For women in the Otherhood, the term I introduced in my book of the same name for those who aren't part of the expected social norm of marriage and motherhood, whether by choice, or like me, by circumstance, our friendships are key.
I saw my first improv show back when I was in college at Northeastern in Boston. We'd trek to the North End to catch the late night show at Improv Asylum and each time, without fail, laugh our bums off.
I thought by now, five years come and gone without you, that I had said my goodbye already; long ago and with only a lingering thought that perhaps one day, if the timing were right and the stars aligned at just the right moment that we might collide again with a new and furious passion.
The most probable reason why I and so many other kids get excluded is because we are or choose to be different than everybody else. We don't conform, we stand out. We don't always say what people want to hear but instead we give our own opinion.
It was the first holiday in over a decade that I did not go to bed filled with a sense of longing for a "real" holiday. Making my own agenda and celebrating with likeminded people made the day much more gratifying.
We all have torches we carry -- some to help us see and others to help us be seen. Despite the fact that our cities produce so much light that the heavens are obscured nightly, far too many of us suffer alone in darkness.
I realized my pattern of staying with people who were emotionally destructive was a mirror to the pain inside my own head. I immediately put myself on a dating detox, along with a health and relationship cleanse. What I really needed was some tender love and self care.
Alan Kaufman, the Bronx-born son of a French-Jewish Holocaust survivor, is author of the critically acclaimed memoirs Jew Boy and Drunken Angel. Kaufman's writings are subversive articulations of extreme outsiderness.
Alone on a hilltop somewhere over the coastal town of Lerici, I prayed that the insanity I felt wouldn't prove permanent. Although I'd never believed in it before, the little bit of Catholic that was left in me was given real consideration to the notion of purgatory.