Can you love yourself if you refuse to know yourself?

Last summer, I tossed pretty much everything I owned in a Marie-Kondo-style-pre-moving purge — including, but not limited to, my full length mirror. It was that over-the-door one from the College Section of Bed Bath & Beyond, and it did not spark quite enough joy to drag it to New York. My new apartment had a small bathroom mirror, but no easy way to look at my body at length.

I have had many bodies over the last 15 years. I topped out at 6’ by the time I started…


Your expert guide to attention-seeking catharsis

It is late-October, 2020, in the United States, and there is much to cry about. Things are Bad, and one of the real benefits of living in New York is that I can cry about it just about anywhere.

Sure, it’s more dignified to cry in the comfort of your own home, but sometimes the moment strikes when you’re out and about. And here, you don’t have to hold it in. You can cry on the train! You can cry in the park! You can even cry on Staten Island.


As a teenager, I cried a lot in the mall. Nowhere that sold clothes was safe.

The teen in front of me in line for the Glossier flagship store in lower Manhattan is visiting New York with her family. Whatever their itinerary, she seems to have abandoned it to come here instead. She tells her grandmother, who seems generally confused about why they’re here, that she’s mainly interested in the face wash (Milky Jelly, $18), but she wants to test some other products as well.

The Milky Jelly, like all of Glossier’s products, is a minimalist cosmetic in minimalist packaging. Everything is sheer and glowy and dewy, to be applied with the fingers in a way…


There was all the typical sports-induced-shouting, but it was angry, almost desperate. I felt like the universe owed me this one, for taking my friend.

Six days into the new year, we gathered in my friend’s loft to watch the Philadelphia Eagles play the Chicago Bears. It was the first round of the playoffs, and the Eagles were the unlikely wild card team.

We were also an unlikely group of people to be watching a football game together. For starters, we’re not, at first glance, Sports People. But mostly, another friend of ours had died just three days before.

We’d already spent the rest of the weekend doing all the weird stuff that grief makes you do — no text or DM or otherwise forgotten…

Anna Ladd

navel gazing, mostly | twitter + ig @liveladdlove

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