Last one standing

She was the last one standing.

I wonder what that is like being last. I don’t think any of us envision being the last one standing. Instead we envision our funeral full of people swapping stories and passing tissues, but what if there are few people who know your story left?

My last grandmother died. This was just shy of 102 and she was the last one standing. All of her friends had passed, her husband had passed, and honestly her mind had passed. For the past 3 years she hasn’t really known where and who she is.

How could she? No one was left to remind her.

Our identity is tied to others. We have meaning because others see us and value us. When the value goes away, we may lack purpose suffer from depression, but when the entire group fades, where does that leave someone? Alone.

While I mourn my grandmother, I also am happy for her too. Her life was not hers in the end. She did not have the community to bring it to life. But someone has to be last. It has to be someone and I assume it is left to the bravest.

I hope to be as brave as you grandma. Brave enough to be the last one standing.


He was getting annoyed, I could tell. His gaze following me across the room as I place the third meal of the night in front of Jacob. Yes third. I may have overdone those prayers in the hospital praying for him to eat. He eats!

But back to the child that never eats, Benno.

I promised him I would be ready by 6:30PM. I made that promise at least a dozen times within only a 4 hour time period as he reminded me over and over and over again. Truly painful. And as promised I am there right at 6:28PM, two minutes early, which I point out to him…only once.

He is giddy with excitement. And he did not joke when he said the VIP experience. There picking us up was a limo, black and decked out with lights. Benno was pickled pink. I can only describe it as a spastic jumping movement, but he did this all over the limo, from seat to seat. Until he settled right where I thought he would, by the door facing forwards. This kid plays it safe. 

He was non stop verbiage. While it can be argued that non stop verbiage is his homeostasis, this is that on hyper drive. You can just nod away, he doesn’t really care. He is mainly talking to himself. But I do listen. I hang on every word. I note that we need to remember to go to the counter as the airline is giving away free products. Benno hopes to get a neck pillow. Alrighty. Our ideas of a good time could not be more different, but this is Benno’s trip. I’m just a passenger here for the ride.

I can’t help but notice my son’s apparel. He is in full camo (dark, gray type) and wearing a helmet with a mic and on the back of his helmet he has night vision goggles. I ask him if he really thinks this is an outfit to wear to an airport. He is surprised by the question. What do you mean? What’s wrong with it? I begin to try to hint about looking like a terrorist, but decide best to not go down that route. 

Turns out it doesn’t matter, he just keeps talking.

Non stop verbiage.

We arrive.

Spastic bouncing recommences. 

We get out and go to check in. Turns out we are too early to check into the flight.  Benno has ensured that we are FIRST to get there. I am about to make a comment. “Does this mean I get to sit in the airport longer? Oh yeah. Thanks Benno with my signature cutting enthusiasm. 

But I stopped myself as I see we are not alone. Dozens of people are hopping about trying to check in. Some of them just stand there and putting their information into the machine over and over expecting a new outcome.  And the people sighting was legit. Vegas buffet had nothing on this smattering of species. My favorite was the guy (I’m assuming as he had chest hair), hopping around in a ballet outfit with a unicorn horn. I now understand Benno’s utter confusion previously. He is dressed just fine. He fits in great and no one seems to care that he looks like he is carrying a weapon.

While I watch, Benno just chips away at that machine and he does manage to check us in within 4 minutes. Not too bad. However, I spot with my watchful eye someone at a kiosk walking away with a neck pillow. I point this out to Benno, who without skipping a beat frantically gets to the kiosk, only 2 people beat us there. Benno is pleased. Not bad. We get to the front of the line and bang neck pillow around our necks. 

Benno thanks me. No literally that happened. And I quote: “Good job mom. Look what you found. So glad you’re here.” I wish I could have recorded it. Strange that all it took was a neck pillow. Next time for dinner I may just serve him up a pair of compression socks, which I’m told is also a traveling must. This must be his love language. Noted.

We are now hopping our way in the terminal, Benno frantically looking for our gate. And we get there to see.



Now this is my breaking point. 

Benno informs me that “this happens.” 

Now I understand this happens, but this entire flight was in Roblox. We were hanging out in a “video game”and my son paid REAL money to go on a flight, VIP style (with a limo). But all of this was from our couch.  All not “real” (real is in quotes with real intention…for another time, spending a lot of time thinking about what real is- be curious how you would define it).

And I have spent my last three days pondering on this moment. 

