Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

grappling with Right Now

A thing I have learned: I find it much harder to write with vulnerability when I am in a strong, stable, committed relationship with another human being.

When we first started dating, I remember him telling me he read a lot of this blog. He referenced it in a few conversations, with the right balance of casual and serious — he was interested, he was learning about me, and he was giving space to process and share through time, through conversation.

In this moment, it is hard to write what I know, hard to write myself, when I am aware…


Grabbed this from NPR.

Soft, quiet, avoidant and thus achingly loud racial heartbreak

I know I’m just launching straight in like a cannonball right now, but the very first thing that I must say about this book is that, as much as I can say this as a cis woman, the trans visibility in this book is so important and well done. It’s extremely rare (in fact, has this ever happened before this book? ever in my life?) for me to come across a book with a trans character who is not exclusively (and flamboyantly) A Trans Person.

In this book, Reese is Reese, and Reese engages in the world and is full…


Found via googling “Such a Fun Age”

No one wants to be That White Person

I had zero idea what Such a Fun Age, a novel by Kiley Reid, was about when I got a copy. I had seen it popping up over and over on my Goodreads feed and figured from the context of how often I’d seen it and who had read it that it was worth picking up.

My overall thoughts of this book are that it is a solid great rating. I like this book because it feels like I can both read it at the beach AND think about it’s racial and social statements for weeks after the fact. …


A Baltimore author’s debut (who happens to be my former manager)

I first met Delshan Baker when I interviewed for the job I have now. In the few months we overlapped at the non-profit I still work for and she has since moved on from, I maintained a constant curiosity about a) the full, authentic Delshan and b) if we had as much in common as I thought we might.

When she shifted into the next phase of her professional life at the end of 2019, I was resentful to the rest of the staff that had the opportunity to experience her expertise and spirit for the four years she was…


Slept on it for four years, and now anxious to read it a second time.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City had been a book I wanted to get to for, apparently, four years. When it first came out there was tons of hype, and I heard from multiple places that “it’s sooo good.” It came out before I used libby to read new releases because I was a remain pretty far from being able to buy books whenever I want to read them.

But alas, the audiobook was available on libby recently, and I waited the requisite six weeks to access it, and voila.

I truly loved this book.

To be fair…


A bit of the cover, found on google.

Abi Daré’s debut novel about a girl coming of age — through merciless tragedies — in Nigeria.

If the title didn’t, the first page of this book instantly made me want to listen to this as an audiobook rather than read it. The narrator is a 14-year-old girl, Adunni. She shares her experience beginning in her rural childhood home where her father forces her to become the third wife to a significantly older man, an arrangement that allows her father and two brothers to pay an annual fee and eat, something they couldn’t afford otherwise. …


by Alfons Morales

The precursor to writing book reviews on Medium

The first therapist I saw more than one time wasn’t my favorite, but I was desperate. The breakup I was enduring was an identity crisis in breakup’s clothing and I was too ashamed to keep pushing the patience and love of my friends. It was time for a professional.

I don’t remember much from those sessions, aside from her never starting nor ending on time, feeling chronically uncomfortable, and the time she asked me if maybe I read too much.

She asked me if I read too much.

She told me to consider it, I’m pretty sure, I don’t think…


The 10th without a living Mother.

Truthfully, it might be the 11th, but I have a hard time doing math with time. She died ten years ago as of September. So this September is the 11th year. Does that mean this was my 10th or 11th Mother’s Day without her alive?

I don’t care. It’s been a long time.

Today I mostly feel a constant urge to throw up. I’ve learned with time this is how I feel when I am very sad. …


Photo by Kamil S on Unsplash

Tell me the better option

Recently, my partner and I decided to play Mario Kart on his really cute mini Super Nintento system. This was the day after I broke the wireless controller (heh) so we moved the couch to be about three feet away from the enormous television in our living room — I had to use the one with a cord this time.

Lately, I have been at odds with my sleep schedule. My goal is to be in bed at 10:30, and to have my lights out at 11, so I can be awake by 7:00. Anyone who knew me in high…


The options for “introvert” photos on Medium are QUITE SLIM and depressing, but this one is nice and fairly accurate. by mvp on Unsplash

Because isolation is a little bit of a dream for me

In my wise old age of 32, I have come to realize something about myself. I am most confident, enthusiastic, wildly animated, and totally secure in myself when I know the exact role I am supposed to play.

Perhaps, this is a Universal For Humanity thing. If so, I have literally never had the conversation with anyone about this feeling. Strange.

What I’m saying is that, truthfully, when I don’t have a job title, or a designated role, or a clear understanding of what I am exactly supposed to do in a situation, I become fairly mute.

My job title…

Caroline Lampinen

Mostly the opposite of having my shit together. IG @okaycaroline

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