WAYWARD BETTY

Essays and Stories




Emancipation

I’ve always loved the idea of being able to start over. This fascination perpetuated my love for travel, moving place to place, the possibility that I could reinvent, transform, start over, let go of any pain, memories, negativity that held me back. Of course, I learned over time that moving doesn’t equate with being someone […]

Seven Years of Settling

Almost exactly seven years ago, I bought a one-way ticket to Berlin because I didn’t know what to do with my life. It wasn’t the first time I decided to leave everything behind and start over. I mean, that was my thing, and I did it usually every few months or years. It was like […]

Waking An Imagined Life

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be an actress. I still don’t know where this dream came from—if it was simply the romantic idea of stage and movies, or if it was actually deeper, but I remember putting on plays in our garage and in the backyard. I loved the idea of […]

Making Birth Visible

When the labor pains started, we jumped to a false start at the hospital. The triage nurse said, “Come back when you can’t walk.” I thought she was joking but what I know now is that, if you can walk, you’re not very far along, so, really you can just go on home. I live […]

Shape Shift of Motherhood

Life after giving birth is a lot like returning home from a long trip. Everything looks different. An old throw blanket might look like something you’ve never seen before. A vase catches the window light in an unfamiliar way. Everything looks too old or too new. Nothing quite fits and there is an unsettling feeling […]

A Separate Self

My driver’s license expired a few years ago and it took another year to get reinstated. By the time I got behind the wheel this summer, I hadn’t driven a car since 2014. The experience felt a bit like time travel, throwing me back into all of the days I romanced the road. When I […]

Skin Deep

I remember the first time I began to notice my own appearances. I noticed that my skin was tan, and that my hair was brown, and that I was darker than my toehead siblings. And somehow, I knew that pretty girls were blonde and had blue eyes and worried that I was too dark to […]

The Things We Cannot Handle

Alone in the bathtub, my hands burned when they hit the water, raw from scrubbing with alcohol from containers suspended along the hospital walls. I had pressed the thin metal bar, over and over, obsessive and Pavlovian, every time I entered or exited the room. I needed some security, some protection, some kind of relief […]

Cliffhanger

Last month my friend Jess announced, “I’m going to a festival in Barcelona and I’ll be doing MDMA for five days straight.” I pictured her covered in henna tattoos, lit on Molly, dancing on a moon-kissed beach. The romancing of her life and drug use was jarring—in part, because I’m sober and also because, it’s […]

Can You Love Her Too?

A few months ago, a string of events and circumstances left me broken, in one of the lowest points I can remember. When telling stories about ourselves, our minds will locate us in time and space. As we search for meaning, we identify that day when everything turned around, or the moment it all began […]

Strip Tease

“You’d be at home in San Francisco—there are little earthquakes every day,” someone once said to me. The summer after I called off my wedding and traveled around the world, I was looking to find a place to stay put. San Francisco was a befitting destination, to somehow settle an unsettled girl. Months before I arrived, […]

Motherhood Can’t Fix You

Mothers are archetypes in lore and mythology for good reason. It’s not just the power to give birth that sets them on an imagined pedestal; it’s the array of supporting qualities—edgeless compassion, unwavering kindness, the glorified selflessness. The role of mother was both captivating and terrifying, because it simply wasn’t me. What metamorphosis would I […]

Bad Influence

Ted wore square hipster glasses and slicked back his thinning hair. We met when I was 23 and he was 30, which seemed really, really old, like Dad old. It’s probably why I trusted him more than I should have. The night we met he drunk drove me home from a dive bar, pulled over […]

A Girl Gone: Chapter II

What Happened? Since You Asked… I started this blog when I was living out of my car. I had just called off my wedding and left to travel across the U.S. and around the world with no itinerary or plans to return. I remember those early days with such awe and clarity. It was deep […]