I saw the future reality and how in this new reality… our children are building worlds and while you can jump and get to a plane in a 2 minute limo ride, in the end, it’s just as complex and disappointing as the physical one.

Even in the metaverse things will be delayed.

That for things to feel real to humans there has to be “suffering.” There has to be loss. That the games do BETTER (more people buy etc) when it mirrors our own world. That our children are leaving the physical world to create it in a metaverse where they can move faster, but in the end, find things delayed.

The wish

It’s been two years of attempting to get this secret. It has taken a soft persistence and, yes, a bit of manipulation, but I did it. I got the secret. I got him to spill the beans.

I first noticed the secret on birthday number 7. Jacob, a child who is not one for quiet or introspective moments, got serious over his birthday cake. Very serious. I had never seen a face like that cross his face before. He stood there for a good 45 seconds and then he blew. 

Since that 7th birthday, I’ve watched that face reappear over fountains with a penny clenched in his hand. But when asked…”nothing” or “I can’t tell or it won’t come true.”

Steve always applauded this answer. That’s right buddy. But nope, not me. I had to know. My children are not one to keep secrets, this was a personal mission. So for the last two years I prodded. Even when he would come out of a bone marrow sampling surgery and groggy from the meds I would ask, but he was vigilant over his secret. It was his alone. 

But that recently changed. 

 I told Jacob that wishes are more likely to come true if multiple people are wishing the same thing. It gives it more POWER. I told him that I had helped daddy make a dream come true. This perked up his ears and he asked what. Luckily quick on my feet I made something up and he seemed convinced that I have special powers.

And then just like that he was whispering into my ear.

He prefaced, “my wish is impossible…”

First, no one ever dies.

Second, that no one feels pain

Third, no one gets hurt

And after a long pause he threw in and I can eat whatever I want without getting fat.

I listened as if I just learned the nuclear code. I asked him if I could repeat it back to be sure I am wishing correctly. This pleased him. I was taking this secret secretly.

Number 1- no one dies. I ask if this means human beings only. He thought about it and said. No all living things, but then blurted out “there will be too many humans then, that could be bad for the animals and environment.” But when faced with the idea of a human dying, he stuck to his original plan, no one dies. 

Number 2- no one feels pain. Nod of approval.

Number 3- no one gets hurt. Nod of approval. 

Number 4- you can eat whatever you want and not get fat. A smile goes over his face. I laugh. “Eating is my passion! What do you expect?”

So I keep wishing over here. You may think that is silly as Jacob was clear all of these are impossible, but how wrong he is. I don’t think that is true. I already see a lot of progress on all fronts. People are living longer than ever. I have three grandparents that made it to 100 years old or over. I see that mental health is finally being treated and taken seriously and people’s pain is at least validated instead of ignored. I see a safer world. And the fat thing- that is already solved through bio hacking and soon will be available to the whole world. 

I got your wish Jacob. I got you.

I love you.

I’m sorry that YOU experienced all of the things you wish others not to experience. You saw death of your peers, you felt incredible pain, and yes you got hurt. 

But you and I can fix all of that. 

One penny, one candle at a time.


1, 716,480 minutes.

Turns out that time did tic on.

The clock was working, but I could have sworn 1, 716,480 minutes ago that it had stopped. That Jacob was captive and so was I in a living in a nightmare with no way out. I truly questioned and had to watch the clock for days just to make sure it was moving. And at times…I wasn’t too sure.

And here we are 1,716,480 minutes later.

It is Jacob’s LAST day of cancer treatment. 

Yes. I just said that.

It is honestly surreal. I was unsure if this day would ever come. I can name 4 different occasions that we had this date in sight and then BANG change in protocol or some complication and more drugs, more surgery, more pain. 

But here we are. 

Today, September 22nd, 2021

And Nightwing did it.

No normal allowed in this house

ONE DAY. That is all the normalcy this family can get? ONE DAY?!

The boys have been exposed to Covid, a real close exposure. We are now forced to quarantine, which means no school, no “new normal.”

Jacob who has waited 2 years for school, will wait longer AND the hospital isn’t sure if they can treat him next week putting him off protocol. What those implications are…we just don’t know. 

I write to vent as I’m running out of things that are throwable. 

I write to pray to the universe for a bit of relief. 

For a second I thought I got something back today. I was even willing to take the rain drop off with no big goodbye. I was willing to settle. I was willing to look at the silver lining. I was being grateful.

