Joy Is An Act of Resistance

Hello, Internet! Haven’t posted in a cool 365 days, but I have a big one for you now! It’s about personal progress, the resistance, and if joy is worth hanging onto.

(TL;DR – it is.)

Hot take: 2017 was a doozy.

Exploration, self-preservation, and joy seem to be the first things to go when facing a pile of bills, a hectic work week, freezing temps, and the constant degradation of our democracy. Joy is what especially seems foolish – some “find your bliss,” elitist nonsense that I generally do not have time for. Who has time for joy when there’s an ever-updating New York Times alert about the next heinous tweet or new report on the doom of climate change? It seems wrong to celebrate anything when so many are hurting and there is so much to be done.

My therapist says it’s easy to turn dysfunction in the world inward, questioning your relationships or career instead of accepting the problem at hand: that the world is messy and the future continues to be uncertain. This manifests for me in many ways. My negative self-talk often focuses on my body and whether or not I like it.

A few months ago, I went to a wedding with some friends from college. They all looked the same as – or even better than – they had in school. This thought rarely crossed my mind in the moment (because weddings are FUN) but later, as the likes came rolling in on a group photo on Facebook, I started seeing myself through everyone else’s eyes – and in my head, they were not very nice. I could almost hear them, my old classmates, people from high school, the generic critical voice of the internet, all saying the same thing: “Wow, she’s gotten fat.”

My issues with weight began a few years ago, during a particularly low moment in my mental health. I was extremely depressed, and I had no desire to eat. In fact, almost all food made me sick, and I went from my healthy 135 pounds on my 5′ 7″ frame, to almost 120 pounds in less than 3 months.

As I started to recover and come out of the worst of my depression, I changed my behavior (and my birth control, #hormones) and started regaining an appetite. A year later, I had gained the weight back and then some, coming in around 160 pounds. I didn’t love how tight my jeans were feeling, but I figured I’d get back to my regular size and self in no time. As time progressed and as I continued to avoid therapy and other treatment for my anxiety and depression, I continued to gain weight, this time finding comfort and solace in big, heavy meals. “Why couldn’t I have my old depression back so I could be skinny?” I would joke. Hilarious, I know.

I quickly found myself the heaviest I’d ever been and also at the end of a three-year relationship. (I didn’t realize at the time, but these two occurrences were connected.) In my relationship, things had started off well, and it meant a lot to me that my then boyfriend stood by me through the lowest part of my depression. But by three years in, we had grown apart. We had taken advantage of each other, creating bad habits and patterns that we just couldn’t break. I’m sure my mental illness played a significant part in that, and at the end of the day, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Beginning to recover, Feb. 2014


By the end, my self-esteem was almost completely gone, and that had a lot to do with my physical appearance. I relied on my ex for everything, and I’d often use him to validate me and my choices. This felt desperately needed at the time, but looking back, I can see it was obviously a form of manipulation.

In the last year of our relationship, our sex life had slowed down significantly. One night, I tried to make a move and promptly felt rejected. I wasn’t desperate for sexual fulfillment, but I was desperate for attention, for intimacy, for a sign that things weren’t as bad as I knew in my heart they were. As usual, this was neither attractive nor effective, and sadly, also as usual, I began to cry.

I asked him, through tears, “Why won’t you have sex with me anymore?” He didn’t really know how to answer, giving a “it’s not you, it’s me” sort of response. I didn’t accept it.

“I know that’s not why,” I sobbed. “It’s because I’m fat now, right?” (In my depressive and anxious state, I am an expert at quite literally begging the question.)

After intense prodding, he finally said what I had been dreading –

“Well, yeah… that’s…a part of it…”

I don’t remember exactly what was said after that. There was a lot we both missed or never said at all, and I had spent many nights waiting for what I always knew was coming and answers I didn’t want to hear.

I ran out of the room, too embarrassed to continue sitting in our bed. He followed me to the kitchen, where I was trying to sob as quietly as possible to avoid having our roommates hear us fighting… again.

He apologized, maybe knowing he broke the cardinal rule of sitcoms and 90s era standups: don’t ever tell a woman she looks fat.

Even as I’m writing this now, I feel shame creeping up the back of my neck. Did he really mean that? Would he have said that if I hadn’t prodded him? How could someone I loved say that to me? I don’t know. We all make mistakes in young relationships (either we ourselves are young or the relationship is, or both), and I know I made many. But there are certain things that seem to stick in your head when they’re said by people you love.

Time passed, but my self-hatred only grew. I felt ashamed to get dressed around him. I felt silly when I tried to do my hair or makeup, thinking it was embarrassing to try to put lipstick on a pig. I refused to buy new clothes, swearing I would fit into my old ones soon, so I always felt uncomfortable and ugly.

