Mary Woodard

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It’s Hard to be a Grownup


I am constantly surprised at how hard the process of growing up is. Having just turned twenty-seven, I think that perhaps I should be used to the uncomfortableness of it all, just a little. But I’m not. Perhaps it’s not how difficult it is that surprises me. It’s more like ... how un-ending it all is. Just as I reach a state of equilibrium, just as I congratulate myself on having reached the status of an okay person who has it ... (Continue reading)

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Praying for strangers a world away


My fiancé can sit for hours reading the news. First he cycles through his favourite Spanish papers, and then he ventures into the English ones. His interest in “the news” verges almost on obsession, and he doesn’t understand my aversion to most news sources. If I do read a paper, I will turn immediately to the entertainment and fashion section and pretend that the rest of it doesn’t exist, maybe taking a gander through the comics if there are any. It’s ... (Continue reading)

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Escalator Problems


When I was little, I was dreadfully afraid of escalators. I thought the little metal teeth at the end of each step would snag my toes and somehow drag me through the cracks between the steps and I would disappear forever and bleed to death (via my mauled toes) in some deep, dark, underground land. An overactive imagination has mainly caused lots of trouble in my life. My fear wasn’t helped by the fact that, to an adult, my refusal to accompany ... (Continue reading)

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A breath of fresh air


I wore braces for about four years, after which I immediately had oral surgery to cut the fibres behind my front teeth to prevent them from being pulled out of alignment again. That’s how terrible my teeth were. My orthodontist told me that the procedure would be pretty simple—the oral surgeon would freeze my gums, slice the fibres, make sure that I didn’t bleed to death from my mouth (maybe he didn't word it QUITE like that), and then give me ... (Continue reading)

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Isabel and her Sword


I travelled back to Calgary for my Christmas holidays, and one of the most entertaining elements of my two weeks there was spending time with my younger siblings. John and I, in particular, spent a lot of time together. He is the four-year-old baby of ten children, and walks into every room firm in the confidence that the world loves him and that life is good. Why wouldn’t it be? He is surrounded by the adoration of his many siblings and ... (Continue reading)

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A closet full of suits


He’ll spend his weekends dressed in ripped jeans and painfully terrible lumberjack shirts. During the weekday evenings he’ll exit his suit after work with utmost speed in order to lounge around in hideous velour pyjamas. You’ve seen nothing, until you’ve seen a velour-wearing Spaniard. But looking at his bursting closets—yes, plural—you would think my fiancé is some kind of sartorialist. He isn’t really. He loathes shopping and groans terribly at clothing that isn’t baggy and worn soft with age. He just hates ... (Continue reading)

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A magical scarf


Walking to my flat late Friday afternoon after a chaotic morning, I was confronted with the fact that I hadn’t yet had lunch. I had an empty fridge at home, and was at that specific point of plunging blood sugar where just lying down in the middle of the road and moaning seemed like the most logical and helpful thing to do. Salvation presented itself just a block up the road in the form of my favourite tea shop, and I ... (Continue reading)

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All You Need is Love (Doo doo do do doo)!

“The proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives.” Yikes. Scandal. Gasp. The Internet explodes and sides begin to form. One side gloomily predicts the end of the world; the other side joyfully predicts women priests. What does this mean? Pope Francis speaks those words into a world desperately in need of truth, of the knowledge of right and wrong, of how to be truly happy. Those words felt incredibly uncomfortable to me on first reading. My brain wailed ... (Continue reading)

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Grown Up Friends

When I was younger, my friends would talk about what it would be like to be a “grown up.” They all seemed to be looking forward to this stage of life with bated breath. Driving! Freedom! Money! No one telling you what to do! For the most part, I dreaded that far off time. It just seemed to be a complicated minefield. Voting. University. Finding a job. Getting married. Taxes. Death. I wanted to remain in the realm of dress up clothes ... (Continue reading)

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The Adventure of Letting Go

Five years ago, in the middle of a pretty rough semester at university, during which I had struggled with some health issues and some friend issues and a massive pile of schoolwork, I sat in the adoration chapel feeling utterly depleted. I was exhausted and overwhelmed and lost. Over the next few weeks everything continued to spiral downwards, and in a natural reaction I held on tighter to what I could control. My schedule became even more rigid and my personal ... (Continue reading)

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