Hub Talk

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How delightful it was to read all the thoughts that emerged in response to our most recent Hub Talk, “Do You Call Yourself a Writer?” Some of you landed vehemently in the “yes” or “no” camp and plenty of you dug in to what the label of writer means to you and what motivates you to claim (or avoid) it.

What follows is a roundup of 13 comments that inspired further reflection on the topic from readers, myself included. For the record, it took me years to feel confident enough to call myself a writer, no matter that I went…

Hub Talk

It’s easy to label ourselves the obvious stuff: I’m a sister, a teacher, nearsighted, Canadian. We do this in our heads all the time of course, as well as in response to questions the world lobs us via small talk, paperwork, or inquiry. But when it comes to descriptors we’re not so sure we deserve, labels can feel tricky — even loaded.

You’re here (most likely) because you write. Maybe you write a lot. But do you call yourself a writer? Is doing so a struggle or do you feel at home in that identity? Medium is a place where millions of us write. I’m curious how many see ourselves as writers. Do you?

Thinking About

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I’d be hard pressed to name anything in my life that elicits the kind of inconsistent feedback divorce seems to prompt.

  • Wait, you did what by yourself? Amazing.
  • I’m really sorry, how awful.
  • Oh my God, I’m so jealous.
  • How are you really? I cannot imagine.
  • Not gonna lie — that sounds fantastic.

Bizarrely, the above statements are all ones I field in reaction to the same thing: the depth and detail of joint-custody parenting three human beings.

By some estimates, I am slogging through the hardest job imaginable and might not live to see tomorrow. By others, I am…

Thinking About

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I grew up in a household where ‘running errands’ was a circadian behavior. Sleep, work, school, meals, yard work, and errands (by car) were our big 6. Church was a maybe, exercise and socializing happened when they happened, and once in a while we went to the movies. But errands, many of them aimlessly executed, were an always.

My parents did them, talked about them, planned for them, and complained about them (while seemingly finding salvation in them) as a matter of daily course.

Errands — or more aptly, the half-awake ritual of running them — felt like a currency…

Thinking About

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I first learned about soft fascination last year, from the inside out.

Week after lockdown week, as the pandemic wore me down, I escaped to a nearby state forest to walk and breathe and reflect. Often, a kid or friend accompanied me. We’d wander in tandem on trail, or six feet apart along the dirt fire road, beneath towering redwoods.

Some days, I stole into nature alone, with only a playlist or audiobook as companion. And some days I went ‘naked’—nothing in my ears beyond the crunch of dry leaves underfoot or the whir of mountain bikes speeding past. …

Thinking About

Photo: Denis Tuksar/Unsplash

My home state of California officially re-opened yesterday and it has me thinking about breath mints.

Apparently sales of the wee pellets are rebounding (after a steep decline) in the wake of vaccinations, masks off, and normalcy reinvented. Thanks to Radiolab for alerting me.

Did Americans not feel the need for fresh breath while stuck behind masks and locked doors? Or did folks simply opt out of impulse purchases because less time at grocery stores made for fewer impulses to act upon? I suspect a little of both.

Now, it seems, Altoids season is back.

Does this mean we’re ready…

Thinking About

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I am sitting on an airplane, typing.

This behavior is old, this habit familiar — in a good way. I quite like hurtling thought the sky while structuring thoughts on the page.

And yet I’m rusty.

This flight is my umpteenth, but also my first (in 16 months). The plane is crowded with masked passengers and despite what I imagined, empty of fanfare or other new protocols.

No one congratulated me, gave me a sticker, took my temperature, or nodded curtly as I handed them medical records at the gate. Instead, all the old things happened in all the old…

Photo: Bruno Martins/Unsplash

There’s a saying in my house.

Or rather, there’s something Mom (that’s me) says to the teenagers who live in my house: “Please have sex in a field.”

I’ll let the weirdness of that sink in while I brace for impact on this end. My kids are sure to melt when they discover Mom wrote that down for strangers and hit publish. But too bad for them, because it’s time to move our family traditions into the light. I’m frankly convinced that more kids need the field talk.

Here’s why.

As anyone with teenagers in the weirdly dystopian digital age…

Pandemic Reflections

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I often describe Medium as an incredibly busy intersection on the internet. A massive amount of overlapping activity happens here at once. Writers and readers are everywhere you turn — some on their daily commute, some parked with no plans of leaving, some visiting for the first time, some lingering in doorways, seated on rooftops, or clustered in conversation.

As an editor for Medium, I stand at this intersection every day.

I read countless stories in depth, and catch glimpses or jagged corners of others. One person’s idea leads me to another and another — I move from the grimy…

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

I’m occasionally annoyed by the fact that my state’s Covid-19 vaccination website is called My Turn. To be clear, the annoyance is absurd. It’s my immature self that gives in to it on days when I’m feeling sorry for those of us parked at the back of California’s line. And given how rapidly that massive line is moving, my woe-is-me nonsense is particularly insufferable. But pandemic brains can be insufferable, this we know.

As a well-oiled American, the name also inspires me — and hopefully others. Sadly, there is no shortage of good reason to remind us Yanks about how…

Kate Green Tripp

Senior Editor, Health & Science @ Medium. I write and edit stories about health, well-being, and behavior. But sometimes I just write.

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