Throughout all of these little microaggressions, the macro went unacknowledged. I began to only associate my worthiness with his approval, choosing to see all of my problems through the lens of my relationship. He continued to shut me out, and I continued to plead with him to let me in. I lost the ability to stand up for myself. For every little step forward I took in therapy, a few minutes at home took me two giant steps back.

I not only felt like shit, but I felt like I deserved to feel like shit and I would never stop feeling like shit – all because of how this one person treated me. I did not care how I treated me. In fact, I didn’t like me. I didn’t like me at all.

Right after the break up, Summer 2016

I often think about how difficult life would be now if I hadn’t gotten the help I needed when I was in the depths of my depression. Daily life, basic things like eating and going to work, were impossible then, let alone being in a relationship or tackling an administration hell bent on destroying the country. That kind of depression, the one that put the lights out behind my eyes, lasted about five months total. But the part that lingered on, the part that hit my soul the hardest – the months of denying requests to hang out, of unintentionally manipulating friends and loved ones, of clinging to the trauma I knew instead of the future I didn’t—lasted much longer. I truly didn’t feel like I had recovered till about December 2016, which means the full depressive episode lasted almost three years.

There are still days when listening to the truth of our collective situation is too much, when the shame from the past overwhelms me and the extreme unknown ahead leaves me feeling empty. But I now have to the tools to activate my hopelessness. I have a community of support, resources and coping skills, and I have an outstanding therapist. After years of work, I have the ability to realize when I am too obsessed with the micro (the post-breakup moments of constantly refreshing my ex’s Instagram) and when I am too overwhelmed with the macro (bedridden due to fears of North Korea). I can choose my involvement, choose my moments of engagement, in part because of my study in therapy (and my privilege). There is finally space in my life for a real relationship, for true career goals, for the best of friends, for joy. If I was still deep within my darkness, I don’t know how I could handle it.

My negative self talk came to a head right as the #MeToo movement was ramping up in Hollywood and industries across the country. We are constantly bombarded by stupid shit men say, not to mention the horrifying shit they can physically do. Hurtful shit, scary shit, insensitive, ill-timed shit. Shit about our bodies – what we can do with them, what they can to do them, what they love or hate about them. Men say shit about our bodies being too old or so close to being old enough. They talk about assaulting them, selling them, legislating them. They say this shit when we are 10 years old and they will continue to say it when we are 70. They say things we can’t seem to forget, no matter how hard we try, and whether they really mean it or not. Whether it’s online, on an Access Hollywood bus, or in our own beds, they keep saying shit.


We don’t have to accept this kind of behavior.

And we definitely don’t have to listen to their shit.


So as I sat down to write my resolutions for 2018, I chose a few mantras to motivate me throughout the year, one being “the personal is political”. I believe an act of personal joy or courage – leaving a bad relationship, accepting your body, asking for a raise, facing your past mistakes and making progress on your emotional self – is directly in step with the national conversation on resistance and doing your part. What I accept from a boss, a partner, or a friend is what I will accept from my institutions. And it’s what I will accept from myself.

Resisting cynicism is a political act. Resisting fear and despair is a political act. And in a country where your basic human rights are threatened every day, being proud of who you are and where you’re at right now is a political act.

This year, I plan to learn from the past. I’m going to find inspiration in those who came before me and keep fighting for those who come after. I will live my life proudly and without hesitation. I will find the joy, and I won’t let go.


“Joy is an act of resistance.” – Toi Derricotte


Feelin’ joyful as hell – October 2017

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week *GUEST POST*

February 25, 2016

It’s a special day here at Good Millennial because we have a GUEST POST! This week’s guest post is from the lovely, formidable butterfly that is Abigail Oldham.

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Eating disorders affect over 20 million women in the United States, and many of these cases go unreported and untreated.

I knew I wanted to highlight #NEDAwareness Week on the blog, and I immediately thought of Abigail. She has been sharing her recovery experience for over two years and her effort, strength, forgiveness, and compassion never cease to amaze me. I’m so honored she shared her story with us.

12733449_10208629298473205_5266293663989719391_nOver the past two years in recovery, I’ve surely been known to use my social media platform to promote openness, honesty, and self-discovery through the recovery of my eating disorder. When NEDA’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week rolls around, I take the opportunity to share even more posts to celebrate my recovery and the gift awareness brings.

I come from a world where calorie and nutrition facts quantitatively measured my worth, and now I live in a world where faith trumps fear and a number can’t define the many intangible parts of who I am. How that did that happen? It started with me knowing I was bulimic. Though I had exemplified every behavior trait of someone suffering from bulimia for the past 7 years, I sat at the group table during my first day of therapy with tears streaming down my face explaining, “I’m just not one of you.”

