“You do not know the weight of this self you are carrying until you put it down.”

Fingering the delicate necklace my deceased brother gave me, I reflect on what it took to be able to wear this again. When you are heavy, everything fits differently, even shoes and jewelry. It sits nicely in a place on my neckline that it hasn’t been able to before. I have missed wearing it and the person I used to be.

Over the past two years, I have gotten lighter by 120 or so pounds .(Note that I don’t use the words “lose”…


Episode One: Liminality is the new black

First, cuz I gotta get this off my chest — if I hear “we are all in this together” one more time, I will rip off your mask and stomp on it.

No. We aren’t. We aren’t all in this together. There are different degrees of this and all of it is very very weird and hard.

It has been ten days since I have seen another human being in person and 31 days since I touched one. I live alone and am fortunate in that I have space and knowledge to hunker…


What Women need to tell the Men who care about them.

So first, it sucks that gender and sexism is the thing that we have finally identified as the problem between us. The good news is that we have identified it. Hopefully, we can come to an understanding that it is a different experience for both of us.

So because I believe you when you said that you want to understand what this is for me, I have tried to explain at least some of it here. …


Still being a Badass

Dropping us off for swim practice as a kid, my mother would always say to us “Don’t get wet!”

She would make double sure to say this when it was raining. Because,…Moms.

At first, we thought it was pretty funny, kinda clever in a ‘Mom” way. After a while, we didn’t, and the joke got old that we rolled our eyes whenever she said it. Regardless, I still say it to myself when it is raining and I decide to swim.

Hitting the pool today, I try not to self-talk (‘Pick it up, C’mon! Faster. Pick…


Photo by Leio McLaren (@leiomclaren) on Unsplash

There is no word in the English language for the opposite of loneliness.

The reason for this is because most people have not experienced it, and don’t know it exists. But I do.

Half my life ago I lost the person who had been by my side my whole life (because he had been born four minutes before me), and I learned what loneliness meant.

It meant I had to be Brave every day.

Like all of us, I run out of Brave sometimes. Chiefly around Thanksgiving, when Brave hurts and Brave is just too hard. It is much easier…


Photo by Jade on Unsplash

Recently I have noticed that my self-talk consists of a lot of “you can do this” statements, those and “C’mon. Just a little more.” I am convincing myself that this thing that I am doing, whether it is lifting a little more weight in the gym, or doing just a couple more reps, or squats, or lunges (ohmigodIhatesquatsandlunges) or taking one more whack at the Presentation That Will Not Die is something I can do. Then I get there, and feel proud, for five minutes until I have to self-talk again. I have to self-talk a lot. …


Reclaiming the Badass when it hurts

Photo by Zbysiu Rodak on Unsplash

As a personal reward for losing 75 pounds, I signed up for a Beginning Kayak course last Saturday morning.

I love the water and water sports. I grew up surfing and swimming and sailing. Kayaking has always looked like the best time, being out on the water, meditating with the motion of the paddles. Plus it is both a solitary and a group activity, and there are times when I feel like one over the other. How hard could it be? …


Or: The Return of the Badass

I used to know this girl who was amazing. She was smart and funny and wasn’t afraid of herself. Or anyone.

She was a fierce athlete who competed against herself, but was happy for others when they won or did their best. In college, she was a determined scholar who didn’t let a learning disability stop her. She loved her family and friends with an intensity that bordered on unconditional. She broke more than a few hearts because she was beautiful and didn’t know it. She was nice to just about everyone unless they…


Apologies that Aren’t

Apologies in todays world are interesting things. I have watched our President never apologize, but instead lie about things he has said or done. I have watched Venture Capitalists who have blatantly harassed women sexually tell me they are “creeps” before telling me that are sorry, or tell me they have “more work to do” on themselves, simultaneously disputing accounts of events. I have watched female VCs who have worked with these men be shocked and say this may not be true because it wasn’t “their” experience.

That’s not how it works. That’s not how ANY of this works.

In…


A friend posted Chris Sacca’s medium article (blog post)?) on Facebook. In it Mr Sacca, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, speaks to the alarming reports of gender inequality and sexual harassment being reported by “brave women in tech.” He apologizes not only for his part in it, but also for his lack of speaking out against those who also did it.

I believe he is sorry. And the title of his article is that he has more work to do. Recognizing how you hurt others is always a good thing, as is striding towards self awareness. I will always applaud…

Mhaire Fraser

Xennial who notices things. Believes in the end user, good research and Mentoring Programs. Writes about her personal journey, and about UX as uxresearch_snax

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