A poem.

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Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

There’s still room to
be grateful this year.

Grateful for cups of
morning coffee, and
the perfect blend of
afternoon tea.

Grateful for turkey,
and potatoes, and
that perfect piece of
pumpkin pie.

Grateful for ten fingers
and ten toes, and legs
that bring you from point
A to point B, and arms
and hands that can hold.

There’s still room to
be grateful for this year.

Grateful for the ones
that we love, even if
they are far.

Grateful for the laughter
we can hear, even if
it’s just over the phone.

Grateful for the love
that we share, that we
give, and that we hold in
our hearts.

There’s still room to
be grateful for this year.

There’s still so much
gratitude our hearts
can hold.

Embrace the beauty in the unexpected and the unknown.

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Photo by Nick Seagrave on Unsplash

Resist the urge to pin an age requirement to a life accomplishment.

You know what I mean. It’s when we say, “I’m going to be married by a certain age, or I should have accomplished these particular career accomplishments by this age, or I should own a home by this age, or have children by this age….and so on and so on.”

We place these expectations on what a perfect timeline looks like, and then we beat ourselves up when our timeline goes askew. And I wish we all would stop doing that. I wish we’d realize that the beauty in life lies in the unexpected and that the timeline of expectations is just something someone made up once upon a time, and for some reason, we’ve all fallen into line. …

A story about vulnerability.

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Photo by Todd Rhines on Unsplash

I recently wrote a piece about the IVF journey my husband and I are currently on.

As one might imagine, writing an essay about the struggles of infertility and the journey of IVF is quite personal. In the days of internet trolls and horrible humans feeling like they have a right to lash out with words, I was rather nervous about hitting the submit button. But then I remembered how much comfort I got from others’ essays and how I drew on the courage of strangers to have courage in my own life, and I thought, if I could do that for just one person, that would be enough. …

You deserve a love that’s as big and vast as the night sky.

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Photo by Christiana Rivers on Unsplash

I hope you never settle for a half-hearted kind of love.

If someone told you once that you needed to settle for half of what your heart needs, I hope you realize that they were lying. I hope you see that they don’t understand what love means. I hope you understand that they were wrong.

I hope you know you deserve a love that’s as full as the ocean.

I hope you know that you deserve a love that’s as big and vast as the night sky.

When you settle for half-hearted love, you’re cheating yourself.

You’re cheating yourself out of full love and the joy that comes from growing from a place of fullness. When you settle for a half-hearted love, you’re settling for something empty. You’re settling for a heart that only beats with half of its force. You’re accepting something that will never be complete. You’re choosing not to be full. …

A poem.

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Thanksgiving will be quiet this year.

There will be tables and bellies full
of food, and yet, there will be pieces
missing from far too many hearts.

Empty chairs and incomplete tables,
and memories of what once was,
dancing amongst the glow of the lights.

Thoughts of coronavirus will dance in
our heads, grieving for the ones we’ve
lost, and missing the ones we’re still
trying to protect.

Thanksgiving will be quiet this year.

But just because there is quiet doesn’t
mean that we cannot give thanks.

Thanks for what we have, even if
we cannot see it or hug it or hold it
in our hands — like the health of
our family and friends, and the love
binds us all. …

A poem.

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Photo by Mike Labrum on Unsplash

The sun is shining today,
and the sky is a beautiful
shade of blue. It makes
bearing the cold a little bit
easier, too — but it doesn’t
fill the hole that you’ve
left in all of our hearts.

It’s been four years since
you’ve been gone.

Four years since we’ve
heard your laugh or felt
your hugs or watched as
your smile reached your

Four years without phone
calls and text messages and
long dinners and unending

Four years without you at
our tables, and in our homes
and at our Thanksgiving

The sun is shining today,
and the sky is a beautiful
shade of blue. …

It’s a behavior and a feeling that needs to be cultivated.

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Photo by Ev on Unsplash

It was winter.

It was twenty degrees and my lungs hurt. You know, that deep kind of cold where it just seeps into your bones, and you’re not sure if there’s enough clothing on the planet to keep you warm. I was heading to my parents’ house to have lunch with my mom, and when I arrived, I was immediately blasted with warmth. As my body defrosted, I couldn’t help but think of all the homeless people in New York, trying to brave the cold.

What is it like never to be greeted with warmth?

It was winter.

I went to my parent’s house again. I had lunch with my mom again. And she turned to me and said, “I washed my hands today, and the water felt so warm. And it made me think of all the people in this world who don’t have clean water, let alone warm water.” …

A poem.

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Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash


The dictionary tells us it’s
the ability to do something
that frightens one. It tells us
that it’s strength in the face
of pain or grief.

The world tells us it’s fighting
the bad guys. And laughing in
the face of evil. And standing
on a ledge of what’s deemed
right and true, even if you’re
standing out there all alone.

But perhaps there’s a different
picture of courage, too.

Sometimes, courage is found
at the moment when you get
out of bed in the morning, when
all you really want to do is stay
hidden under the covers.

Doubt creeps in, and despair
creeps in, and you’re suddenly
overwhelmed with what the day
ahead holds. You start to believe
that you are incapable of facing
it all. …

Not all friendships that end are rooted in trauma.

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Photo by Luigi Estuye, LUCREATIVE® on Unsplash

Sometimes, a friendship will end.

And it’s not because someone did something catastrophic.

And it’s not because someone was mean, or horrible, or committed some act of betrayal.

Sometimes, a friendship ends because sometimes, things end.

Maybe it’s because the two of you grew apart. Or maybe your jobs have pulled you in different directions — perhaps your love lives have drawn you in different directions, too. Perhaps the reasons that you were best friends in second grade don’t hold up when you’re a senior in high school. …

Nobody can tell you why

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Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

The box finally arrives.

It is huge, brown, and contains more pills, needles, and medicine than you could’ve imagined. Probably more medicine than you’ve ever had to take in your life. It’s as if there is a tiny pharmacy sitting on your kitchen table, staring back up at you. There are swabs of cotton and alcohol pads, and yet, the container where you’re supposed to place your waste doesn’t seem big enough to hold it all.

The magnitude of the box stops you in your tracks.

Your breath catches a bit. And you wonder how you got here. You think about the years of birth control and the sex education classes that didn’t warn you about any of this. You think about what wasn’t said to you by the adults in your life and what was said. Every conversation comes into your mind on a loop, all the moments you had before you decided to embark down on this road flood back to you at once. …


Megan Minutillo

Writer, producer, educator, owner of Nada’s Bookshop. Read more at meganminutillo.com.

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