2021: the review mirror in essays

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There’s so much I could say about 2021. I had a Covid scare from the most unlikeliest of sources. Notifying people about my exposure exposed the underbelly of human responses.

Still, I choose to focus on the positive. I am not positive for Covid.

I am (mostly) Healthy, (relatively) Wealthy, and Wise (compared to yesterday.)

So to close out the year on a happy note, how about some ‘long reads’? Settle in with a cup of coffee, a hot toddy, or a creamy mug of cocoa. Here are some beautiful essays to close out the year.

I love the way David Sedaris looks at life. Funny, true, and sometimes a sentimental tear-jerker. Here’s his look at the last time he saw his father.

I loved my father-in-law. I met him after he’d retired and his children were grown. He no longer had a stressful and tenuous job; five “teenage kooks” didn’t disrupt his evenings. I heard horror stories about his unrelenting standards, and bad temper. Those seemed like false memories to me. Whenever Chuck got curmudgeonly, I made him laugh. Maybe that’s a piece of why I love David Sedaris’s New Yorker essay. Click here to read it yourself. Warning, I did have to wipe a tear from my eye at the end.

“Who are you?” I want to ask the gentle gnome in front of me. “And what have you done with Lou Sedaris?”


Were you fascinated by “Free Britney?” What about Billie Eilish’s comments about girls and men?

Okay, this next essay isn’t uplifting at all. But it is important. Tavi Gevinson writes about girls with agency and that doesn’t necessarily translate to power and control. I remember hearing Billie Eilish describe this in a sentence or two. To paraphrase: We expect young girls to be the one in control, when grown men should be responsible. Read a bit more of her experience here.

“Being considered ‘in your prime’ is not a position of power if you’re a girl alone in a room with a man.


Did you ever struggle to quiet your mind? What would it be like to struggle to do the opposite?

From the Atlantic

Loved-One says my brain never rests. That’s probably why Hana Schank’s essay “I Know the Secret to the Quiet Mind. I Wish I’d Never Learned It” struck a chord with me. After a traumatic brain injury, Hana wonders if she’s still herself. She says the result of her car accident has made her question her personlity and perhaps her very existence.

I am someone who has always taken pride in my intelligence, and now I am not so smart. I am just a functional human being, according to occupational therapy.

The Atlantic

I too wonder who I’d be without all my wondering, without all my goals, without my full schedule.

Maybe I’d be like David Sedaris’s father, evolved into a new me. Free from the clutter that makes that me shine through.