And then gone. The news that the boys may have Covid, that Steve with one lung is at risk, that the kids were hysterically crying last night about not going to school, and that Jacob will miss treatment going off protocol…that lining disappeared fast.

Unfair. Unfair. I’m calling it.


The best gift is the gift of words.

Especially words you have been looking for.

The proof. The evidence that someone else literally feels the exact same way as you.

It’s validation. It’s also so oddly uplifting even in the darkest of topics. Just knowing- You ain’t the only one out there, matters.

These words were gifted by a fellow fucking tired person!–tired_l_61375f2ce4b0df9fe27b4bde/amp

New Normal

It definitely was not the plan. The plan being the movie playing in my head for the last 2 years.

I envisioned this very clearly. Jacob returning to his school in New York. It marked more than an end of cancer, but the beginning of “normalcy.” 

That I would be able to say  “I’m dropping the kids off at school.”  After two years I would have a house without children to homeschool or oversee online. And my kids would be “normal” and maybe that would make me “normal” too. 

I would create this vision of today in the middle of long nights at the hospital. The visions could not have been clearer. I had certain friends next to me and Jacob’s friends would hug him and point “look Jacob!.”  And when it was time to go inside, I would hug Jacob at the door and watch him go into the classroom. I would hug his teachers. I would hug everyone in sight. I even kissed the floor of the building.  Then I would head to work.

Life would automatically become NORMAL. Plain normal.

That is not exactly how it went. 

Instead I waited in a long line in the rain filling out Covid health forms, in a sea of masked kids and adults. Once at the front of the line, Jacob was moved into a stairwell door and poof he was gone. 

It happened so fast. The day I spent 100’s of days envisioning happened. Jacob was in school. 

I walked away. Cried a bit by myself. Not quite sure what those tears were. No, actually I do.  They were tears of defeat. Defeat. That there is no normal. That there is no “again.” That all I want is to go back to a time that is gone. The people are different, the world is different, why did everything have to change?!

But then I came home and watched this video. 

And I’m changing my tune. Maybe different isn’t so bad. 

Jacob seems totally fine with different and children in general seem fine with different. He didn’t have issue with his entrance. It was only me.

It’s us, the adults who struggle. Who can only envision and dream from what they know. And it seems that we only wish for a future of knowns. We dream of certainty. Visions with no lines. Visions with familiar sites (places and peoples). Visions of no rain. 

And those dreams are only harmful as they require “again.” There is no such thing as “again.” It will never be the same.

There is only now.

And NOW I have two boys in school, on a rainy day in New York and I “go” to work (at my kitchen table). This is my new normal. It isn’t what I envisioned, but it also isn’t a hospital bed. And I am thankful for the now. 

I am ready to build a NEW normal. It will not be the “vision” it will just be the now.

PS- Benno’s first day back to school too! I forget that he too has not had a normal drop off in 2 years! He was distant all last year. It is a big day for him too! 4th grade:)

MYX Waves

For those who have asked for the rest of the waves.



At MYX, our Waves are the North Star that guide us toward building an inclusive co-living and learning community. It is an essential tool that provides clear expectations of how our community make decisions, treat, and show up for each other. 

Inspired by our values, our MYX Waves inform our practices, bringing them to life through our actions, holding us accountable. 

We leave people and places better than when we found them

What you have never seen before can tell you a lot about yourself, if you let it

Play like you are in the ultimate sandbox, but don’t throw sand

This exact moment will never happen again – Ichigo Ichie

The question is the quest which may never end

Personal development coupled with collective impact will change the world, we are all connected

Be receptive and embrace what you don’t even know you don’t even know

Your life is the only story where you are both the main character and the creator. Write it! Live it! 

Great explorers know that “getting lost” is the necessary precursor to “being found” 

Disorientation Speech

Opening speech to the MYX students. Recording to remember it.

I call it the disorientation speech, as at MYX we have issue with the term “orientation.” We generally have issues with any terms that imply a “way” or education being “done to students” instead of them owning it. At MYX we disorient students. We challenge them and allow them to “get lost” to then be found.

Opening speech, Fall Miami 01
It is with incredible pride that I welcome you, the inaugural class of MYX, the pioneers who will help define what education means and what it will look like for generations to come. 

Now let me tell you a true story of 22 strangers picked to live in a house, learn together, play together with the goal of finding their purpose and the skills to make that purpose come to life. 

At first glance these strangers have nothing in common. They are from all different backgrounds, they are at different places in their lives, some have extensively traveled, and some have never been away from their hometown, but yet they all find themselves here.

