The things you love don’t owe you anything—not success, not plaudits, not a decent night’s sleep, nothing. You give them your effort and devotion because they deserve it, because their presence turns a light on in your dim little life and there will never be enough ways to say thank you.

"My Book Was a Bad Idea," Salon

Notable Essay, Best American Essays 2013

A marriage is an act of constant creation, one that demands a brave and watchful eye willing to seek the shoots of new growth in the ashes of what’s been lost.

"The Art of the Late Bloomer," LitHub

Some things we keep quiet because we’re ashamed, and others we keep quiet because they are private, and live best in the intimate space between us and the people we trust the most. For a long while, that’s where I preferred to keep this story. But then I realized that if no one ever talks about healing from a mental health crisis, no one will ever know that a low point doesn’t have to be a final one.

"Suicide Hotlines Really Do Save Lives. I Know Because One Saved Mine," Quartz

Yet scarcity reminds us that even the most soulless automated systems need humans to water and feed them—the programmer cleaning bugs from the system, the procurement officer signing the purchase order for additional servers. Austerity gives us the chance to miss ourselves and that, at least, is something.
“Austerity and the British Library,” The Millions

 

We are so many different people in the course of our days, all desperate not to disappoint the person we will be on our last one.
“I Wish I Was the Person My Pocket Reading List Says I Am,” Quartz

We so deeply internalized the contract that if we brushed off the small stuff, if we laughed at the right times, if—God forbid—we never allowed a man in our presence to feel embarrassed by his own behavior, we would be allowed to play. We failed—I know I failed—to question why it was necessary to accept such rules in the first place.

"Sexual Harassment Broke the Lines of Communication Long Before Men Noticed," Quartz

The characters are still wealthy and leisurely—rarely does anyone go to work in Exercises en Contexte—but their conversations now hold the darkly sinister tone of Bond villains or Algerian guerrillas.
This Too Shall Pass: 10 Weeks in French
Second place, Royal Nonesuch Humor Writing Contest

 

Stop a besuited man on a London street for a quote and he’s likely to recoil, as though the mere act of speaking to a stranger is prying away an essential piece of his soul. An octogenarian with a penis ring, I can tell you from experience, has no such reservations.
"Confessions Of A Fully Clothed Reporter,” GlobalPost

 The only difference between toddlers and uncaged ferrets is that one is bigger and, astoundingly, allowed to roam untethered in the cabin of a passenger plane.

"Flying With My Toddler Is Easy,” Salon

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