit was just gonna be too easy. That bit of arrogance was long gone by the time I spent an entire semester studying James Joyce. Did we start with something accessible like Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man? Oh no, Ulysses was assigned as summer reading to prep for the course. So,…

The Case for Vulnerability

When the initial rush of traffic from my guest post at Zen Habits came over, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would people read a few posts? Would they subscribe to the feed? Would they comment? I was anxious. And totally unprepared. I didn’t anticipate that brand-new readers would leave their own comments filled with the same level of depth and personality that I’ve come to love and expect from my long-time readers. Honestly, it weirded me out at first. We barely know each other, I thought. Until I realized how utterly contradictory this line of thinking is to my core…