How do you color the future when your Crayola box is filled with 64 shades of trauma?

I am terrified by the idea of normalcy. My fear is slippery because what is normal anymore?

I talked with my father on the phone yesterday about a funny mix-up that resulted in the landscaping company he and his neighbor both use laying down fresh sod in my parents’ yard instead of Mr. Retired down the street.

This year, on April 29th, I chatted with my dad about his “free grass.” …

The pandemic has taught me to appreciate many things, but my love of being a disembodied head came as a surprise.

I miss hugs.

I don’t miss the obligatory post-show squeeze from the drunken bar owner who let us use the backroom for free, which included a sloppy whiskey-scented kiss landing too close to my ear.

I miss the sounds of writers scribbling out their imaginations onto sheets of loose-leaf.

I don’t miss lugging folding chairs, setting them up in a tight ring in a corner of the bookstore, or shifting uncomfortably as the torturous plastic seat cuts into the…

This Is Us

The app stopped tracking me on March 10, 2020 — and I’m lost without it

Person wearing astronaut standing in empty street with phone raised, taking a selfie.
Photo: Eugenio Marongiu/Getty Images

My timeline stops on March 10, 2020.

That sounds so futuristic to say. Like I’m some kind of Sarah Connor and that’s the date pinpointed by time travelers to snuff me out before I get pregnant with the leader of the resistance. Or to make sure I get pregnant? I don’t know. My Terminator knowledge is fuzzy at best, and there’s no one here to ask but my cat. I could look it up, but the last thing I want to do while sitting alone in the epicenter of a global pandemic is Google the robot uprising.

One dystopian hellscape…

The All-American Aversion to Showing Weakness Does More Harm Than Good

I didn’t imagine that leaving New York to go take care of my parents for the summer would be easy. It never occurred to me, however, that the hardest part would be making the Floridians around us wear masks.

Here, doing the one thing that dramatically reduces COVID-19 transmission is often viewed as acting like a “liberal baby.” This is a rub because the cultural pressure to not show weakness is how my family got in this mess.

On April 29th — my 51st day alone in my one-bedroom…

Art: MRCokeley Design

The iconic ‘Star Trek’ captain is my hero — in any time period

Halfway through the trailer for the new Star Trek: Picard series, I slapped my laptop shut and dissolved into a puddle of hot, snotty tears.

This is my reaction to the gift of joy.

My gift, beamed in via YouTube link, was the return of one of the greatest leaders that Starfleet — hell, that the world or galaxy — has ever seen, Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

Overcome with emotion, I couldn’t watch the whole thing. …

I am aware that I am fat. Just as I am aware that open letters are a tiresome conceit. However, I happened to glance over right as you texted whomever that your “travel ordeals continue as I got seated next to a fat woman.” Frankly, I would rather hip-check open the plane’s emergency exit mid-flight than call you out for erasing my identity in real time as I watched you type the letters F-A-T-W-O-M-A-N.

So, here we are.

Being fat is no one’s fault but my own, so let’s start with the apologies. I’m sorry that I took those extra…

It was one of those moments where you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching, “Well, what would you do?”

Reading an excerpt from her book What Happened, Hillary Clinton’s words are about what was running through her mind as Donald Trump loomed behind her during the second presidential debate. Hearing them, however, I was struck by their familiarity. Because what woman hasn’t found herself in a pause moment figuring out the best way to proceed when a man invades her personal space.

Earlier this summer, while away at a conference where I was thrilled and more than…


There are no words…

What am I going to tell my kids?

Many of my friends posted statements such as these as I got ready for my 8 am Comp I class at a college in Queens today, and I couldn’t agree more. After a sleepless night, the last thing I wanted to do was stand in front of a room full of freshmen, most of who are first-generation Americans, and go over their annotated bibliographies. These are kids whose names I felt completely awkward saying out loud at the beginning of the semester because I knew my white…

I want you to promise me something. No more flying off to these strange countries while all this is going on.

My mother’s phone request was prompted by the recent Christmas I spent stranded at the Istanbul Atatürk Airport. Visiting a good friend of mine from high school who works for the State Department and was living in Sarajevo with her husband and kids, I’d flown out of JFK on Christmas Eve and, due to the time change, landed in Istanbul late afternoon on Christmas day. …

Please cut Brent Spiner’s scenes together and play them like a Pixar short in front of all the other summer movies.

Not sure this movie can be spoiled but spoiler alert:

1. What plot there is, puts a lot of stock in people remembering the original one — and you feel both proud and disgusted with yourself when those murky details firework their way to the surface.

2. The awesome, talented, and gorgeous Mae Whitman was Duff’d out of reprising her role as President Whitmore’s daughter by a standard-issue blond in need of some iron supplements.

3. Because watching an annoying, spineless geek become Rambo once he gets his hands on a high-powered assault weapon and then shares a sweet bro-moment…

Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

Writer, Educator, and Producer of No, YOU Tell It! ( Visit or follow @KJ_Fitzsimmons

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