However, these strangers will soon learn that they have something very much in common, an inner drive to want more and ask for more from life. They recognize that their backyard is not the only backyard and are all here to find something. That something may be a friend, a job, or just to figure out what is “next.” But all here to find, to explore, and to grow.

Back in the day, when college commenced, you would be paraded into the auditorium of the university. Famously, they would say “look to the right, look to your left, one of you will not be here at the end.” This was said with pride. A “brag” if you will. And they were right. That is a factually correct statement. 30% of the students will not even survive the first semester.

I have a very different message for you today.

 Look to your right and look to your left, all of these people are integral to your success. They are not your competition. You aren’t taking the same coursework. You aren’t even both “freshman.” No, these people are your tribe, these people are your success. They not only will be here at the end, they are critical to you getting there. And their  role ten years from now you can’t even imagine. They can be potentially your first clients, investors, or even better your future best mate at your wedding. 

You can now sit taller in life. As know this, you never walk alone, you have each other. 

While you are in “school” and will get the credentials to launch what is next for you, I encourage you to spend equally the same time on your studies as these people. They matter.

I don’t just say this as a sweet thing to say, but I say this as a researcher. The largest return on investment of higher education is network and the experience. Education gives access to people you would never meet. It allows you to build networks based on a mutual shared experience. Don’t underestimate these networks.

And each of these people right here, represent hundreds of others. Everyone here today didn’t just pop out of the sky, but are the result of other people, places and thoughts. Learn their stories and in them you will find yours.

When listening to their stories you will find places of connections. When you see those, feel free to give the MYX wave, our internal gesture of agreement. The motion refers to a water wave.While, it is our way to show agreement, its origin is deeper.

At MYX we study how people learn and perform best to make an educational experience that is truly holistic. We are not the only ones deep in this research. Our bed fellows include the US military, Google Innovation labs, and thousands of other researchers who have discovered a state called “flow” that has become the nirvana of brain waves. Many seek to get into this state. Team Six is able to operate as one because of this state of flow, where their individual existence becomes one with their fellow warriors. It allows them to work as a single unit and accomplish things without even uttering a word. And at Google it allows them to think and work together creatively to invent the tools of tomorrow.

At MYX we seek for flow and have created what we call waves to create such a state for you to flourish. During disorientation you will learn each one, but I will start introducing just one tonight. 

BE HERE NOW.  This exact moment will never repeat. This moment may be one of anxiety, fear, as you embark on a new journey, but live it. Embrace it. Be HERE NOW. THis is an opportunity of a lifetime. Own it. Lean in. Feel it. 

You are part of something bigger than yourself. You are the pioneers in creating a model of education that can give people like yourself purpose and choice. Let’s do this class of Fall 2021!

End of the world as we know it

It’s the end of the world as we know it. 

Can you believe what is happening in this world?

What will happen to our children?

I get the rallying cries.

Afghanistan. Syria. The bifurcation. The right/ the lefts. The Sunnis/ the Shiites. There is so much fucked up shit going on. 

How am I? Fine.

The world is not ending. This rally is not new. Ageless actually. There is not a day that someone does not declare that it’s the end of the world as we know it.

But LOOK what is happening now?  Some may reply.

Yep. That is happening and it will happen over and over again. And for some events this may be the first time we have been able to see it so instantaneously. This is new. The power of social media, video, allows us to see the horrors that otherwise would go unwatched. Gone unnoticed by anyone but the victims. And while hard to watch…maybe like me it needs to be seen to be learned. Or rather written to be read. Recorded to remember.

It has to be learned.

And I see evidence of that. The world is learning…slowly.

While the “end” narrative is not new, the characters are different and it is much less dark. There is change.

The world is in the best place it has ever been (with the exception of the environment, but this is a newer lesson of the lessons on repeat). The world is absolutely safer. The world is the most peaceful it has ever been. People are living longer than ever. And there are cures happening faster. Sure the opportunity of this better world is not evenly distributed, but for a second indulge me in a bit of perspective. 

War is overall down, WAY down.

And from my biased perspective I believe the worst event to happen to a person where your world truly does end is the loss of a child. Less of that happening too.

Overall the world is improving. We are learning from our mistakes. One can question the speed. And for this girl who only knows one speed, FAST, it is PAINFUL. Why it takes us centuries to learn the same lessons?  Not sure, but I can say this. It’s getting BETTER.

So in the wise words of REM.

It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

Take a breath. Look at the bigger picture and FEEL FINE.