Meet Stephanie (a bohemian spirit living an unconventional life) and Stella (a bohemian spirit living a conventional life).

Once upon a time, we taught Important Things at a Fancy Institution of Higher Learning. We had entered academia with idealized notions—that it would be a place for collaborating, nourishing our creative selves, and changing the world. In reality, however, academia’s culture of negative critique filled us with paralyzing self-doubts. Instead of dreamy evenings filled with long, leisurely conversations over a rich glass of Pinot Noir, we found ourselves increasingly jaded about our abilities to contribute positively in the world and unable to speak without using constant air quotes.

So we fled academia, PhD’s in hand. Our post-academia adventures have included bartending school, an addiction to Craigslist, a trail of rejections, more than a few insane jobs, a shameless number of air quotes, and ten lifetimes worth of learning.

We both find hope in beauty, in language, and in humor. We both have been known to plummet into deep existential angst when left too long to our own devices. When life gets hard, confusing, dramatic, exciting, absurd, unpredictable, we write to each other. In the process, we learn about ourselves, the human predicament, and how to make sense of our lives.

This blog is where we share the lessons we’re learning—in faking it, in gaining confidence, in trusting ourselves, in owning our decisions and desires, in taking care of ourselves, and in becoming powerful. And against contemporary images of women as shallow and deceitful (a la Housewives of Orange County), we hope to show the transformative power of friendship—how dialogue, listening, and unconditional love can make our best selves, our funniest selves, our kindest and our most resilient selves possible.

* * *

“When we can really laugh, we’ve declared ourselves the winner, no matter what the situation, because our laughter is an indication of our perspective and control. Paradoxically, to be able to lose yourself in laughter is proof that you are confident enough to risk a moment of joyful abandon.”

—Gina Barreca


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