So excited to share my first piece in Rolling Stone! Last month, I spent four days in the red desert town of Short Creek, where prophet Warren Jeffs ruled over the FLDS--a polygamist offshoot of Mormonism. Jeffs' rule was draconian and his control of the town was total: he directed the police, the local government, the church, and every detail of marriage and family life. Jeffs was convicted for sex crimes several years ago, and now hundreds of ex-FLDS are flocking back to the community they once called home, trying to reconnect with their families and heal from the past. They've also staged the first election in town history. While there, I was struck by how an easily-sensationalized, cultic group was facing so many problems that were similar to those faced by Americans more broadly: fake news, authoritarianism, growing polarization, and the fusion of church and state. Check out my full article here.
It's been over two months since I sent out my self-doubt prompt, and I think about that every day. I feel embarrassed that I haven't written something and sent it out yet, but I always give myself another week. Wait for a day when you feel better, more polished, a voice says in my head. No one wants to read an essay about self-doubt from someone who's actually in the middle of it! And I know it's silly, but I believe that voice. Listening to someone hash through their insecurities is like reading someone's diary—after four or five maudlin sentences you want to snap it shut, certain that emotions are better described at some sort of distance.
But I don't have the benefit of distance.Read More
The Confession Booth responses are in! This month's theme was I Meant to Say. I wrote something about depression and honesty, and included other folks' beautiful essays below.
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A couple of weeks ago, my kid Scout got sick. “I’m sorry you’re sick,” my mom said to her, but Scout wasn’t having any of it. “Oh,” she said, “I wish I was sick more often!” When my mom asked her why, she said: “For attention, of course!”
I can relate. In second grade, I probably missed a good third of the school year because of some malady or another.Read More