“Is anybody here a doctor?”

I’m sitting alone at the bar.

Everybody else is rushing around, panicking, shouting for help. A man has collapsed three stools to my left, spilling his vodka club. It’s a shame, really, to waste a drink like that. All the chaos is beginning to distract me from my glass.

“Is anybody here a doctor?!”

I’m no doctor — I am a writer. I’m tired of seeing these people fly in like they’re Superman or Wonder Woman, saving the day and shit. I want to be needed like that, by someone. I want to be the hero. Just one time.

Fuck it. I down my bourbon, throw some cash on the bar, and bounce.

On my walk home, I hear sirens. An ambulance whizzes by, I can only assume transporting Vodka Club Guy. He’s saved.

I flip on the TV when I get into my apartment. The news is on.

On a brighter note, Mittens the Kitten finally made her way down from that tree after 37 hours. The hero: a retired firefighter… “Every time someone tried to climb toward it slowly, the poor thing went higher. So I said, ‘Screw it — I can out-climb this tiny cat.’”


Bar again. Minding my own business, enjoying my drink.

*BOOM*

Something crashes to the floor. I don’t even turn to see what’s going on this time. Probably: Oh no, blah blah, someone’s hurt, blah, please help, doctor, blah, save him. Obviously, nothing I do will help.

A crowd gathers behind me, everybody panicking like the, uh, panickers they are. (I do this for a living — I should be able to come up with something better than that.)

“Is there a writer in the house?!”

My eyes shoot up from my bourbon. Did I hear that right, or have I had one too many? I tilt my head, waiting for confirmation.

“Is anyone here a writer?”

My ears did not deceive me. I spring into action, fighting through the crowd to see what’s up.

“I’m a, uh, writer.”

“Oh my gosh, great. So glad you’re here to help.”

When I look down, I see an iPhone on the floor. Next to the phone is a man, fallen to his knees. He’s upset.

“I just can’t do it anymore. It’s so frustrating!”

I look to the person who called me over to help.

“What can you do? He doesn’t know what to say to this girl…”

“What?”

“You said you’re a writer, right? Quick, help him!”

I smile bigger than I’d care to admit. I crouch down and pick up the phone without saying a word. After scanning the previous texts between the victim and the girl, I begin typing like a man possessed — thumbs moving at twelve-times the speed of their surroundings.

I stand up like a boss, flip the phone to the dude, and start walking away before he even catches it. As he looks down at the conversation, the girl responds:

The bar folk erupt— this time not in panic but in celebration. I reclaim my seat at the bar and finish my drink as the crowd cheers behind me.

*Originally published in The Coffeelicious on Medium.

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Ways to Beat Me in “Never Have I Ever” Because of 2015

I keep thinking my best days are behind me. The way I see it, ever since I’ve joined the workforce and become part of the 9-5 grind, my life’s become a bore. But as I look back on my 2015, I realize that I’ve experienced plenty of new things and people in the past year. After all, you’re only bored if you’re boring.

The following list consists of “Never Have I Ever”s that are no longer true:

Never have I ever…

1. been so impressed by an album that I would label it as “fire.”
2. been paid to create a web series.
3. been so beat up about something football-related that I actually had shirts made about it.
4. sympathized with State Farm agents.
5. known what ASMR is.
6. doubted myself and my worth because of a silly dress.
7. appeared on Indian television.


To see the full 41-part list, head over to my personal website blog.

What to Give Your New Flame for Christmas

Tips for finding that perfect ‘in-between’ gift

What is this? I can feel it in the air. Things are… changing. Temperatures, dropping. Prices, dropping. Most single girls’ standards? As low as ever.

Fall and winter are known as “cuffing season,” which refers to how people find their ways into relationships as the weather gets colder and the holidays near. During this time of the year, “Netflix and chill” becomes the preferred date option to “I don’t know.” Most people would rather stay in with someone they don’t mind than go out and meet a bunch of people they hate. It’s like hibernation, but with more hot chocolate and OTPHJs. However you want to describe it, “cuffing season” is in full-swing.

That means Christmas is coming, too, which leaves you with tons of shopping to do for family and friends. Of course, if you’re fortunate enough not to becompletely and utterly alone this holiday season, you’ll also have to find a gift for your significant other.

But as you’re shopping for loved ones, what type of gift do you get for someone you just started dating?


To read more about my in-between gift tips, follow this link to the full article on Medium.

Everything All At Once

I’m not one to get overwhelmed. I know how to prioritize, how to make sense of the world swirling around me. I know how to take a step back, slow down, and formulate a plan so I can crush anything in my way.

I approach obstacles like a whack-a-mole arcade game, batting down each one as it arises. It’s like a fight scene in a cheesy superhero movie — the hero battles the villains one-by-one until all are incapacitated. But life isn’t like that. It’s not as clean and simplified as an arcade game or a choreographed melee. What happens when multiple moles begin popping up at the same time? Or when a bunch of enemies attack simultaneously?

What happens when everything — the good and the bad — seems to be happening all at once?


To continue reading, follow this link to the full story on Medium.

Lance’s Story

Life is unpredictable. You can plan out every detail and be amazed or disappointed with the way things unfold, or you can roll with the punches and choose your moments to take action. You may know where or who you want to be ten years from now, but to think you have complete control over the way it plays out is incredibly shortsighted.

