Or should I say, ex-friend.

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We all thought she was crazy. At least, that was what he told us. That they broke up because she was crazy. And at face value — she had always had a wild streak. Maybe the partying got to him. Or maybe she was getting a little too friendly with other guys at kickbacks. Or maybe, since it was a high school relationship after all, we should all just accept the fact that Cole* (name changed for privacy purposes) had grown as a person and was different now. Clearly it was Kristen’s* fault. Right?

Truthfully, when I moved in with…

Ask yourself “What would Jeremy Bentham do?”

It’s Sunday night and my friend Ethan just left after a fun-filled weekend. Seriously, I am not lying when I say I haven’t been able to catch my breath since he arrived. Ethan is the friend who will absolutely (but understandingly and gently) rip you out of your funk because he’s just always on. He’s one of the most active people I know, and when I’m going through a difficult time, I need that. Wallowing on the couch, as nice as it sounds, just doesn’t make me feel better.

Today we walked about 8 miles, visited the historic graveyard, downtown…

A letter to my ex.

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We broke up tonight and it doesn’t feel real. Not in any tangible way, at least not yet. At this point, I’m still able to joke on the phone with friends, and I have a moment of unreserved joy when my brother sends me a YouTube video. It feels like life will go on, and maybe I’m over the heartache already because I knew by your text message responses this weekend that this was coming. Maybe I’ll be alright.

Hour three, and it hits me like a freight train in the middle of an episode of Modern Family. It’s Mitchell…

And growing back together again

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It’s a Monday morning, and I haven’t woken up yet. I’m still languishing in bed with my dog at 9:07am, and once I finally get up, I’ll make coffee and take my dog for a walk to the beach while I send work emails and listen to the Morbid podcast. My work has a flex schedule, so as long as I get my 8 hours while the rest of the world is awake, I can do these things.

At 6:42am, my first Snapchat of the day rolled in from Cortney, one of my dearest and longest-standing friends. Her snap is…

Watch out for #1, I mean it.

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In the biggest sense, nature has my heart. I love to be outside by the ocean or in a forest, collecting plants is one of my hobbies, and I have wildlife encounters at least once per week. My backyard is essentially a protected nature reserve, complete with a creek and a lagoon, plenty of interesting flora and fauna, and excellent views. Even better, the beach is right down the street. It’s a lucky life, and being so close to nature has given me the opportunity to see a lot of very interesting animals. On the other hand, nature can be…

And to be honest, that’s just fine.

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So here I am again – it’s a typical Tuesday night, I’m off work and wondering what I should have for dinner (does a gin and Diet Coke count?), and as usual I am doom-scrolling through Instagram. Picture after picture of thin, tan, twenty-somethings on vacations in paradise (I thought this was a pandemic?) alternate with reels of greasy, cheese-covered viral foods, sending me into a weird tailspin of emotions. Do I want to be thin like the first picture, or eat the cheesy carne asada fries I see if i just scroll down a little? Everyone on Instagram seems…

And now I am finally drinking coffee the way I like it.

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We broke up over three years ago. I remember it to the day. November 12, 2017. It was a Sunday, and I was in Seattle — standing on the corner outside the apartment smoking a cigarette. He dumped me over text, or maybe with a short, curt call. I don’t quite remember that details now, just that my engagement ring was sitting inside the apartment in my green sparkly plastic retainer case, and that I didn’t cry. I knew what was coming, I had already taken it off. Moreover, I deserved to be dumped — or at very least we…

But she pays attention.

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Are you there, God? It’s me, a misunderstood teenager.

Or at least, this is what I would’ve said several years ago. I had what one might consider an exceptionally lengthy spell of growing pains. Put a little less nicely, let’s just call a duck a duck and say that I was probably a nightmare of a teenager. Unfortunately, this didn’t stop at the ripe old age of 19, but continued into my early twenties (until about 22). Vestiges of my teenage rebellion may, in fact, still live permanently with me.

For the longest time, I felt like my mom and…

Yes, my cabin is the one blasting “Let’s Get it On”

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My partner and I have been doing long distance for over a year now, with him in Southern Washington and me in Central California. I had planned to move up this year, like I’ve been planning for the past three years. In fact, my dream in life is to live in a penthouse apartment with a view of Pike’s Place Market and the Puget Sound (I’m a simple person with simple needs, I guess). But as John Lennon said, “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”, and some timely and strange intervention has lead me to a…

Tales of a wandering soul.

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For the past six or so years, I’ve been all but directionless. Much to the worry of my family, I went through 3.5 years of my undergrad and 2 years getting a Master’s Degree, all without coming any closer to a conclusion about what kind of career path I might want to do. To say I’m a commitment-phobe is a bit of an understatement — I think everyone was beginning to fear that in fact I might be work-phobic (and to some degree, aren’t we all?). The thing is, as mentioned in my previous article, my entire family works in…

Natt Bartell

Cooking, reading, and gardening (unsuccessfully). Amateur bone re-articulator, professional wit. I tweet ridiculous thoughts @oh_brophelia when I’m not writing.

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