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Portraits & Poems

Finding comfort in your own body is a continued conversation----to find a journey in every stray hair, to see happiness in your smile and not the crooked mouth, to love the architecture of each curve and dent. It is not beautiful, it is dynamic and surprising and lovely and powerful and this and this and this all over.

Finally Free

Photographed by Den Sweeny

One step forward, three steps more. I once told myself, "You're the only one holding yourself back." I thought it was inspirational at the time. Keeping going. But as I grow up, I'm realizing why I'm holding myself back. I'm telling myself to stay present, to look around at the trees and ravines and open fields. Don't pass up your life.

On the Path

Photographed by Alanna Morgan

9-to-5 becomes 7-to-7 when you have a train to catch in the morning. That's how corporate culture consumes your life, all the extra little things. The mid-day coffee chats, the happy hours with your favorite co-worker, the late-night teambuilding, the weekend grinds. I almost let it kill me, but marketing isn't how I want to die.

After Work

Photographed by Den Sweeny

I left home at a late age----a privilege in many ways. You're supposed to leave and come back when so much has changed, everything you once knew gone, every home rebuilt, a town of new faces with familiar names. But when you stay a few years too many, you watch the neighborhood twist. Mom's makeup melts. The sidewalks you played on crack.

Empty Neighborhood

Photographed by Den Sweeny

One core memory of mine is a slumber party during a blizzard. Owl City played on my parents' desktop computer. It was Saltwater Room, not Fireflies. Snow piled up three inches against the storm door. My best friends in middle school and I were stuck together. We slept on the floor. The heat was turned up. Life was simple.