It’s never us, until it is. It’s never real until the reality is our own staring us back in the mirror. I really was one of them, and I was in a battle that I was refusing to know. One night while in treatment but denying my diagnosis, I innocently walked to the kitchen on the phone to get a drink of water. Impulsively, I dropped the phone, opened the freezer door, and dug into 2 gallons of ice cream, a pizza, and then the porcelain god for the following 3 hours. I laid on the couch until the sun rose with one thought, “I cannot live like this another day.”

12744152_10208631865537380_1146735826687877813_nI often refer to this as my “Come to Jesus” moment. The next day, I brought my beloved scale to treatment to smash and vowed it would no longer ruin another night of my life as it did the night before. That is the day I decided to go on the long and treacherous road to recovery from my eating disorder.

To celebrate this week, I originally thought about just telling you facts you might not know about an eating disorder, like an eating disorder is not just physical but very mental, it looks different on everyone, and how you talking bad about your body and “diet talk” triggers everyone around you struggling with an eating disorder.

However, what I want you to know is that recovery is hard. It is the most unpredictable process: one minute you’re doing well and the next you’re back in treatment for a relapse in behaviors. It is learning to love what you’ve defined as unlovable because you only know conditional love. It’s learning to silence the “Who do you think you are?” and “I am not enough.” For I really am just enough.

I hope this week you will commit to being aware, because I promise you we’re all in recovery from something. Of course, I am passionate about eating disorder recovery because it is my battle to fight, but we are all fighting a battle every day. I beg you to be kind, loving, and full of grace to those around you.

Awareness is our greatest agent of change. Share some love this week on someone else’s recovery journey.



If you or someone you know is struggling with food or exercise issues, please visit NEDA can help you get screened, find recovery centers near you, and help you begin or continue your recovery process. Get Screened. Get Help. Get Healthy.



Abigail is a St. Louis native currently studying Acting at Ball State University. A BodyPeace activist, she is a contributing writer to the Faith column and a video blogger for recovery in mental health for Libero Network.

HBD, Good Millennial: Reflections On Year One

February 21, 2016

Hello, GM team! Can you believe it’s been a year since we started this crazy adventure? I have been out on the road with a traveling show since January, so please excuse my tardiness in celebrating Good Millennial’s first year of existence. I’m hoping to have more original posts up soon, but please check the FB and Twitter for reposts of great articles, photos, and more from other awesome lady-driven blogs and papers.

After renewing my website hosting and domain for another year, I began to notice the changes in my life since I started keeping a blog. I decided to start a blog in the first place, I think, because I was bored. I was living with my boyfriend in a brand new city and I was stalled. I hadn’t given my career a chance to take off. I was supposed to be saving all my money, but even working three jobs wasn’t enough. I was away from friends and family, and I was bored. Bored with my life.

And just when I thought this was how my life was going to be forever, my boyfriend got laid off from his dream job, and in three week’s time, he was getting on a bus to start a new job in New York City. I still had a few responsibilities that kept me in New England, so he left and I stayed.

It’s never a good sign when the person you love most in the world gets some crushing news and the first thing you think is “We can move!” I was sort of appalled at myself – Kody loses his job and the first thing I feel is a weight being lifted off my shoulders?

As bad as I felt for him, I kept having this creeping feeling that I could be free. Free from what? Nothing was actually keeping me in New England. Kody loved me and supported me (emotionally and monetarily at that point), and he never once forced me to stay there. I found some work that worked for me, but really, why was I there? What was there for me?

So when Kody told me he was taking a job in New York, I got scared. I had to finish out a teaching position and an acting job on the coast, but then what?

I guess we were moving to New York.

For years, New York City had been the end game. Or at least, that’s what I told people. When you grow up in Iowa, New York City is the exception, but when you want to do musical theater, New York City is the rule. My parents always supported me, but I had never seen what being an adult artist looked like outside of my hometown. Life to me was family, job, grocery store runs, singing, summer swimming pools, volunteering, school plays, visits with Grandma. Even in college I lived in a little neighborhood with all my friends in a two-block radius. What did I know about making a life for myself in New York City? I thought it was selfish and expensive and almost impossible. But actually, I was afraid.

So instead of giving it a go in New York, I moved to Rhode Island. Kody had a job there, and he had a goal, an end game. I had no goals, a messed up family situation back in Iowa, and a non-paid education internship at a well-regarded theater in Boston. So, off we went to New England: Kody running toward the first step in a long and successful career, and me, running away from any chance at mine.

