missing who we were, wondering who we are, dreading who we’ll have to be

As we journey through the year-mark of the COVID-19 pandemic in America it feels like proverbial plexiglass walls are popping up around every turn, all of us smacking into them in our weary blindness, like a bird to a window. That’s the level of COVID fatigue I’ve been sensing and experiencing in these post-spike, mid-vaccine, still-hunkered months of early 2021.

I thought I was alone in the sentiments I’m about to share until I spoke about them during a chance encounter with a friend. She confessed…

catch me if you can…help me if I’m white

Frank Abagnale Jr. and Darius McCollum

My cat is dying. That has nothing to do with con men or racial injustice, but everything to do with spending more time than usual on the couch while tending to a sick kitty and distracting myself from the inevitable.

In between at-home workouts and a part-time remote job, I’ve been spending most of my time in the doom scroll rabbit hole of streaming services while Henry the cat rests on my lap. …

I wasn’t prepared to have my pet be treated like Osama ‘fin’ Laden.

(Originally published by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on December 28, 2003)

Like many college students who fly home for the holidays, I submit to endure the latest airport safeguards in the name of homeland security. A lot of us have stories to tell, but only mine is a fish tale, a contemporary melodrama of the absurd to prepare you for future travels.

My boyfriend Trey and I arrived by taxi at the US Airways terminal of La Guardia airport, heading home for the holidays. We had four…

Let me tell you a story.

Up until this point I’ve kept an outwardly sunny, positive outlook on surgical recovery. I think it’s key to healing well and fast. It’s not a façade, but it’s also not truthful to tell you that everything about recovery has been easy.

I had a meltdown today and I want to tell you about it. It started brewing yesterday at my first post-op doctor’s appointment.

This visit was with one of my surgeon’s PA’s, not the man himself. And let me tell you, if my surgeon is super liberal about recovery, this gentleman was…

And we’re back. Literally.

It’s not lost on me that the last time I wrote a public post was while in recovery from my first spine surgery over two years ago.

I love to write, I love to reflect, and I love to note observations about our crazy world and its passengers, but writing requires quiet time. It requires focus. It requires passive stillness that I usually don’t allow myself unless I’m forced to, like that time I found myself flat on my back in North Carolina with a reeling head and healing back.

So here we are again, reeling…

Do you remember the Walt Whitman poem “I Hear America Singing?” (I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear/Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else/Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.)

I remember singing a 10-part choral arrangement of Walt’s ditty in high school choir circa 2002 and analyzing the text as a personal anthem for doing one’s best at all times, actively contributing to both personal success and the success of our nation.

These days I think we’d refer to this sentiment as “living your best life.”

We’re all constantly encouraged to…

My dad builds parachutes. He wanted to show that this one fit an eight-year-old. You know, when Six Flags or laser tag just won’t do.

What you need to know first is that flying runs in my family. In fact, I am the sole member of my immediate family that hasn’t made their living between 10 and 40,000 feet in the air at one point or another.

Dad was a pilot, Mom was a flight attendant, brother Kris jumped for the West Point Parachute Team and now continues his active service at Fort Bragg and spends his weekends as a certified tandem master. He met his wife, my sister, skydiving at West Point. …

And Maybe That’s Okay.

First things first. Before we discuss the pulse of our major metropolis, let us take a moment to mourn the 175,000 actual lives lost to Coronavirus across our nation, 32,451 of which are New Yorkers.

And for those of us who have been lucky enough to remain healthy, to have contracted the virus and survived, to be asymptomatic, there is still a sense of loss. We’ve all died a million little deaths in the loss of our jobs, our gatherings, our places, our trips, our autonomy, our identity.

I’m an actor. My community and personal identity…

Lara Hayhurst

Story teller. Lover of people, animals, cake.

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