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Michelle Elizabeth

A life of equality is within our reach.

Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

James Baldwin put it better than I ever could when he said that, “not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

I spent so much of my life as a black woman with my head down, working hard for the scraps thrown at me that I didn’t dare to think that it could get better. Or that white people even cared about how people of color are treated in America. I went on with the status quo because that was how the system was set up.

I grew up in South…


You never get over the loss. You just keep living.

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I used to run after wishes. Pursuing them as fast as my little legs would carry me down the cement sidewalks of South Philadelphia. They were rare, like shooting stars. You had to be looking to find one. I’d catch one, hold it in my hand as gently as I could, then make a wish. Sometimes I wished so hard the dandelion seed would fall to the ground encumbered by the weight of my lofty dreams.

I always wished for frivolous things. I wanted a doll, and then a Starter jacket. I wanted a certain boy to love me. In…


I’m tired of being the unsuccessful one.

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I’m forty-two years old, and I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I envy those people who, at eighteen, had a dream and a goal within sight and moved forward undeterred until they reached it.

That wasn’t me.

Over the twenty-plus years since my college graduation, I’ve applied and failed to attend law school. I’ve been an Executive Assistant. I tried to open an online bakery. I had aspirations of being an FBI agent. I’ve worked as a substitute teacher, a UX/UI designer and self-published a novel after a failed attempt at Mommy Blogging…


And other lies we tell ourselves.

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It goes by many names, hubris, narcissism, racism, sexism, ageism, or body shamers, but the outcome is all the same. Our need to make ourselves feel better often comes as a result of putting down another person or group, but why?

Why Racism?

My daughter, age 10, recently asked me what would be perceived to her as a simple question, why are people racist?

It’s a question I have been trying to answer my entire life. As a child, it didn’t make sense to me that the same person who dislikes all black people would also be the same person…


All of the things I wish I would have known in my twenties that would have made life easier.

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When I look back over the course of my life thus far, I always tend to find myself wishing I would have known something back then. Unfortunately, you can’t reset time, but I can pass on that knowledge hoping that someone out there will read it and have it resonate with them to the point that it makes their life better.

Things I learned about life

1. The power of no will change your life. It’s okay to say no when you don’t want to do something. The old saying that all we have to do is pay taxes and die is so true. …


Achieving what you want might not be as hard as it seems.

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Marcus Aurelius said, “The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” Meaning that any obstacle you face, that you believe is holding you back, is allowing you to forge a better path, the path that will work in helping you achieve your goal.

I was recently in a writing contest where the prize was $20,000.00. Of course, a sum of that magnitude is going to generate a ton of entries. But that didn’t stop me from thinking that I was…


A short story

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The day I first saw him, he lingered a bit too long outside of a house. It was like he was looking for something that I was unable to see. I chided myself for even thinking that it was possible. But it was how normal he appeared on the surface that made me almost overlook him.

I watched him from inside of my Honda on that bitter cold winter afternoon and I wondered why he would linger. He dropped the packages on the porch and then appeared to inspect a window. Then he turned around and before he walked back…


Everything a book on writing won’t show you.

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I have a problem with most books on writing. They don’t help new writers. I’m talking about the people who have never taken a writing class in their lives. The people who have a story in them but have zero ideas about how to get it out. They wander into a store, find a book on writing, and hope that it will show them how to get started. But it doesn’t. Instead, it waxes poetic about the author’s writing career and may throw in a few gems of advice if they’re lucky. …


1 book + a little magic = endless possibilities

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It was just a normal day. That’s usually how these sorts of stories start, with the narrator waxing poetic about how today was no different than the day before it. I went through my normal morning routine without a hiccup and made it to the Metro on time. The train was late, as usual, and conveniently empty. I went to the back and found a seat opposite a person who immediately caught my attention.

Normally, I don’t notice people on the train. Usually, I have my headphones on listening to my favorite podcast, Lore. I guess what caught my attention…


And it saved us from the brink of divorce.

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A gap year is typically used to describe the year high school students take to find themselves. During that time, they work or travel in an effort not only to discover themselves but to figure out what they want to do with their lives. But when we inadvertently applied that same logic to our marriage, it brought us back from almost getting divorced.

We didn’t start with the idea of taking a gap year. Our marriage wasn’t working. And if I’m honest about it, we hadn’t been us for years. …

Michelle Elizabeth

MFA|Essayist|Author|Email: writer.michelle.elizabeth@gmail.com

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