I spent that year after college asking myself a million questions. If I moved to New York, what will I do for money? Will anyone want to hire me? Am I really any good? What if it’s too hard? Will I get lost? Will Kody and I break up? Will I have any friends? What if I can’t find anywhere to live? Do they have Target there? Oh my god, what will I do without Target?

Basically I kept wondering: What’s more important, my life or my work? At the time, I thought they were exclusive. And apparently I also thought I had a life. While I met some wonderful people and did have some wonderful opportunities, I was unhappy in Rhode Island. I was dealing with crippling self-doubt stemming from anxiety and depression that I tried to ignore, which of course only made it worse. Not only was this holding me back from my work, but it was affecting my relationship, too. (Kody calls it my Poptart Depression: the days when I stayed in bed with the lights off eating Poptarts instead of, you know, being a part of the human race.)

I was convinced I would never make it in New York. I was too fat, too broke, not good enough, not smart enough, not funny or savvy enough. I used every excuse in the book, including convincing myself that this was really what I wanted, that I was being practical and rational. To me, not trying was better than failing at something I was supposed to be good at.

So when Kody got laid off, my whole world turned upside down. My biggest fear had been realized: I had no money, no power, and no pursuits of my own, and almost worst of all, I had moved across the country for a guy who was leaving to start a new job, and I was making minimum wage and relying on him for everything.

Who am I? I thought. What have I done?

The night before Kody left for New York, we went to our favorite pizza place. (If I miss one thing about living in Rhode Island – besides the people – it is the food.) We smiled and talked and tried to have fun. I called in sick the next day and took him out to run some errands before dropping him off at the bus station. He left February 12th, and by February 13th, I had created a blog.

I had been ruminating on it for some time, experimenting with names and styles, but once Kody left, I knew it was time. When I walked back into our quiet apartment, I was faced with a reality I hadn’t felt in a long time: I was alone.

I sat on the couch and tried to watch TV. I ordered some pizza, called my mom, reorganized the coffee table. But I kept being bombarded by the silence, the thoughts in my head I had to face now that it was just them and me.

So I started writing.

Once I started down the blogosphere rabbit hole, I didn’t look back. I found my niche, and I also found my voice. I started reading more, listening to the ideas of others, and I found myself getting excited to work. I hadn’t felt that in a long time. I would head home from my babysitting job or my teaching job, and instead of dreading an empty house, I was excited to get home and write. The more women and issues I read about, the more empowered I became. The more I discovered, the more conversations I started with women near and far.

I wanted people to read my articles, to learn something, and to be inspired. But sometimes I found myself not caring if anyone read my stuff or not. I was just happy to be working, to be sharing a part of myself and being unafraid to do so.

In the time since I started Good Millennial, my life has changed exponentially. Kody and I left Rhode Island and moved to New York City. I got an agent, got a few part-time jobs, met a million people from a million places, took classes, and started working with a therapist who has changed my life. I’m currently in a van driving all over the country getting paid to sing and dance and Kody is busy getting promoted and taking on more responsibilities at a job he loves. We both found a place to be ourselves and be together. Life still isn’t easy, but it’s better. We are better. I am better.

Good Millennial gave me a place of my own, a place I could work on myself. It gave me courage and knowledge and few enemies on the Internet. Before I started blogging, I just didn’t care about anything. But writing, along with a strong support system and some good therapy, has given me a reason to care, a reason to be interested in the world around me. It reminded me that what we say and do matters, and learning and being engaged and starting a conversation that matters helps make the world a better place.

The first page I created for the blog was my About section. I listed all the things a Good Millennial should be. That list was less of a proclamation and more of a promise – to others and to myself. At the time, I didn’t have an opinion or a belief that our generation could change the world. I couldn’t even change my own life. But I listed those attributes because I thought if I created a small space for growth in my life, I could become those things. (Click here if you want a refresher.)

Thanks for sticking by me, Good Millennials. I hope you have enjoyed the journey. I know I have loved learning from you, and I will continue trying to make you proud.

Here’s to another year of education, action, compassion, and forging our own paths. We cannot be defined. We cannot be stifled. We are complex, driven, beautiful, passionate, fascinating, wonderful vessels for greatness. There’s a lot to be done, but we can do it together.

The world is at our feet. Let’s go.




Tired of Giving In: Rosa Parks’ Refusal 60 Years Later

60 years ago today, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. We honor her courage, her commitment, and her strength. We thank Ms. Parks for helping put women on the front lines in the fight of civil rights and for sparking one of the most broad and effective acts of civil disobedience in the entire civil rights movement. Rochelle Riley, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, captures our gratitude well:

“There are lessons that came with bloodshed and tears that we must never lose. And many of those lessons can be found in the lives of the leaders who did what they had to do so we can do what we want to do.”

