Heidi Isern

writer. thinker. whiskey drinker.

Leaving Perfection – A Poem

“I thought I did everything right in life,” he said gripping his hair in his palms. “An ivy league school, a high profile job, the pedigreed woman. All gone. What happened? How the hell did I fall down the rabbit hole and end up here?” Here? Well, HERE is the best place to be! Take my hand You good-hearted man I’ll lead you completely astray Through tangled vine gardens And

Continue reading…

To Fall Out of Love, Do This.

“I want love on demand,” she said. My friend Sophia was going through another hard breakup, hoping to sedate her pain. “Take it away when it hurts, but deliver it when desired, straight to my door.” If only love were like Instacart. Last year the New York Times published an article that claimed answering 36 questions could make two people fall madly in love. All you needed was 50 minutes,

Continue reading…

Why He Won’t Marry You

Every spring romance beckons. Flowers bloom, lovebirds croon, and Facebook feeds sparkle with the diamonds of recent engagements. Marriage anxiety infiltrates the city, reducing our best citizens to jittery jello as they wonder when their number will be called. Men feel pressured to pop “the question.” Women feel pressured to have the question popped. Rightly or wrongly, the idea that someone will choose usfor the rest of our lives shapes

Continue reading…

Jump off the Career Ladder, Save Your Life

Our inboxes are constantly bombarded with LinkedIn status updates, asking us to congratulate our peers. However panic, not pride, is often the first reaction. “I should have been promoted to VP like the rest of my MBA class,” a man in an outdated suit lamented. “Had I not moved cities for my wife and took a lesser post.” “And I should have made Partner by now,” said the woman to

Continue reading…

The Happiness Gamble: Settle or Hold Out?

A bizarre phenomena happens when urban Americans approach their mid 30s. A frantic mob of women in white lace rush through our cities, clamoring for the altar before it is “too late.” The casual observer may mistake them for a panicked stampede of white sheep rushing over a cliff. A few black sheep hang out by the sidelines, unsure of what to do. We don’t want to be left alone,

Continue reading…

Why You Cannot Find “The One”

** This post originally appeared on Medium and is being discussed there. If you want the juicy comments, highlights and rants, I suggest you follow me on Medium. But if you’re too lazy you can read my original text below. Unedited as always.** “Write about the search,” he said. “That’s what’s fucking killing everyone.” “The search?” Did he mean finding a new rent controlled apartment that wasn’t possessed by fruit flies? Or

Continue reading…

Redefining Success

**This post originally appeared on Medium on 1.28.16**   Is success defined by finding the elusive Unicorn? Or love? Or just being happy with a mere burrito? “I don’t become friends with people that are not successful,” he said. I chewed my burrito slowly, wondering what on earth he meant. Was I successful? He likely wasn’t referencing my ability to down an entire cheesy bean tortilla at 2 in the

Continue reading…

The Only Resolution You Should Make

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. I do ‘December Absolutions,’ activities to reduce accumulated guilt by Dec 31 (and not a day after). A completed Absolution cleanses me from the past year while also validating my intensive champagne consumption as I step into the new one. This year, my ‘Absolution’ was to write 50,000 words toward a book, absolving my laziness and lack of true aspiring novelist dedication. However, every

Continue reading…

The Grateful Competition

Every year American families sit at dinner tables laden with nostalgic dishes and inaugurate the holiday meal by giving thanks. Over pours of red wine, each participant takes their turn to tell the crowd what they, uniquely, are grateful for. Perhaps some families are calm during this time. Maybe others are lovingly sentimental. Not mine. No no, Thanksgiving is not a community building event in the Isern household!  It’s a

Continue reading…

Why Delhi is Better than Burning Man

If you want to truly understand humanity and the full spectrum of life experience, don’t go to Burning Man.  Go to Delhi. There, the gods cut a prism to bend waves of dark and light, casting a multitude of shades that flood the city’s crevices. Life breathes hot down the neck. Music blares from corners you didn’t know existed. You are immersed in the entirety of the human condition. “You want

