Every time I visit my hometown for the holidays at first I’m consumed by joy, excitement. I miss my family and the comfort of home so often, especially this year, being so isolated during the pandemic. The loneliness hurt in ways I never knew was possible and at times drove me mad, but at the same time I recognize how fortunate I am.

But each time I arrive home it seems I’m devoured by some curse. Plagues of the past, parts of myself I hate flood my memories. My mistakes. …


A great question.

Last week I let my fingers run across my keyboard and flung my heart on page without thinking too much about it. I wrote about the most painful and vulnerable experience of my life so far for everyone and their entire families to read. Medium tells me over 100 people read it on Facebook, 300 on Twitter and almost 60 sent it around in private messages (who are you people?!).

I was so disgusted with our healthcare system I knew it needed to be overstated.

When I hit post I was scared. I knew I could strip…


*Note* This story is not everyone and could be triggering, a warning before you scroll. But if you do, thanks for reading.

I almost didn’t survive this year, as painful as it is to write that.

I wrote about an attempt to overdose this spring just a few months ago. I was feeling better, or I thought it was. I’d recently stopped taking a psychiatric medication that wasn’t working for me and heightened my ideations. I thought about dying all of the time. It felt uncontrollable. But you wouldn’t know that during an everyday interaction with me.

It was so…


*Note* This story is not everyone and could be triggering, a warning before you scroll. But if you do, thanks for reading.

One minute I was fine. It was spring. I was out with the few friends I had made so far in Alabama. It was hot, because of course it was. Other than approximately three weeks in January, it’s always hot.

We were at a nothing-special local event. Children played in inflatable castles and street tacos were served. Families brought their lawn chairs out on the heated asphalt for the live music. The artist played a lulling cover of…


The realization came while I was watching Someone Great, a new Netflix buddy comedy that follows the main character Jenny, played by Gina Rodriguez, through a post-break up recovery. The storyline follows Jenny and her best friends through a night of debauchery as they try to keep her distracted and together, but also reflects on their individual lives and self-growth over the past 9 years post-college that they’ve been friends, thriving in New York City.

Jenny, a writer, accepts a job at Rolling Stone and is moving to California, hence the plot break-up. But by the end of the film…


I keep a cup of items next to my bed, or a mug rather. I call it my “sentimental cup.”

I received the mug itself from a friend, one of my closest. She brought it after a family trip to Costa Rica as a gift, around a time when our friendship was only beginning to bloom. …


Photo by ebenette.

We sat in the car in a Starbucks parking lot for hours that night. Our relationship was over. I was sure of it. But at that time he wasn’t.

I was only passing through our hometown for a brief trip. I’d started a life in a new city a few months before. With so much distance between us, our dynamic just didn’t work. I was consumed by school, deadlines and the prospects of my future. …


Tomorrow is the day. My last day living in Brooklyn, enjoying the hustle of New York City. Or what I actually mean is, it’s my last day angrily sitting on a hot subway car, wondering how I could possibly make myself any smaller sitting next to a man-spreader while we’re stuck for over 10 minutes in between stations while “being held by the train’s dispatcher.” (You know the voice.)

People keep asking me if I’m excited about my new job as an investigative reporter in Montgomery, Alabama, or if I’m sad to leave New York. The truth is I’ve tried…


I’ve suffered from anxiety, panic disorder and depressive periods for the better part of a decade now. It’s something I’ve tried to live as openly about as I can. I’ve written extensively about my experiences working to overcome my irrational and crippling fears, the personal growth I’ve had from putting myself outside my comfort zone to confront them and how I’ve slowly managed to come to terms with the idea that this is not a condition I can just will away. It’s a part of me that in ways I’ll always have to work on managing. …


When someone tells me to ‘slow down’ when I open up about my career ambitions and general anxieties, I wish I could explain how that sounds almost like a death sentence. I’m still learning to navigate my anxiety. I have been for most of my adult years (though, yes, I know that’s technically not that many years) and I probably always will. But in the past I’ve fueled that irrational fear into a fire and used it to propel myself forward to professional success. …

Kathryn Casteel

New York City based journalist. CUNY J-School and USC Upstate alum.

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