When researching for this piece, I became equally inspired and disheartened. Inspired, because the stories of Rosa Parks and many other African American women working for civil rights touched me and encouraged me, seeing how far we have come and how much these women did to make my world better than their own. But I quickly became disheartened, seeing the stark similarities between the fights going on today in Ferguson, Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, and all over our country, and the ones that went on in Montgomery or Little Rock exactly 60 years ago. How could we see so much time pass, see so many people die, and still have so much work left to do?

But I was also struck by Ms. Park’s determination. When she was asked to give up her seat and move to the back of the bus, she probably felt a great deal more than disheartened. But she continued on. She was “tired, tired of giving in.” And her potentially small act of rebellion, her small act of not giving in, sparked something much bigger.

While Rosa Parks is probably one of the most recognized women in the civil rights movement, her story is often simplified for history books and social studies lessons. Plus the impact of not giving up a seat on a bus doesn’t hit as hard today as it did many years ago. In my research, I found a great post from a blog called Feminist Activism, which detailed some great information on Ms. Parks you probably didn’t learn in class. I will leave you with their call to action, which sums up my feelings exactly:

“It is your duty now, today, to honor Parks and other activists like her who have dedicated, and in some cases given, their lives in the fight for equality. Analyze, strategize and act to create equality. And do it with love.”


Happy Birthday, Louisa May Alcott!

I remember picking up a well-worn copy of Little Women when I was nine years old. I remember being enchanted with Jo’s story, running up to my room to write and play, eventually reading the book so veraciously the cover came off in my hands.

Many years and countless readings later, I consider myself an extreme fan of everything March. This extreme fandom includes an annual holiday viewing of the 1994 film adaptation (Susan Sarandon as Marmee, Winona Ryder as Jo, CHRISTIAN BALE AS LAURIE COME ON PEOPLE) during which I quote every line through tears of joy/sadness.

[“THEY’RE NOT EMPTY NOW” – Jo, and also me, quietly sobbing on the couch.]


Being a Little Women connoisseur also means I fangirl over the novel’s author, the fascinating Louisa May Alcott. A lovely writer, a fierce and ferocious feminist, and an inspiring historical figure, LMA was a force to be reckoned with.

Today we celebrate Louisa’s 273rd birthday, so here are 273 facts you may not know about the acclaimed author.

[Just kidding.]

I’m obviously not doing that.

BUT here are just twelve facts about this amazing woman who wrote one of our most beloved books of all time, as well as a link to buy a wonderful biography to get the final 261.

  1. Louisa May Alcott was born Nov 29, 1832 in Pennsylvania on her father’s 33rd birthday.
  2. Louisa’s dad Bronson Alcott was a famous transcendentalist in his own right, known for big ideas that didn’t always pan out. Her mother was Abigail May, a social worker.
  3. Louisa grew up among her father’s contemporaries, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. (All of these guys are buried together on Author’s Ridge in the famous Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, along with Louisa herself.)
  4. Other family friends included Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Fuller, also some of Louisa’s first teachers.
  5. Louisa was always involved in political and social causes. She was even the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Mass!
  6. Both Louisa and her sister loved acting and theater, and at one point her youth, Louisa wanted to be a professional actor.
  7. She and her family once served as station masters on the Underground Railroad and were staunch abolitionists and feminists.
  8. Like the characters in Little Women, Louisa and her family knew poverty. Bronson’s goals for his transcendentalist school and other philosophic endeavors didn’t always succeed as he hoped, leaving the family to fend for themselves. The family was constantly moving, and they often received help and housing from Thoreau and Emerson.
  9. Louisa worked as a teacher, seamstress, and governess before earning a living as a writer.
  10. Louisa loosely based the characters in Little Women off her own family, the character of Jo serving as a representation of Louisa herself. Plus you can visit Orchard House in real life!
  11. Little Women was originally published as two books, Little Women and Good Wives. The end of Little Women left the world wondering if Laurie and Jo would end up together. (Still my biggest beef with the story, as Laurie was my first fictional love.) When the followup was published, readers were crushed. But Louisa stood by her beliefs, stating in her journal: “Girls write to ask who the little women marry, as if that was the only aim and end of a woman’s life. I won’t marry Jo to Laurie to please anyone.” BOOM.
  12. While she is best known for Little Women, Louisa wrote over 30 books and short story collections, as well as essays and poetry.

There are many biographies out there with way more than just 12 facts about this revolutionary woman. If you want to read a GREAT one, I recommend Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen. It reads like an engaging fiction novel, giving you historical insight as well as personal history. One of the only biographies I’ve ever read that I just couldn’t put down, the book also digs into Louisa’s relationship with her mother Abigail, proving strong, creative women ran her family.

I also recommend visiting Orchard House if you’re ever around the Boston/Concord area!

