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queer writer/poet. will fight for (or fiercely support) other freelancers. ex-catholic, ex-wife, ex-marketer. (she/they) — makeshiftmuse.com

You started that day crawling through the hot city in your Toyota truck, a compact model that you had grown to love. You felt at home in it. On this day you were buzzing around slower cars and swearing at the stoplights you kept hitting. It was a day of errands and movement, and the air felt heavier.

You saw clouds.

You stopped at Grant and Campbell, and were delighted by a work of art on the side of an old theater in town. You smiled and forgot whatever lists you’d been fretting over in your head.

There were whales…


abstract procreate painting by me

NOTE: Too often we find ourselves stuck in roles that were thrust upon us: for me, it was the role of the good Catholic girl, or a happily-married person, or a successful professional. This poem is about the decades I spent trying to play a part that wasn’t for me.

— — —

You didn’t realize you’d been keeping yourself safe
by pretending.

Through performance and perfecting,
Through hiding away your flaws and scuff marks,
Your vulnerability could stay hidden, secure,
Locked away in its corner.

Your softness, your raw shame,
Didn’t have to be addressed,
When you pretended.

(When…


Source

YES is something you feel down to the bone.

When I get a writing opportunity with a nonprofit: YES.

Dedicating time to better habits like yoga and journaling: YES!

Earlier this week my friend Sarah B posted a very profound (and admirably authentic) article. One that filled me with YES.

Sarah B’s impactful and beautiful letter to her fellow White Americans is worth a read. There are insights and resources that might be helpful to you, if you’re a white person wondering how to navigate systemic racism. You might also feel your YES when you read her letter.

After this…


Source

I shared a photo of myself recently on Instagram from highschool. My senior photo, in cap and gown (and National Honors Society sash).*

Being a student was my thing. I’m ever-curious about the details, and I’ve always been that way. Show me how it works. I’ll try to improve on it. (Or I’ll attempt to build my own version of it, and totally fail. Trying is also my thing.)

In elementary school I was a highly capable speller. I have an affinity for words and learned that early on. …


Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

I’m a freelancing writer and editor, so I get a lot of feedback on my services and the work that I do.

I don’t know that I’ll ever develop the thick skin that’s supposed to come with years of rejection or criticism. I’m okay with being soft and accepting feedback that helps me grow: that’s how I’ve managed to navigate my decade of experience in marketing, anyway.

But something happened inside of me when I heard back from a pitch recently, and it shook me up. I reached out to a local agency and wanted to see if they had…


I’ve mentioned what the last couple of years were like for me on my personal blog and elsewhere. It’s strange to think that it’s been almost three years since the “official” end of my marriage was finalized on paper a year ago.

But I’m finding that it’s helpful for me to look back even further than my marriage, and when I revisit what the last 10 or so years were like for me, I can see that I’ve made a few *really* big changes, besides a divorce. I’ve changed careers, moved several times, and my credit rating has been all…


When I first moved out here to Virginia — somewhat suddenly, with a car full of my clothes and a few necessities — I really had no idea what my plans were going to look like for the near future.

Or even an idea of my distant future.

See, I’ve always stumbled over setting goals for myself — I think I’m decisive and level-headed enough to make good decisions in the moment, but the thought of deciding what my future self might want really trips me up.

I’d like to think I evolve as I move along. …


Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash

I’d been scrolling aimlessly through my feed for about 15 minutes, cringing at some posts and liking a few pictures I hadn’t yet.

Without realizing it, I’d slipped into the Facebook hole again: that’s where I start clicking through profiles of people I’d rather not talk to or pages that spew click-bait-content. It’s not a very helpful or healthy behavior for me, whatever my intentions are for scrolling.

And when I’m having a hard enough time focusing, there’s an awful snowball effect that starts to build. …

Rachel T. Winstead

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