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Meg Haynes
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I remember the day.

I, dressed in all white, appeared with opening doors to you, down the aisle dressed in a grey tuxedo. We were young. You, twenty-three, and I, twenty-two, had a lot of life yet unlived. We had no idea what it meant to adult, and we hadn’t a clue what we were entering. Despite many urging for us to wait, we said we’ve got this, vowing for better or worse.

Remember our first year when I was working weddings on the weekend? You would come to sit with me while my clients partied down the hall. …

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During my last semester of college, I took a part-time job at Starbucks to help curb the pressure of finding a big-girl position upon graduation. I worked there through the summer until I found a role in the career I wanted.

Nearly four years after I moved on, I remember only a few things from training. For a regular latte, the steamed milk is poured over the espresso. For a Macchiato, the espresso is poured on top of the milk to leave a “mark.” (I was told that macchiato in English means to mark and that’s an easy way to…

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As I drove into Salt Lake City in the middle of a cross-country road trip, I received a text from one of my dear friends. Her little nephew, at only ten months old, had passed from a brain tumor. In just three short weeks, cancer ran through him so quickly that the medicine, doctors, and his little body couldn’t keep up.

I struggle to describe my friend’s heartbreak. Utterly devastated is the closest I can get. She was beside herself for everyone involved, especially the little boy who had so much life left to live.

Watching a friend grieve

As 2020 has so kindly…

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Last year I taught high school English. I am twenty-six, but I look like I am eighteen. With my obvious young age, I quickly became the teacher who some students adored (others hated) because they felt I could relate to them. Because the students were more comfortable being themselves around me, I learned quite a bit of juicy things.

I had a favorite student. Well, I had many favorite students, some not-so-favorite-at-all students (what can I say? I’m human.) But one student, I’ll call him Boy, has the best tellable stories. Usually, he would visit before the bell rang in…

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All election week my stomach was in knots.

I feared what would happen if Joe Biden won. Would Trump’s loyalists storm the streets as they did in my once-home of Charlottesville? I also feared what would happen if Donald Trump won. How many people would feel completely unheard, disrespected, and uncared for?

Fortunately, more love and positivity stormed the streets when NBC announced the projected president-elect. Unfortunately, I fear the number of votes for Trump reinforced how far the country still has left to go, no matter the president.

In November 2016, I barely paid attention to politics. Then, I…

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Freelancing can be a lonely life. Especially at the beginning, when relationships haven’t quite solidified and rejections flow in while acceptances trickle, it can be challenging to hold onto the dream. We have a vision, and we know where we’re heading. We even knew it was going to be difficult. And yet, it’s a daily struggle to keep the grind going with nothing more than the pages and pages of work to show for it.

To help myself preserve the dream, I frequently reflect on recent takeaways, productive strategies, and things I need to change. …

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It was the Sunday before I was supposed to leave for a long road trip with my husband. We were sitting in the living room, discussing our to-do items so we could head out the next morning. I looked down at my buzzing phone to see my friend calling. Queen of socializing, one to frequently ask to go on a walk around the neighborhood, her call felt normal.

But the moment I heard her, I knew something was wrong. She could barely get words out in between her cries. Her nephew, just ten months old at the time, had been…

Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

I found him on Instagram. After seeing his scrunchy face and those of his littermates, I hit that follow button quicker than a dog chases a squirrel, ready to fill my feed with furry faces.

Three weeks later, he was the last puppy, swimming in a pool, still in need of a family. We took one look, and each of our once strong willpower dissolved. The moment we settled on a name, we were goners. Five minutes later, we sent a deposit with the description, “for our pup Chief!”

In our excitement that resembled Clare Crawley falling in love with…

Photo by Aaron Andrew Ang on Unsplash

Coffee in one hand and a book in the other, snuggled with a cozy blanket and feet tucked underneath me on the couch, I felt nothing but peace. I gazed through the glass door, across the dunes, toward the ocean and thought back to where I was a year ago when — in the same spot — I could barely imagine feeling contentment.

Then, my shoulders hunched toward my ears in a perpetual tenseness. My biceps and triceps had an unrelenting, dull pain. My mind, ceaselessly dreading what was to come, struggled to find momentary joy.

With my shoulders now…

I look back on my childhood friendships with such tenderness and love. After school every day, our mothers kicked us out of our houses, and we were only allowed back home once the dinner bell rang.

We built forts in everyone’s backyards. We played foursquare to death. We ziplined and scootered. Sometimes, I would sit with friends at their dinner table because my family ate much later. Don’t worry, I knew not to ruin my appetite.

Life was simple and sweet. Our only care in the world was how much longer we had before the sun went down. …

Meg Haynes

With personal growth at the heart of it all, I write about health+travel, life+love, and the trials+errors of freelancing. Let’s connect!

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