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Andrea Lucado

What Empathy Is and What It Is Not

I went hiking with a friend a few weeks ago and learned a lot about empathy. I learned a lot about it from myself, who was not being very empathetic. My friend was sharing a really hard thing with me and I kept chiming in with examples from my own life. Something deep down inside of me was saying, “Stop doing that. You’re not helping.” But I couldn’t. I just kept sharing my own stories, diminishing and quieting hers. I really was trying to be a good friend. I was trying to be an empathetic friend, but what…

The Opposite of Fear Is Not Courage

A few months ago I had a week full of fear related to my work. I felt overwhelmed, andthe thoughts running through my head looked something like this: “I don’t know what I’m doing.” “This is too much.” “I need to just find another job.” “I’m not going to be able to fulfill everyone’s expectations.” You may recognize this pattern of negative self-talk. Rapid-fire statements rooted in a place of fear. Each one you listen to and believe hits you a little harder and if you’re not careful, you will one day find…

Between the Wish and the Thing

There’s this quote from All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy that has been totally haunting me this year: “Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.” Have truer words ever been written? That sentence is a bit glum on first reading. A lot of the things McCarthy writes are glum, but as I’ve turned this sentence over and over in my head, I see some hope in it. He says “the world lies waiting.” We’re all in this waiting thing together. So, so much of life is waiting for something we want to…

A Few Thoughts on Quitting Your Job and Going Freelance

A little over a year ago I quit my job at a publishing house and went freelance full time. Freelance writing, that is. Which has also meant some freelance PR and some speaking and some other ways that I found out I can be “freelance.” My overall thought on being a freelance writer is that 1. I really love it and 2. it’s really hard. It’s not for everybody, I don’t think, and there were many times this year that I thought it wasn’t for me. Like the time in January when I had been working…

Turning 30 and My “Secret Soul”

This summer, I turned 30. In the weeks and days leading up to the big 3-0, I began to feel very contemplative about my life. Where have I been? What have I done? Where am I going? That kind of thing. I was also in a hard spot work-wise. I needed more hours but felt paralyzed in my pursuit of them. What types of things do I want to write? Who do I want to write for? What kind of writer do I want to be? I wasn’t sure, and I was spinning my wheels. I needed…

Tell Me the Truth

  A few weeks ago my mom reminded me of Psalm 91. I was anxious, and I knew a lot of my anxiety was of the irrational type. I’ve talked about anxiety a little bit on my blog before, but not in great detail. I think mostly because I’m not quit sure how to write about anxiety yet. Everyone’s experience with it is so different, and I don’t want to demean or diminish or misconstrue such an important and difficult thing. I know for me, anxiety is sometimes expected—like when I have a book deadline…

Carry On Your Creative Way

OK, so you know how I wrote a book? Well, I just got a look at the cover! (Actually, two potential covers they are still tweaking, so nothing to show you…YET.) I had a feeling I would cry when I saw the cover. That feeling was right. As soon as I opened the PDF, I felt overwhelmed and did the muffled silent cry at my desk so the other people in my office wouldn’t hear me. The tears were happy and grateful, but they were also a response to something else. I’ve been feeling weird about my…

My “Racist Tones”

I remember seeing an Instagram post a couple of weeks after the announcement that a grand jury had decided to not bring criminal charges against Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014. The post was written by Andy Merrick—a white Instagram user. It said: “There are racist tones Hidden away in these bones Depart from me, sin.” I have not forgotten it since. Racism comes in many forms and perhaps one of the most dangerous is the subtle kind—the racist tones. They’re not hostile. They’re…

Who to Share Your Dreams With and When

I’m learning that I can’t tell everyone everything. For a long time, my habit has been to gather opinions from everyone around me when I’m making a decision or going through a difficult time and need some guidance. I remember when I started dating a guy a few weeks before Valentine’s Day. As February 14 approached, he told me he would rather not make a big deal of the holiday–too much pressure, too soon. I sort of understood his reasoning and tried not to read too much into it. However, the next day…

He’s Not the One Who Got Away

This phrase has been running around my head lately: He’s not the one who got away. Did you catch that “not” I slid in there? I thought about it one night when I was cooking and listening to the Civil Wars. Their song “The One that Got Away” came on and got me thinking. The song talks about forbidden love, saying “I wish you were the one that got away” and what it’s like to not be able to let go of that person. As I peeled my carrots and listened, I realized I’m fortunate that I…