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Tell Me More

Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say

By Kelly Corrigan
12-minute read
Audio available
Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan

Tell Me More (2019) is a meditation on the phrases that allow us to express love and connect with others. Built around a series of intimate personal essays, Kelly Corrigan’s study of life’s many frustrations and joys cements her critical reputation as a “poet laureate of the ordinary.” Unflinchingly honest and often downright hilarious, Corrigan’s reflections are an endlessly thought-provoking exploration of the meaning of death, friendship, parenthood and, above all, love.

  • New parents wondering what’s in store for them
  • Anyone who’s lost a loved one
  • The philosophically minded

Kelly Corrigan is a best-selling author based in Oakland, California. Hailed as the voice of her generation by O: The Oprah Magazine, her previous books include The Middle Place, Lift and Glitter and Glue. Corrigan is also the creative director of the Nantucket Project, an annual conference bringing together some of today’s most exciting thinkers and creatives.

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Tell Me More

Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say

By Kelly Corrigan
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
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Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan
Synopsis

Tell Me More (2019) is a meditation on the phrases that allow us to express love and connect with others. Built around a series of intimate personal essays, Kelly Corrigan’s study of life’s many frustrations and joys cements her critical reputation as a “poet laureate of the ordinary.” Unflinchingly honest and often downright hilarious, Corrigan’s reflections are an endlessly thought-provoking exploration of the meaning of death, friendship, parenthood and, above all, love.

Key idea 1 of 7

When everything goes wrong, all we can do is accept that it’s “just like this.”

One day, Kelly Corrigan’s life fell apart – or rather, she fell apart. Her father Greenie had died of cancer three months earlier, and the grief had become overwhelming. Everything left a sour taste in her mouth.

It was a regular morning in the Corrigan household. Kelly woke, as usual, to the smell of her husband Edward making himself bacon. But by the time she’d put her slippers on, her blood pressure had already spiked. The phone was ringing and no one was picking up. Edward couldn’t hear it and their two kids – 14-year-old Claire and 16-year-old Georgia – were busy fighting in the hallway.

Kelly felt a wave of resentment as she realized she’d have to sort the girls out. Edward adopted the laissez-faire “let them fight” attitude that he’d come across in the only parenting book he’d read, which suited him down to the bone. At this moment, Kelly didn’t recall that she’d actually fallen in love with “Easy Ed.” Today, it only occurred to her that this was another brawl he’d miss, leaving her to deal with the fallout once again.

By the time everyone was ready to leave the house, Kelly was close to exploding. Surveying the kitchen, she saw slimy eggshells on the counter and clumps of the family dog’s fur under the table. She hadn’t even taken a sip of coffee, and there was Edward, shaven, showered, fed and ready for work. The fact that he was about to leave her to stew in spitefulness just made things worse.

Alone, she reflected on what had happened. She loved her family more than anything, and she hated the idea of becoming a nagging, self-pitying sourpuss that her husband couldn’t wait to get away from in the morning. What had gone wrong?

That’s when Kelly remembered the motto of her meditation teacher – sometimes, it’s “just like this.” Life can suck. When it does, we lose our bearings and become disoriented and irritable. Deep down, we know our rage is futile – no one, after all, really believes that berating the gods will bring back a parent or make stretch marks disappear. But that doesn’t stop us from falling into the trap that Kelly found herself in that day. All we can do is accept our current circumstances and weather the storm.

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