My journey through the maze of life

An image of the author after kayaking on Pikes Peak, aka. “America’s Mountain”

Why is a bio the most difficult story to write? Characters come to life readily in my mind’s eye, but my own life is increasingly hard to capture with succinct honesty. Do I include the bright and shiny moments that make my life sound, on paper, appealing? The broken and bloody stumbles along the way that resonate with authenticity? A mixture of both?

I love to breathe flickers of my soul into fiction. But, to write a straightforward biography proves arduous. Here’s my halting attempt.

My name is Sarah Paris. I grew up in Maryland, United States. I’ve lived in…


Waking up to life

Photo by Andrey Zvyagintsev on Unsplash

I wanted to explode into dust. To evaporate into a mist and escape the thick, sweaty crowd. My vision clouded with the malevolent vapors of the past.

I was sitting in the crowded dive bar with my best friend, Molly. A muggy, desperate heat filled the room, and the smell of spilled tequila made my stomach churn. O’Connell’s Pub was my old hangout with Sean. I hadn’t set foot inside since Sean dumped me. I’d come up with an excuse any time Molly begged me to come with her. …


And the fight that forever changed the lives of US workers

Radium Girls. Painting with no protection. WikiMedia Commons.

April 1917. The US had just decided to enter World War 1, and the executives of the United States Radium Corporation (USRC) salivated over the military business they would receive. The defense contractor stood to make incredible profits off their main product — radium-painted “glow” watch faces.

US troops were in dire need of watches with illuminated faces to read during night attacks and couldn’t run the risk of enemy detection. Radium, touted as the “miracle” element, provided a solution. The military awarded the Orange, NJ-based corporation with an exclusive contract, and the bustle in the plant began immediately.

Because…


PILLOW HUMOR

The pillow is the silent, rugged type

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

My boyfriend, Mike, understands me. He’s the missing puzzle piece I didn’t know I needed. Our hearts fit together so well.

Sure, he’s left me on radio silence for weeks at a time. He downplays our relationship to friends. He drinks far too much for an adult over twenty-five.

But, he sends me texts that say things like, “You’re so beautiful. I love you with every fiber of my soul,” and “I’m not going anywhere. Trust in the strength of our relationship.” …


Or, how Satan made me consider online dating

“A Match Made in Hell” match.com ad. YouTube.

December 2020 brought murky skies and bone-biting chills in the air. I found myself forgoing my daily trail runs and hikes. Unless I was dumping trash or picking up my mail, I spent most of my time shut-in. Feeling the weight of never-ending quarantine, I’d given up on productivity. I wanted to tune out the world and binge-watch crappy television. I needed an escape. Nestled in my jammies, chips at the ready, I climbed under my blankets and turned on my TV.

The screen came to life with an image of the Devil, waiting for someone under a picturesque bridge…


The music that speaks to my soul

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

I’d have a hard time making sense of life without the pleasure of listening to great music. Phenomenal songs reach into me and awaken aspects of me I didn’t know laid dormant. I can’t name one “favorite” song — just as I can’t name one favorite book or one favorite movie. I revisit musical works of art so often; I know each lyric and each note. I love other songs because they helped me capture a particular life moment or sense of being.

Three songs to lift my coolness. Three songs to guide me. This list could easily hold 270,000…


Fun and Games

Butt seriously, we want to hear about your rear encounters

Photo by Charlotte Butcher on Unsplash

A couple of months ago, I realized the humorous treasure my decades of personal experience holds. Why not allow readers to laugh at — er, with — me as I recall my embarrassments? And, so I let the memories pour out. I grew disturbed when I recognized the starring role my butt plays in many of these moments. I decided to share that realization as well!

Turns out, butts — like farts — are a great equalizer in the world of comedy. High-brow, low-brow, adolescent and adult fans can hardly contain their laughter. …


Along with insights into the devastating effects of paranoid schizophrenia

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

When I was little, my parents belonged to a group of friends who gathered together each Fourth of July. A shared faith brought us together, but our families were vastly different. Ten other kids were around my age. We’d scamper off through the rolling fields behind the Shaugnessy’s house and leave the adults and older kids to socialize.

One Fourth of July, I wasn’t feeling well. And so, when my friends went off to play, I stayed behind and sat with my Mom.That year, the Hansons brought their adult, schizophrenic son, Craig, to the party.

With a wild, racing look…


Bikers, child protectors and advocates for children’s rights

Bikers Photo by Wikicommons

Jacob Miller, aged eleven, throws up at the thought of testifying against his abuser in court. After years of sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted adult, Jacob lives in fear. He knows his testimony is vital to locking his abuser away, but he doesn’t want to see the man who stole his childhood ever again. And, the trial isn’t set to begin for another two months.

Jacob’s abuser — his old Little League coach — also happens to live down the street from the Millers. He sits at home on bail as he awaits his trial. A terrified…


HOLIDAY HUMOR

I terrorized small children as the Easter Bunny

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

It was three weeks before Easter, and a four-year-old boy sat in my lap. I could make out his age by the weight on my leg, but I couldn’t see him. The bunny head stood two feet above the crown of my noggin, and my eyes landed in its cavernous screened mouth. I tried to hold him still, but the kid kept fidgeting.

He pushed at the side of my head and begged for “kisses.” I patted his head and motioned for him to get down. But he stayed glued to my lap. Thud.

Sarah Paris

5xs Medium Top Writer. Freelance writer of all things--fiction is my heartbeat. Believer. MD native in CO. Adventurer. Traveler. Wanderer. At times, funny.

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