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…


The most terrifying and disappointing amusement park ever

Photo by Bannon Morrissy on Unsplash

When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I longed for the day I’d turn ten — my parents promised this was the magical age when they’d allow me to ride my bike with friends to the pool. And once I turned ten, Mom and Dad came through on their promise. But, I wanted more!

In middle school, I yearned to go on adventures outside of the home without “checking in” every hour. I couldn’t wait to live on my own — away from my brothers who smelled like sweat socks and dirt, and gave me noogies…

But I long for it to cover me

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

When I was a kid, my Mom handed out “I love yous” with ease. She grew uncomfortable with lingering hugs or great signs of physical affection, but she uttered “I love you” to each of her kids multiple times a day. My Mom did love us — her words were genuine — but feelings and vulnerability disconnected from the phrase. To utter “I love you” in a profound way, with loaded intimate layers of meaning behind it, made her, and in return me, palpably uncomfortable.

A tug at my stomach would rise to my throat if another presented a heartfelt…

An amazing Tom Petty show at the most beautiful venue in the US

Photo by Ryan Loughlin on Unsplash

When I first moved to Colorado, I couldn’t wait to attend a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Many of the bands I loved as a kid recorded phenomenal live albums there, and the venue made every “top ten” list. U2, Ani Di Franco, Dave Matthews Band — don’t judge; I was young and naive — Incubus, Coldplay (see Dave Matthews notes), The Flaming Lips, and Depeche Mode all dropped albums from Red Rocks. I read about the amphitheater’s striking geographical beauty and heard its natural acoustics blew other venues out of the water.

The first show I soaked in at…

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.



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” 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. …

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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