In July of 2010, we had to put our dog down. Woody was an English Mastiff — the huge dog from The Sandlot — with an ambiguous past. We rescued him when he was about four years old, so the first few years of his life were a mystery to us and even to the woman who’d found him in the woods (hence, the name). He was great with us; he just didn’t like certain people, and he was untrusting of strangers. I don’t think he liked the smell of cigarettes, either.

Large dogs don’t live quite as long as smaller pooches because of physical complications, especially with the hips and back legs. When we said goodbye to Woody, we agreed not to get another dog. For the foreseeable future, our home would be petless. Cleaner, yes, and at least a little quieter — but as empty as it’d felt in years.

A couple of months later, my family drove up to Lake Placid for my cousin’s wedding. My brother and I had floated around the idea of getting a puppy, but my dad wasn’t entertaining it. Mom kept her opinions to herself because she didn’t want to take sides (read: Mom wanted a dog but wouldn’t say anything). While in our hotel room, my dad’s phone buzzed. His friend had found a German Shepherd tied to a pole on the side of the road a few days earlier. Dad’s buddy was an active volunteer for a German Shepherd rescue organization and a dog owner himself, so he didn’t want his home overrun by Shepherds.

“I, uh, know you guys were maybe looking for a dog…”

My dad’s biggest mistake was showing us a picture of the pup, which was the point I made when arguing why we should take the dog. If Dad didn’t want to get another dog, why would he show his family — three people who clearly wanted another pet — a photo of an adorable, helpless German Shepherd? He unconsciously wanted the house to be less clean, less quiet, less empty.

Nothing about the future is foreseeable.

On September 6th, 2010, we officially got Lance, our new pet and family member. If you’re wondering where in the hell we got Lance from, we’d begun brainstorming names in that Lake Placid hotel room. After tossing around a few stupid ideas, my dad’s friend told us he had taken the dog to the vet and the vet said the dog only had one testicle.

That was it. We named him Lance. (Now he has none.)


To read more about Lance, check out the full story on Medium.

People With Less Have Done More

After completing Seth Godin’s Freelancer Course on Udemy, I was unsure I had come away with any important knowledge or understanding. Looking back on the various questions I’d answered in assignments, one specific assignment jumped out at me.

The very first piece of coursework forced me to ask myself:

Is it possible — has anyone with your resources ever pulled off anything like this*?

*This, of course, refers to whatever it is I’m trying to accomplish — a freelance career, a business venture, or any other goal within my sights. The question, though, wasn’t what jumped out at me. My answer was more of an eye-opener…

People with less have accomplished more.

The more I think about, the more these six words fuel me. If I took anything away from Seth Godin’s course, it’s that I can’t make excuses anymore. I have the passion, and I have the tools. If I want something, I need to work toward it and persist until that dream becomes reality.

What fuels you? Please comment below.


Ryan writes things and sometimes people read them. You can find his work in the Medium publications Human Parts and The Coffeelicious, as well as a publication he manages called The Bigger Picture. You can follow him on Twitter here or check out his website here. He’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading!

Throw the Small Ones Back

Let me preface this post by saying it’s okay to have a plan. It’s okay to stick to that plan or to change that plan or to abandon that plan. It’s also okay not to have a plan at all.

Everybody is different, and there is no one path to love, happiness, or success. I’m not sitting here writing this pretending to know what I’m doingor what’s best for everyone else. I am a human who makes mistakes and tries his best to learn from them. I am a person who goes to bed every night wanting more and wakes up the next day with that same desire for betterment.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let me share with you some things I’ve learned…


Check out the rest of this piece in The Coffeelicious on Medium.

“Replace the bad with good…”

Part IV: Catharsis and learning to thrive

By Ryan Hussey

Edited by Jenna Rutsky


You are in your early fifties now. Emotional scars don’t fade like physical scars do. You get a new job at a law firm — a fresh start.

The first day, you notice the harsh sound the door makes when it shuts. It jars old memories loose, when your stepfather used to come home and you’d sit in your bed, trembling.

Not too long after, you notice the sound your boss makes when he walks up the stairs. The door slamming, the heavy footsteps of a grown man heading toward you — together, these should be enough to break you down into pieces.

You realize you must face the reality head-on, much like when you were five years old and it confronted you without warning. But one thing has changed since then.

You’re bigger now. Older, wiser. You’re stronger in every sense of the word. You’re prepared.

One weekend, you allow your niece to paint your fingernails. She lets you choose the color.

You recall the way teal blue makes you feel — that awful color. The color that represents your cell, the one that imprisoned you for nearly a decade and that’s held you captive ever since. The color that’s tattooed your memories, making you wish you saw only black and white. That diseased color, that monstrous, oppressive color that never fails to make you sick to your stomach. Teal is ugly.

You insist that your niece paint your nails teal blue.

Teal blue — that beautiful color. The color that matches the new blouse you bought for work. The color that brightens up any outfit or party or painting. That vibrant color — a work of art in itself — that now puts a smile on your face just as fast as it used to wipe one off.

Holding your arms out straight, you finally see what’s in front of you. Your hands, teal blue fingernails, your future.


For the rest of this piece, please head over to the full article in The Bigger Picture on Medium. You will not regret it.

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(Illustration/Kayla Spataro)