Continue reading…

Sell Your Suitcase: 4 Reasons to Stop Traveling

Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is stay home. 100 places to see before you die, Date a girl who travels and countless other travel happy posts have become cultish memes. We are encouraged to disown our neighborly quotidian life, flee to far flung corners, embrace fleeting moments, and only associate with those passport happy folk that, thank God, have our same transient enlightened understanding of the

Continue reading…

How our ‘PC’ Culture is ruining us

No one says what they really think anymore. Our speech is layered under sucrose blankets, intentions lost in their folds. How did we become PC (politically correct) to the point of incomprehension? Do we fear our words will give people maladies of self loathing? Is the plain truth so destructive that we must put a cloak of saccharin around it? No one is too fat. (let’s just extend the seatbelt

Continue reading…

A Woman at Odds: Baby or Love?

In many parts of the world, people do not have choices. The local store carries only one brand of toothpaste. Marriages are arranged. And fertility is finite.  Notions of swiping people’s faces on Tinder and freezing eggs so we can ‘focus on our career’ read like science fiction. We silicon valley dwellers are ADD afflicted bionic mutants frockickling across the “Planet of Eternal Options.”  However, our mirages of endless possibility

Continue reading…

4 Unconventional Ways to Celebrate V-Day, Solo

It’s February. Your city has transformed into a giant lace doily. Subpar chocolates are veiled in red tinfoil and instantly marked up to a 90% margin.  Restaurants create prix fixe menus with courses named like a drugstore romance novel. “Cupid’s Cutlet” and “Seduction soufflé” tempt the hopeless romantics into overbooked venues.  Smelling a chance for sex, people start pairing up like socks out of the dryer.  The 14th arrives with

Continue reading…

Why I Write

In the book “Letters to a Young Poet” Rainer Maria Rilke writes, “Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart. Confess to yourself whether you would die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of the night, must I write?”   Must

Continue reading…

Release Your Mind: The Art of Memory Management

“[W]e must never allow the future to collapse under the burden of memory.” ― Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting   As we get older we accumulate memories.  Some are splendid treasures that we go back and visit like we have a membership at the MoMA; others haunt us like a dripping faucet in the middle of the night. Plunk.Plunk.Plunk.  Eerily irksome…and at 3 am it requires superhuman

Continue reading…

This Season, Give the Gift of TMI

This December, I returned to Japan, the land of perfection. People scurried through immaculate streets, their porcelain faces masking a crock pot of emotions swirling and bubbling underneath the lid. In Japan, everything is seemingly pristine from even skin tone to sushi rice formation to fully functioning families. “Revealing too much will make you lose face,” I was told. Oh. In that case, I am not just faceless. I am

Continue reading…

Why You Don’t Have Community (and How to Build it)

Cities are like swarms of independent ants. People scurry to and from various engagements, prodded by an overbooked calendar and FOMO – Fear of Missing Out.  Crowds roll over like an incoming set of waves, and we easily lose one another. Our constant buzzing through disparate social webs make any consistent get-together with a set group of friends as likely as God giving you a toothy grin and passing you

Continue reading…

Egg Freezing: What They Don’t Tell You

Should corporations store our future in the freezer? Or is this giving a select few false security with a bizarre fad? Facebook and Apple’s decision to pay for women’s egg freezing has stimulated new controversy in women’s cocktail conversations. “I feel this sends a message that women will never be able to balance a career and a family at the same time and we must choose.” “It’s like the Sex and

Continue reading…

Why We Should Relish Failure Like an Empanada

  “Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.” ― André Malraux Every six months my company puts on an event called “Stories” where designers go up on stage and tell personal tales about their lives. We sit on small wooden chairs and eat empanadas while watching our colleagues reveal raw accounts of their past loves, fears, and failures. Attendance has swelled over the years

Continue reading…

  • 1 2 9