164928_10151950883616978_1421828126_n<—Here’s a photo of yours truly sitting on the steps of Orchard House.

Did I cry when I saw the desk at which she penned Little Women? Yes. Yes, I did. Did I cry the whole time kind of?

Yes. Yes, I did.


Point is, literature and young women the world over owe a lot to LMA. Happy Birthday, Louisa May Alcott! We love you!


“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship.”

Happy Birthday, Sarah Grimke!

I ask no favors for my sex. I surrender not our claim to equality. All I ask of our brethren is, that they will take their feet from off our necks, and permit us to stand upright on that ground which God designed us to occupy.”



Sarah Grimke knew what was up! And today we celebrate what would have been her 223rd birthday.

[Girl is looking good for being in her second century.]

Sarah and her sister Angelina were two early activists for abolition and women’s rights. Born into a wealthy slave-owning family on a plantation South Carolina, the women quickly grew to despise the institution of slavery. Sarah was self taught, often secretly studying her father’s law books. She wanted to be a lawyer, but due to familial and societal limitations against educating women, she was forbidden. When her sister Angelina was born in 1805, Sarah vowed to “guide and direct [this] precious child.” This cemented her commitment to creating a better world, one she and her sister could succeed in and be proud of.

[Angelina also looking fly at the cool age of 210.]

After accompanying her father to Philadelphia for his medical treatment, Sarah was helped by a Quaker family and later moved north to officially joined the Quaker faith. Her sister (pictured above) joined her soon after, and the sisters began fighting to abolish slavery, eventually becoming outcasts in their home state. However, the sisters also faced criticism in the North, as women were not often on the forefront of social movements (or so people thought…). While Angelina was known for being a dynamic and outspoken public figure, Sarah was shyer and relied on her powerful writing skills to express her feminist beliefs. After facing much criticism over their place as females in the movement against slavery, Sarah Grimke wrote her famous Letters on the Equality of the Sexes. The sisters soon cemented their legacy as leaders in the fight for women’s rights as well as abolition.



If you want to read more about the Grimke sisters, check out the links below. I also recommend reading the lovely historical fiction book The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. The story chronicles the lives of Sarah Grimke and a fictional female slave who is given to Sarah on her 11th birthday. It’s a breathtaking story of friendship and family that I honestly couldn’t put down. Plus it opened me up to a part of history I (almost shamefully) never knew existed! Reading is the best!

Happy Birthday, Sarah Grimke! You and your sister were two badass Quakers. (And how often do we get to say that?)



Sources for this article can be found here and here.

I Got An IUD and Nothing Bad Happened

At first glance, the Internet is littered with IUD stories. Comments in health forums, guides full of warnings and medical jargon, poems on Tumblr – when I was researching birth control options, I saw it all. But rather than finding information I could really use, I found horror stories and rumors that left me a little scared and very confused.

Recently, a friend asked about my experience with the IUD. She told me she had been unhappy on the Pill, and although she was grateful to have Plan B as an option when a hookup went awry, she knew she didn’t want to continue to leave her reproductive future up to a partner or a perfectly-timed birth control pill. So I decided to share my story.

I wanted an IUD in the first place because I wanted the freedom to have sex whenever I wanted and not get pregnant. I was also sick of my birth control pills, and after about a year of bad PMS and weight gain, I knew I had to make a change. But the combination of my insurance and what I could feasibly pay each month for birth control left me with few options. Plus the thought of taking a pill at the same time every day for the next ten years seemed really daunting.

I just want to have sex with my boyfriend and be protected from pregnancy and not feel terrible all the time! Is that too much to ask?

No. It’s really not.

So my primary care doctor suggested an IUD. An IUD, or intrauterine device, is a t-shaped piece of plastic connected to a very long plastic string. A health care provider inserts the IUD into a woman’s uterus, and hormonal IUDs release a small amount of progestin to prevent sperm from reaching an egg. (IUDs with copper do not contain hormones, but do the same job.)

Because I’m the type of person who would research what it’s like to watch paint dry, I began obsessively combing the Internet for in-depth coverage of IUDs. When I was able to find credible information, I realized an IUD was perfect for me.

IUDs are considered as effective as sterilization when it comes to preventing pregnancy. Less than 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant within a year of using an IUD, and it’s easily reversible. They also last a long time – depending on which IUD is right for you, you can be protected from pregnancy for three to twelve years. Plus it’s usually covered by insurance, sometimes without a copay.

So I can have pregnancy protection for years, hardly pay a dime, and almost guarantee I won’t be pregnant?  

Yes, please!

Of course, IUDs don’t protect against sexually transmitted infections and there are still risks associated with the procedure. But as long as the insertion is done by an experienced health care professional, serious problems are rare.

