Articles with purpose

One Day, the Pain May Be Useful to You

One Day, the Pain May Be Useful to You

Useful. Now that’s a word I despise. Over the years, during numerous times of personal distress, I’ve heard the same, mundane, uninvited advice: “One day, the pain may be useful to you.” My reply to this ridiculous guidance? BS! How could…

Read More

Dave Pasquel

After living under a rock for nearly 25 years, Dave had his eyes opened wide to the world in 2010 after marrying his crazy cat lady wife. Intrigued by controversy, culture, lifestyle, current events and history, Dave has traveled to 41 states and a handful of foreign countries. Defined as ‘metro’ by his three kids, you will often find him cleaning the house instead of working out in the yard. In his spare time, Dave likes to write sappy love songs but will be the first to admit that he can’t carry a tune.

If this Temporary Life

If this Temporary Life

if this temporary life I call my own requires a realization that it could end at any moment if it means nothing more than a breaking of the circular hate and searing dysfunction I was born into if it means helping…

Read More

John Michael Antonio

John Michael Antonio is a freelance writer, photographer, poet and screenwriter. He claims his Midwestern roots while at the same time admitting his incurable and insatiable love and addiction for all things New York City. He has been the husband to his wife, the love of his life, for almost thirty years and is a father of three wonderful children. He is an unapologetic male feminist as well as a passionate lover of fashion, art, movies and music from all eras and genres. An endless dreamer, John Michael is also an avid historian, ex-punk rocker and a legendary Internet surfer who sleeps, on average, about four hours a day. His work has also been featured on The Good Men Project.

Not Waiting: How I Learned to Love My Detour

Not Waiting: How I Learned to Love My Detour

I’ve spent a lot of time “waiting” in my life. As a kid I grew antsy with impatience, waiting until I was “older” to start dating, to go to the mall unsupervised, to learn how to drive. I was counting the…

Read More

Amy Oestreicher

Amy is a PTSD peer-to-peer specialist, artist, author, speaker for RAINN, writer for The Huffington Post, award-winning health advocate, actress and playwright eagerly sharing the lessons learned from trauma through her writing, performance, art and speaking.. In 2012, she wrote, directed and starred in a one woman musical about her life, Gutless & Grateful, touring theatres across the country for three years, and earning rave reviews and accolades since it’s BroadwayWorld Award-nominated NYC debut. As a visual artist, her art has been featured in esteemed galleries solo exhibitions, and her mixed media workshops emphasize creativity as an essential mindset. Amy’s “beautiful detour” inspired her to create the #LoveMyDetour movement, a social media campaign inspiring people to flourish because of, rather than in spite of challenges. Recipient of the Great Comebacks Award. Her Washington Post and On Being with Krista Tippet, and is a regular contributor for numerous publications including Elite Daily, The Mighty, Indie Chicks and Career Girl Daily. Her story has appeared on the TODAY Show, CBS, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen Magazine, among others. Amy's passion for the arts as a means of healing and expression led her to devise storytelling workshops for the Transformative Language Arts Network National Conference, the Eating Recovery Center Foundation, and The League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling. Determined to bridge the gap of communication between wellness resources on college campuses and students, Amy is currently touring college campuses with a program combining mental health advocacy, sexual assault awareness and Broadway Theatre. For information on keynote presentations, private coaching, workshops and signature talkbacks, visit amyoes.com.

Alice, TX

Alice, TX

If I could play the violin I would’ve left a long time ago. Splinter me, kindly and save the sweet parts for tomorrow in your secret places, string alleys. If I said this place was purple would I be wrong? Something…

Read More

Tennessee Hill

Tennessee Hill is a sophomore at Stephen F. Austin State University working toward her BFA in Creative Writing. She has been featured in Elke Journal, Kaaterskill Basin, and HUMID. She is also a featured contributor on Teen Collective (teencollective.me), Feminine Collective's blog written by teens for teens.

How I Found My Way Back to Myself

How I Found My Way Back to Myself

I tried to re-assemble my life but nothing seemed to fit. The Fendi bag that Giovanni’s mother had given me stood out like a sore thumb among my dancer friends’ canvas totes. I felt like this new man and new life…

Read More

Jessica Abrams

Like her character Louise Bice in KNOCKING ON DOORS (www.knocking-on-doors.com) Jessica Abrams is a writer-slash-actress-slash-dog-walker-slash-contributor-to-an-obscure-dance-blog (although truth be told, ExploreDance.com is neither obscure nor a blog). Also like Louise, she had a stint working for the government as a field interviewer, an experience that proved to be creatively fruitful, inspiring IN TRAINING, the stories published here, and KNOCKING ON DOORS, the web series she wrote, directed and stars in. Her plays have had productions and readings in various Los Angeles venues, with “The Laughing Cow” receiving Pick of The Week by LA Weekly. She is thrilled to be a part of this amazing network of talented women.

Renewal After 50

Renewal After 50

A lot of women dread turning 50. There are all kinds of images that come to mind when we think of the big 5-0. We are no longer full-time mothers, we are no longer attractive, we are no longer viable, we…

Read More

Bethie Muecke

Beth Muecke wasn’t born in Texas, but she got here as soon as she could! A proud mother of two, Beth discovered her love of fashion at a young age. With a strong appreciation towards all aesthetics, she’s created a style that’s entirely her own- pairing classic and eclectic, feminine and funky, and always adding a fashionable dose of global influence as a nod to her love of travel. With a degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a strong background in dance, Beth has been a Houston Ballet board member for 15 years, chaired the Ball and served on the Capital Campaign Committee. The BethieLife blog allows Beth to communicate directly with “the everyday woman” and share her insights on fashion, beauty, personal style, and the best things the cities of Houston and Los Angeles have to offer.

My Secret Life at the CIA

My Secret Life at the CIA

We kept it under wraps for a long time. Only family members and a few friends knew, and they did their best to keep it a secret. It was a burden, the kind that affects everything you do in your life;…

Read More

Michele Rigby Assad

After obtaining a masters degree in Arab Studies at Georgetown University, Michele applied—along with hundreds of others from the university--to work for the CIA. After a long and grueling hiring process and a year of intensive training, she became an intelligence officer for the National Clandestine Service, the covert (operational) arm of the Agency. Serving for a decade as a counterterrorism officer, Michele worked in all of the awful places you hope you’ll never visit, including Iraq during the height of the war. To date, Michele has traveled to 45 countries, lived in six of those, and has a lot of crazy stories to tell about life overseas. While working for the CIA, Michele initially decried the traits that made her different from senior male officers, but later realized that these traits were what made her a great intelligence officer (empathy, intuition, strong interpersonal skills). Now she’s on a mission to show women that they have the elements to be a Femme Fatale—the incredibly intelligent and operationally astute woman that gets stuff done. After years of service to her country, Michele has left the undercover life behind and now works as an international management consultant focused on Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. She has a more “normal” life now and a lot more time to do the things she loves: writing, cooking, traveling for pleasure, walking on the beach—and most of all, inspiring others!