You’re going to be okay, kid. But maybe don’t do everything the hard way.

Ah, to have a time machine. I’ve often fantasized about showing up in my old bedroom circa 1977 to knock some sense into my teenage self. Would she listen? She was smack dab in the era of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, about to make a whole raft of…


How one night to myself gave me new life.

It was the incredulous reactions of my loved ones that clued me in that I was about to do something unusual.

My husband: “Wait, you want to spend the night away? Alone??”

My best friend: “But…what are you going to do exactly?”

My son: “Mommy, why do you want to…


Just a few simple things to remember so I don’t stab you in the eye with a fork.

I have been a restaurant server for more than four decades. On most days I really enjoy my job. I love my coworkers and our manager, and I’m proud to serve at one of the best, most popular restaurants in the city. …


Don’t wait as long as I did to finally see through them.

I joined Medium almost two years ago. I just published my first story last week. That’s how long I’ve been here, reading and clapping for others’ work, following great writers and publications, and wishing I could be one of them. …


Embrace this one thing and be free.

Many years ago I was leafing through a magazine and came across a really funny piece called A Short Guide to Comparative Religions. Nobody seems to know the original creator, but you might have seen it circulating on posters and T-shirts. …


Making peace with my deepest fear.

I have been terrified of cancer my whole life. I’m not sure how or when this fear originated; it doesn’t run in my family and I never knew anyone who died from it. I just knew — probably from books and movies — that cancer is insidious. It’s sneaky. It…


Are we brave, crazy, or both?

I have every reason to be done with marriage. Divorced the first time, widowed the second, I was left with a shattered heart it took years to put back together. And I’m not the only one. There are millions of us walking wounded, broken by broken marriages. …

Denise Vitola

Writer, reader, lifelong rebel. Learning things the hard way since 1963.

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