By Dara Levan

I used to think strength and courage meant stifling our tears. I now know we can be brave while bawling until barely able to breathe. 2021 taught me that. Again and again.

Waves washed over me during a staycation with my husband in the Florida Keys.

There’s a question that reverberates at all hours. It nudges me awake. I hear its echo, faint at first, and louder in recent weeks. During the day. In the middle of the night. It has zero regard for time zones.

Where were you this time last year?

Cracked, painful feet and jagged toenails didn’t fuel this revelation — my husband did

Can you believe I hadn’t had a proper pedicure in eighteen months? No joke. I deemed manicures and pedicures a luxury that I couldn’t indulge right now. Who has time to sit, sip, schmooze, and soak when we are all just trying to survive?

But as I have grown into…

By Dara Levan

I can still feel my clammy hands and pounding heart. The teen years: Panic in the disco. I’m not referring to attending a Nirvana or Depeche Mode concert.

Quizzes. Tests. Finals. The minutes before a math exam would trigger anxiety. I still strive for excellence and have…

By Dara Levan

Leisurely breakfasts and lively dinners will celebrate dads on Sunday. For some people, Father’s Day is joyous and jovial. However, this is not the experience for all children, regardless of age.

This is a tough topic about which to write. But it is a painful reality for many in our…

Dara Levan

Dara is a writer, podcaster, and founder of Every Soul Has a Story, which includes her weekly blog and podcast. Visit her online home at

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