A survey of the history of love in your life is an exercise in laughter, tears, and learning

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

Ikissed my first boy at the age of five. He was five, too. It was a furtive kiss. We ducked into a hiding place and locked our lips for a quick peck.

The boy’s parents were my parents’ friends. One sunny day, they were over for a visit. While our parents entertained themselves, the children — me, my younger brother, this boy, his young sister — played games in the backyard. During a game of hide-and-seek, this boy and I ran to hide behind a gate to sneak a kiss. We knew exactly where we were going and why.


The world is divided into people who exploit and those who get exploited; it isn’t fair, but know where you belong and accept your role in this plan

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Ihate it. I resist it. I’m the first person to cry out, with fists pounding the table, “It’s not fair!” The world is divided into people who exploit and those who get exploited, and there’s nothing you can do to remove this division.

If you find yourself in the second group more than you’d like, you’re in good company. I’ve been there often enough to develop an inferiority complex, and I’ve been there enough times to consider surrendering and changing my tactic. Rather than fight this unbending reality, learn which group you belong to, embrace it, and just move on…

Like any of life’s hardships, you strap up your boots and meet it head-on

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Winter has been the bane of my existence. This surprises most people who learn that I grew up in Calgary, home to the 1988 Winter Olympics, and a city where its residents live because of its proximity to the spectacular skiing conditions of the Rocky Mountains and winter wonderlands Banff and Lake Louise.

Aren’t you supposed to love winter if you live in Calgary?! Yes. Or you just learn to accept it.

Where I come from, you pride yourself on your engagement with winter sports: downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snow-shoeing, and hockey. You’re here for the outdoor recreational lifestyle…

Overcome by what has been lost, we can no longer retrieve what was once cherished in its original form

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Act 1

Me: What happened? I don’t see you anymore. Where are you? All my life, you filled me with your wisdom, your vitality, your direction. I heeded your guidance, and I wish to heed it still. I need it, and you left. Where are you? I don’t know what to do without you here. Why did you leave? I followed you. I listened to you. I obeyed you. I was a loyal servant. Where have you gone?

Light: Come, seek me still. Look harder, open your heart, and you will find me again. I’m faint, but I’m here, waiting. Look and…

Solo dining can feel like personal neglect unless you take steps to do it with care and attention

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For those of us who live alone, it’s easy to practice neglect at mealtimes. We prefer not to go to the trouble of setting a place for one or preparing meals with food choice variety. We prefer not to spend more than an hour cooking a meal that one person can eat in less than 15 minutes. We prefer to order in or eat out and avoid meal preparation altogether.

When we live alone, we often choose convenience for our meals. We open the pantry, grab a box of salty crackers, and eat directly out of the packaging until we’re…

My freedom in making a conscious decision not to have children is weighed down by an unsettling fear underpinning my choice

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It hasn’t escaped my notice that I’ve made an inalterable life choice: the one not to have children. I nearly regretted this choice a handful of times, only to be relieved later that that regret didn’t lead me to make a baby.

I would have made a bad mother anyway.

In my 20s, 30s, and even early 40s, I barely considered the full weight of motherhood.

These were, for me, emotionally perilous years. Stupidly careless and dangerously naive, I tried to rescue people who couldn’t help themselves and I sought love from the wrong partners: a psychologically manipulative and cheating…

Your timing was impeccable and I’m eternally indebted to you for it.

Photo by Denise Karis on Unsplash

It was early March. Easter was on the horizon and I was figuring out how to avoid celebrating this upcoming holiday with my family. Anxiety and depression were setting in.

You see, my Dearest 2020, in late 2019, I made the difficult and painful decision to distance myself from my brother and his wife for the harm they had brought into my life. It was an unpopular decision in the family, but it was necessary for me. …

A bit of self-empathy goes a long way in moments of darkness

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I recently published an article describing how Covid-19 saved me from family during the holidays. The article offered four reasons for appreciating the holidays with limited family and social gatherings due to the pandemic restrictions. They were inspired by my strained relations with family members and stressful memories from Christmases past. It was an unusual expression of gratitude in the midst of a holiday pandemic when many people around me were groaning and cursing about this year’s cancelled Christmas. Quietly, I was rejoicing.

Joy also invited sadness to the Christmas party

With Christmas Day behind us, I confess that feelings of loneliness, resentment, and sadness still crept in…

Consistency and quantity help, but other things will keep me here first

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Let me be clear: Consistency, which produces quantity, is essential for success on Medium. It can, however, be on your terms; not on those of the writers who insist on publishing daily or even two to three times per day.

For some Medium writers, my publication schedule of two to four articles per month is ghastly low, but it’s a rhythm that works for me right now. It’s created a momentum that enables me to write and publish decent work regularly enough. I count this as a personal success. Right now.

The question of success

When I first joined the Medium Partner Program (MPP)…


There are good reasons for being grateful for canceled Christmas plans

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

The Christmas holidays are not a joyful occasion for everyone. Rarely is this fact respected. Mainstream culture ignores it with its incessant focus on the anticipation and excitement of the holidays, and the media denies its existence with overwhelming pictures of cheer, family, and abundance.

I belong to the joyless-Christmas club. My ideal Christmas includes ditching holiday traditions, reducing gifts, and avoiding family members. As the holidays approach, I grow anxious about their looming arrival and I cringe at their forced obligations. …

Fabiola Gallerani, Ph.D.

I write with heart, humanity, and integrity. Fave topics: emotional journeys & landscapes, life & its sticky lessons, relationships, & travel.

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