It’s not the people who used to.

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With the possible exception of Tim Denning, the Medium heavyweights of yore are watching their earning crater under the new system. Shaunta Grimes is making 90% less than she used to. Shannon Ashley notes that her stats are worst they‘ve been in years.

I was doing fine, too—after just a few months on the platform, I had a $2,000 story and another $800 one, and most of the rest earned in the $30 range—but none of my more recent articles are gaining any meaningful traction. Even the ones in big publications are getting less than 200 views.

So if the…

Getting my body ‘back’ isn’t what I thought

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When I got pregnant, I knew it would wreck my body. If the internet hadn’t clued me in, the volcanic amounts of vomit would have: your body is no longer yours, nausea told me. Over the next nine months, I threw up twelve pounds of body weight, then scarfed down forty. My abs split apart, my hips loosened. My breasts ballooned; stretch marks slashed across them. My blood volume doubled (yet I still somehow almost bled to death in birth).

But I wanted kids more than I wanted a perfect body, so I did it. …

Here’s what I learned

My day starts at 5:30am. Not with a shower, or a cup of coffee, but by leaping directly into work. It ends at 7:30pm, when I faceplant onto my couch. Sometimes, I get a 30-minute lunch break in the middle of the day. Usually, I don’t. This is true every day, Monday through Sunday. I haven’t had a day off in eight months.

This means I have two hours each day to take care of all my human needs. If that sounds reasonable, remember that this includes everything that isn’t work: eating, showering, exercising, using the bathroom, reading the news…

What I found surprised me

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I’m not normally hyper-political. I vote, but I don’t knock on doors. I’ve never been to a protest, and I don’t make angry calls to Congress. But recently, I realized that I had to be more involved if we want democracy to survive this bruising year, so I signed up to text voters for the DNC’s coordinated campaign.

You might expect that, texting random strangers in these tense times, you’d get a lot of abuse. And true to that expectation, one of my first text exchanges began this way:

Me: Hi, I’m Addie, volunteering with the Ohio Democrats. …

A moderate American’s plan for now through Dec. 8

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I don’t typically go to protests. I’m an even-tempered, introverted writer with two small kids and not a lot of time. Wandering around in a big crowd, shouting at nobody—it’s not my thing.

When an alleged rapist and con man ascended to the White House, was I horrified? Yes. But I didn’t don a pink hat and or make angry phone calls. I wrote some checks to groups fighting the good fight, and I figured they would do the work while I took care of my family.

When I saw children caged at the border, was I sickened? Yes. But…

What beauty gives you, and what it doesn’t

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I started getting love letters in sixth grade. Boys would thrust damp, nervous tokens into my hands in the hallway: Savage Garden lyrics calligraphed onto construction paper, a Backstreet Boys CD covered in heart-shaped stickers, more than a few missives folded inside notebook paper origami. One girl, as her coming out, covered an entire page in my yearbook in passionate glitter pen.

Later, a man wrote a novel about me. Another wrote a book of poetry. Yet another, whom I barely knew, moved hundreds of miles to be near me, just on the hope that we might date. …

It’s not a mentor, a colleague, or an investor—it’s something else entirely.

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In my early twenties, I founded an education nonprofit. I was proud of it; students enjoyed our programs, the ranks of volunteers steadily grew. The bank account stayed in the black (if by only a hair). Left to my own devices, I would have kept the organization on that trajectory for a long time—hand-to-mouth, scrappy, somewhat effective—and felt good about it.

But then Sam arrived.

Fresh off two tours in Afghanistan, she was blunt, driven, and deeply moral. She appeared in my office, fatigues still on, asking to volunteer. From that first conversation, I knew, instinctively, that I needed her.

It’s not the reason you think.

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I’m particular about my bathing suits: long shorts, and shirts that cover the midriff and cleavage. You might find me poking through the men’s trunks at Target, or making special orders online when spring comes around.

A relative once complimented me on a swim shirt. “Thanks,” I said. “I love these things. They’re—”

“Great for the mommy belly, I know,” she interrupted, patting her own motherly middle, also covered up. I laughed, but only because I didn’t know what else to do. In truth, it made me sad.

I actually really like my body. I like my boobs, I like…

Don’t make the same mistake I did.

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I work for a company that produces content for a very diverse audience—yet all 10 of the full-time writers (myself included) are white. It’s a problem; we make dumb cultural mistakes that we wouldn’t make if the team were more diverse. We’re hiring more writers now, and I’ve been trying to push the company to focus on hiring writers of color.

I was blunt with my boss about it. I figured we could expand how we search for candidates and pitch the job, prioritize writing samples over fancy schools, scrutinize our interview process to try to remove bias. …

Addie Page

Professional writer, parent, educator. Unusual woman.

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