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Hi.

My name is Ariel. I write about growing up with a facial disfigurement, as a result of Crouzon syndrome. I'm also interested in issues related to beauty, equality, human connection, and trauma. Thank you so much for reading!

Dear Sugars Guest Appearance — The Ugly Truth

Dear Sugars Guest Appearance — The Ugly Truth

There’s a quote by Cheryl Strayed that says “be brave enough to break your own heart.” A few years ago, I wrote this quote down and carried it around in my pocket. It was my reminder to always make the hard decisions, no matter how much they hurt. These were the words that inspired me to leave Vermont and start over (again) in California. Cheryl’s words and her column "Dear Sugar" helped me get through one of the darkest periods in my life, and for that I will be forever grateful.

In early October, I found out my essay White Noise was listed as a notable essay in the Best American Essays 2017 anthology. A few days later, I received an email from the producer of the "Dear Sugars" podcast, hosted by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond. Cheryl had read my essay and invited me to be a guest on an episode that was dedicated to exploring what it means to have a face that goes against society's beauty standards. I was so ecstatic, I dropped my phone and accidentally deleted the email! Once I was able to recover it, I sent an immediate yes!

In October, I met Cheryl and Steve in New York City to record the episode. The letters we discussed were from readers struggling to come to terms with the appearance of their face. Living with a facial difference, I know this feeling all too well. But this year, getting to meet Cheryl and Steve and be a guest on "Dear Sugars," well... that feels like growth. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that they were absolutely delightful hosts, and sensitive to the subject matter at hand. The episode finally went live, and I hope it provides comfort to those who are struggling. I can only pray that the people who wrote the letters from this week’s episode, find the same healing I did. 

Fall in Vermont

Fall in Vermont