An IUD seemed like it could change my life. But when I spoke to my friends and family, their reactions were less than stellar.

“Those things are really dangerous,” my friends said.

“Are you sure that’s what you want to do?” my mom asked. “I’ve heard terrible things about them.”

My mom and friends were very sure about the horror stories, but when I asked what they really knew about IUDs, they couldn’t tell me very much. Sadly, their reactions made sense. After all, the zeitgeist is rife with IUD nightmares, rumors, and out and out lies. Who could have told them otherwise?

Well, I am here to say, for anyone who wants to read it, I got an IUD and nothing bad happened.

That’s right. I am sitting here today with that tiny piece of t-shaped plastic in my uterus and I am doing just fine. In fact, I feel better than fine.


But at my first consultation appointment, I was sort of nervous. After all, when your mom warns you about something, you should probably listen. And when that thing is a foreign object full of hormones that is housed in your downtown, it seems you should really listen. But my gynecologist explained the risks, gave me reliable information, and sent me on my way. One month later, I showed up for my insertion.

After consulting with my doc, I chose to use Mirena, a hormonal IUD that works for up to five years. Once I’d signed some forms and assured my nurse I was not pregnant (some offices require a pregnancy test before insertion), I positioned myself on the exam table.

I glanced over at the instrument cart. The IUD came in a long, skinny box and it was prepackaged inside its insertion tube. The device itself was no bigger than a matchbook, and the insertion tube looked like a long, skinny drinking straw. There was a speculum, cleansers, some other shiny tools, a long skinny pair of scissors, and… lube? Yes, even gynos rely on the magic of KY to get the job done.

In order to insert the IUD, my cervix had to be relaxed. I had taken a prescription pill before my appointment that would help soften my uterine walls, and during the actual procedure, I kept myself calm and distracted by focusing on my breathing. My doctor talked me through each step, first inserting the speculum and cleansing my insides to prepare for the insertion. I felt a slight pressure and kept my breaths deep, low, and slow.

My doctor, who used an IUD herself, said the insertion would feel like intense period cramps.

Uh, yeah. She was right.

Though I had taken some Ibuprofen before my appointment, the insertion was just as odd and painful as everyone described. It felt like needles were poking an undisclosed place behind my belly button. Like my vagina was constipated or like a very long pap smear. I kept focusing on my breath as my eyes began to water, but before I knew it, my doctor was saying the insertion had gone well and all she had to do was cut the strings.

Two minutes of weirdness and I had an IUD!

I relaxed on the table, and my doctor told me about the next few steps of the IUD process. Because I wasn’t currently on my period, she said I should use backup contraception for the next seven days. She also said partners can sometimes feel the IUD strings during sex, but it usually doesn’t pose a large problem. Unless I experienced very serious pain, I wouldn’t need to return until my one month checkup. After that I would check the strings myself each month to make sure the IUD was still in place. The next few hours and days would be slightly painful with cramping, and I might see some bleeding or spotting. In fact, she said these symptoms could last three to six months.

To me, that seemed like a very long time, even though it’s similar to the adjustment period for birth control pills. After all, my uterus did just get a new, unannounced roommate. She was bound to need some time to adjust.

The nurse gave me some published information on Mirena, as well as a card that stated the date I received the IUD and the date I would need to have it replaced. I couldn’t believe I was looking at the year 2020 written there on my card. Five whole years, I thought. I am safe.

I left the office feeling relieved and incredibly proud. While the rest of my day was spent taking pain medicine and sleeping (my cramping wasn’t severe but it was pretty bad), I also tried to remember the magnitude of the occasion. A few office visits, one ultra-sound check up, my own monthly string check, and I’m set until 2020. That’s pretty damn cool.

My pain gradually subsided, and after a few days, my life returned to normal. The side effects that gave me so much trouble with the pill had almost completely disappeared. As my doctor had warned, my boyfriend could feel the IUD strings during sex, but it didn’t bother him; he knew what they were and knew they were protecting us from an unwanted pregnancy, so in his mind, who really cared? I made a good decision for myself and for my future and my confidence grew.

I was healthy and strong and I felt like an IUD-wielding badass! So, why did so many people tell me not to do it?

IUDs, though innovative and simple, are still a mystery to many people. From lawmakers and leaders to moms and friends, we just don’t seem to get it. Bad products in the 1970s and 1980s created widespread panic about the IUD in America, and while global use of the IUD has skyrocketed, Americans still seem hung up on decades old problems fueled by urban legend and propaganda.

While the copper IUD can act as emergency contraception, the IUD does not cause abortions. The IUD does not cause infertility. Women who have never been pregnant can use an IUD. These rumors are wrong, and if anyone tries to tell you otherwise, odds are they are misinformed.

