with Benny Benassi

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Photo by Dillon Kydd on Unsplash

The loud roar of Deadmau5 pumped through my veins as I danced on the black pleather booth with my two girlfriends. It was Saturday night and Old Town Scottsdale was packed with college girls using fake IDs, getting hit on by newly single men in their 40’s while the most attractive bartenders overcharged them for basic-ass lemon drop shots.

“You guys wanna do molly tonight?” my friend asked casually as she refilled our vodka sodas at the table.

I wasn’t drunk enough to agree yet, but I wasn’t bold enough to opt-out if my friends did it, so I leaned over and said, “from who!?” …

From Romance to Roommate

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Photo by Dev Asangbam on Unsplash

“You could totally be a therapist,” the psychologist said as I sunk my body into the mustard-yellow corduroy couch.

It was 2015 and there were dark stains cascading through the threads; I hated the fact that it didn’t match anything in her office. Honestly, not even one hint of yellow anywhere else.

In fact, the entire room was offputting, from the unorganized books to the cat card thumbtacked on a bulletin board that read, ‘have a pawsome birthday!’

In reality, it’d be fair to say I became irritated in most encounters, which, of course, frustrated me even more.

Not being able to regulate your emotions fucking sucks.

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Me, Courtesy of Me

I’m grateful that I allow myself time to create because I love to.

I’m grateful for the large cup of coffee, oat milk, and honey that I make for myself every morning, not only because it tastes great, but because it keeps my bowel movements consistent.

I’m grateful for name-brand toilet paper because the bullshit I’m working with right now is extremely disappointing.

I’m grateful for my over-zealous neighbor that keeps talking about the obnoxious “Trumpers” when all I want to do is finish walking my dog… I know this may sound sarcastic, but honestly, I am. …

An Interview

I connected with Arielle on the Girlboss platform last month about our love for dance; she, however, had a much different trajectory than I did with the sport, which you’ll learn about in our interview.

Arielle is currently double majoring in dance and health science at Chapman University and naturally, would like to pursue a career in both industries after college. I’d say she perfectly emulates the definition of a Girlboss. …

An Interview

I’ve gone back and forth about the importance of identifying the relationship between the interviewer and the interviewee… is it important to know whether there’s a connection? Whether they’ve known each other for a while? And for how long?

Ultimately, after reading an Issa Rae interview between her and a close friend, I decided yes, it is important… also, I’m an over-sharer by nature, so from my stance, the more information, the better.

With that, let me lay it out for you… I met Ross around 2008 through an ex, who went to a school down in Phoenix which is where I moved after graduating from PHS. We’d see each other at parties, and around 2009 or 2010, he helped me and Leah find a house in Scottsdale; a house I was almost never at because I was busy being an idiot with a different ex. I saw him sporadically up until 2012, and then, solely through social media, liking each other’s posts and dropping a few words in the comment section about “how fun that trip looks” every couple months. …

The Burnout Was Eminent

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Photo by Tony Tran on Unsplash

“Can you please, please be quiet?” my voice trembled as my eyes tightened; I tried to pinch back the looming tears.

She wouldn’t listen; the barks only got louder and more frequent.

“Azey, SHUT UP!” I demanded with force, positive she’d sit up straight and get with the program.


I let the tears fall as quickly as her yelps and felt the weight of everything I’d taken on tumble through my chest.

“You’re gonna have to give something up,” my parents warned me three weeks prior.

“I know… I will,” I heard myself lie, knowing I wouldn’t.

Maybe it’s the millennial mentality combined with my strong drive to “be something great” but the thought of eliminating a responsibility has always been daunting.

With the pandemic, I was convinced I’d have this abundance of time I could keep pulling from like a Mary Poppins bag, but alas, I’m a human being that needs eight hours of sleep, has a full-time job, and tries to maintain a healthy relationship. …

The tale of an 11-year-old girl

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

It was roughly 2 am when I felt the shame swim through my body like I was slowly being poisoned; I could sense this devastating heat pulse through every fiber of my being as I wiped away the hot tears, my bottom lip quivering.

I let the street lights guide my pink and white Vans down Snapdragon Lane as I recalled the immense rush of pleasure I’d experienced on the trampoline just moments prior.

I was eleven and I’d had my first kiss with tongue.

Before then, I was obsessed with the idea of boys, fantasizing about Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Shia Labeouf, and I even became quite an impressive flirt, but for some reason, making any real “moves” felt like something I just wasn’t equipped for. …

A Mother’s Support

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Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

“Every time I talk to my mom, she tells me I should really consider going to law school,” my new friend responded when I asked about her parents.

We were waiting for our drinks as we sat outside on the floppy orange stained cushions, still feeling the potent Arizona heat at 9pm.

She just booked a movie in LA, though, I thought.

I’d just shot a short fan film the other weekend and you would’ve thought I was starring in Martin Scorsese’s next film.

“Oh my gosh!!! I’m crying! I’m so proud of you, honey… I’m going to need your autograph immediately. You should call Grandma right now, she’ll be so proud of you!” my mom squealed emphatically before going off about something she saw on Facebook. …

& the power of marketing

Smarmo. It’s the name I gave the zit on my chin. Sometimes, when I’m really put off by a breakout, I’ll give it a name and welcome it into our home.

“Hello, Smarmo,” I’ll smile in the mirror with my chin tilted up to get a nice visual, “I’ll make sure to be a gracious host while you’re here, but this must be a very brief visit, okay?”

Matthew will greet it with usual pleasantries, and we’ll all go about our day.

But as much as I can joke about it, if I could pick one thing to change about myself, it would be to have perfect skin. Is that vain? Yeah, sure… maybe, but it’s also deeply honest. I can talk pretty openly about my mental health, my transgressions, or trauma that I’ve experienced, but my kryptonite… my Achilles heel, what makes me most vulnerable, is my skin. …

It’s The Year of Change

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Photo of Leah & Devon

“Soo, I have to tell you something,” Leah’s luminous blonde hair fell down her forehead as she looked down; her face suddenly appeared four shades redder.

I pulled my hand in closer and upped the volume on my iPhone 11 that I’m convinced doesn’t take pictures with the same quality as my friend’s 10.

“You’re not pregnant again, are you?” I joked, to avoid the heartache I knew would ensue when she delivered her news. She looked distraught.

“We’re moving to Washington in like a month…” her voice cracked as she trudged through the rest, “Jer was offered a job and he’s going to take it.” …


Devon Herrera

Inspirations: Mindy Kaling, Issa Rae, Lena Dunham. Trying to manifest some combination of them all + Vince Vaughn’s wit. BLACK LIVES MATTER

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