with bravado

one man's 27-year-old quest to live and share a worthy story

departing 2016.

Here we are, the final day of 2016. You won’t have to look very far to find that it’s become a pretty controversial year. We’ve lost music icons, suffered national tragedies, endured a divisive and vitriolic election season, and the future’s not clear. 2016, it seems, could use some pretty advanced P.R. about now.

The reality, though, is that life is generally some blend of heartbreak and happiness. Most days have setbacks and achievements, laughter and hiccups. The practice of looking at a year, an entire twelve months of dreaming and trying and breaking and building, and deeming it a ‘good year’ or ‘bad year’ … well, I don’t know about it.

But here’s my attempt to boil down my 2016, the year I said would be my ‘bravely forward’ year. So I’ll boil it down to these: The brave moments. The things I’ll carry forward. The things I’ll leave behind.


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a letter to michael, one year ago.


Let’s start with where I am: I’m at a Starbucks, the one on McGalliard. I’m sitting with a hot chocolate, but it’s all white chocolate. Don’t worry –– you’re still allergic to chocolate at the dawn of 2017. (It’s too sweet, but it’s warm, and that’s worth something.) Robbie’s here, too. You’ll meet him later.

I’m sitting on a bench, my laptop on a circular table with the aforementioned beverage. You’ll write here several times over the year ahead. You’ll bring company here and read. You’ll write a letter, some time later, your stomach turning and your eyes leaking tears. You’ll dig things up here; you’ll let them go. And, on a cold night with friends, you’ll come here to write more.

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after the vote #4.


“There are some realities that need to be acknowledged, before hope can be restored in our communities and our nation. I’m seeing and reading people say, ‘the sky isn’t falling,’ and ‘the world isn’t coming to an end.’ Yes, there is truth in those facts. I’m not disputing the reality that we are still living on planet earth. That said, please do not interpret my previous statement as meaning I feel safe. I don’t – not fully. A lot of people don’t. I hope this will change over time.  Read the rest of this entry »

after the vote #3.


“Growing up with two parents who are Political Science enthusiasts, I’ve paid attention to government and politics for as long as I can remember. The West Wing from the genius that is Aaron Sorkin is my favorite show because of its very real, if not overly optimistic, portrayal of the White House and D.C. politics. Election day excites me. It’s almost like the Super Bowl – minus the great commercials. I woke up Tuesday with a healthy sense of optimism that it was going to be a historic day. I didn’t expect it to be historic like this.

“Plain and simple, this has been hard for me.

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after the vote #2.


“I’ve always been inspired by strong female leads, but Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec has always held a special place in my heart. There are strong parallels to what we’ve just witnessed here in America.

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after the vote #1.


“Over the weekend when I was visiting home in rural southern Indiana, I drove the usual path to my house. I saw Trump yard signs, painted messages on plywood, and Trump 2016 flags hung up on flag poles; there was not a single sign supporting Hillary Clinton.

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the wounded healer.


Election Day. I woke up on election day with a nervous pit in my stomach. After more than a year of contentious debate, of divisive and ugly rhetoric, we had reached the day of conclusion. My optimism, as always, was stubborn, and I worked to channel my nervous energy into hope, suggestions of empathy. I wondered, for a moment, how my nieces would react at learning of a female President.

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