If you’re interested in learning more about IUDs but your health care provider doesn’t offer them for moral or religious reasons, find one that does. My primary care doctor, who had originally suggested the IUD, could not do my procedure because the religious hospital associated with her practice wouldn’t allow it. It made my journey to reproductive stability a little longer, but it did not deter me. I knew I deserved the care and protection that was best for me, so I kept looking.

The bottom line is IUDs work. They work well. We have seen the impact IUDs have on states and communities, and, perhaps even more importantly, I have seen the positive impact my IUD has had in my own life. While there are some side effects (pro: no period! con: doesn’t control acne), I feel confident, strong, and informed, and I’m ready to share my story.

So, listen up, Internet: I got an IUD and nothing bad happened.

Spread that rumor.



Do you have an IUD story to share? Hit us up below or on the socials @goodmillennial!


October 17, 2015


How have you been? It’s really been too long. How’s the fam? How’s the dog? How’s your Netflix? Just wanted to check in about the most important parts of life (people, pets, TV).

And I also wanted to say… WE’RE BACK!

Let me be real for a sec:

Making a blog is hard. Keeping up with said blog is even harder. I mean, it’s not as hard as being a teacher or a nurse or a Navy SEAL, but it’s not easy. Creating and sustaining your own project is difficult. Whether it’s a rock band, a baking-from-home business, or simply posting things on the Internet, hustling your own passion project takes a lot. It takes a lot of time, focus, and effort (and $$), and sometimes, you just don’t have enough make it work.

I’m saying this because, as you probably have noticed (maybe you haven’t, it’s cool), I haven’t been regularly spamming your social media with links to my blog. And that’s because there haven’t been any links to spam! I’ve been doing other things!

Here’s a list of things I’ve done since the last time I regularly kept up with all you Good Millennials out there:

  1. Moved across the country
  2. Dealt with some family stuff
  3. Moved back across the country to my dream city!
  4. Got a few survival jobs
  5. Had 2-3 emotional breakdowns
  6. Went on lots of auditions
  7. Tried to exercise a little bit
  8. Took lots of improv and acting classes
  9. Read books! Like, more than one! Plural!
  10. Voluntarily ate brussels sprouts
  11. Figured out how to do my hair
  12. Met a bunch of new friends and caught up with old ones
  13. Kept my room clean (kind of)

So, as you can see, my time has been well spent. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but living in a big city is exhausting. So when I come home at the end of the day, it’s hard enough to pick what I’m cooking (read: ordering) for dinner, let alone write a bunch of thoughts down, edit them, market them, add pictures, share it with friends, edit it again, blah blah blah. So what I’m saying is, I’ve been busy. And also, I have felt badly about it.

I mean, just look at all the stuff I’ve missed:

  1. Congress attacked Planned Parenthood (again)
  2. Thousands of refugees fled their war torn countries
  3. Amy Schumer’s rise to Feminist Internet Wonderlord
  4. #Hillary2016 vs #FeeltheBern
  5. More senseless and heinous acts of violence
  6. What the f is happening with the Republican Party
  7. Incredible and affirming rulings by our Supreme Court
  8.  Goodbye, Speaker Boehner
  9. The fall of the Confederate Flag
  10. Something with sports and Tom Brady and balls idk
  11. He Who Must Not Be Named
  12. The Pope was here!
  13. A woman in Kentucky didn’t do her job and went to jail
  14. Cuba and the US are friends again
  15. New Daily Show host

And that’s like THE BARE MINIMUM. I missed so much!! What was I thinking??? This was PRIME fodder for my leftist lady-loving commie pinko super gay internet blog!!!!

I have often thought, “Was Good Millennial just a substitute adventure until I found something better to do?” Or I’ve thought, “Was I just writing because I was bored and had no one to talk to?”

Honestly, the answer to both of those questions is probably yes.

HOWEVER, being away from my pet project has also reminded me how much I have missed it. I have been reminded how much I still need an outlet for my ideas, and how working on this blog kept me involved in the world around me.  It’s OK to have a million things going on at once. It’s ok to do a little of this and a little of that, to let some things go and to take up new ones. I’m 23 years old! Now is the time to try things out.

So, here is my promise to you, loyal readers and/or spam accounts for bird seed and weight loss supplements:

I’m going back to Good Millennial. It may not be every day or every week, but it will be my own brand of regular. If there’s something to say, it will be said. If there’s an issue that should be discussed, we’ll talk about it. If you have suggestions, by all means, suggest them! I’m excited to get back to business and find some balance in the process.

So… Are you with me?

And yes, I just learned how to use GIFs.

See you soon! – Mackie