Embarrassing Secrets of a Recovering Perfectionist

During my first month as a freshman at Vassar College, one of my hallmates caught me folding my dirty laundry.

Yes, you read that right – I folded my dirty laundry before placing it in the collapsible navy-blue mesh hamper at the foot of my bed. It was a nervous habit that gave me a sense of control in an unfamiliar place.

Of course I didn’t want anyone to know about my odd practice, so I flushed with embarrassment when my hallmate said, “Caroline, did you seriously just fold those pajamas before putting them into your hamper?”

My hallmate’s tone was more amused than accusatory, but even so, I felt like hiding under the bed.

“Yeah, I did. You got me. I’m a total neat freak,” I said, trying to laugh it off. I swallowed hard and tried to push aside the critical voice inside my head that said, You’re so weird! Why can’t you be normal? What’s wrong with you?

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Yes, You Were Meant to Meet That Snake on the Road.

The pavement on the rural road was riddled with cracks, and at first that’s what I thought it was … a sinuous gap stretched before me like a finish line. I had ten more minutes left on my Memorial Day weekend run, and I was deep into that hypnotic running trance.

My feet lifted and fell, lifted and fell. Thoughts rose and receded; Katy Perry’s “Roar” scrolled through my mind. It was my story, after all – the story of a girl who loses her voice then gets it back.

“I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess … “

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The Theology of Audrey Hepburn and Pippin the Deer

Recently I was at a medical appointment and the nurse asked me about my religious affiliation.

The question took me aback, in part because I wasn’t expecting it and in part because I didn’t know how to answer it.

How could I be honest and also fit my answer into a box on the intake form? The words stuck in my throat.

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