How do I find myself in the emotional turmoil of March 2020 yet again, and how do I find my way out in one piece?

I almost never have nothing to say.

Today, I feel muted.

The room rings with flurries of furious typing, followed by the long pause of the backspace key. My brain has words, but they feel heavy, plain, and mundane, like trying to make sense of alphabet cereal words in a…


What happens when you close your eyes and try to remember who you were

When I put on lipstick, I have to lean in close to the mirror.

It’s a phenomenon that mirrors the fact you can’t put on mascara without opening your mouth, lips slightly pursed in concentration. But mascara is child’s play. Lipstick is for grown-ups.

I rarely wear lipstick. It always…


There is a cancer at our University — you must remove her.

University of Virginia Rotunda with green lawn and blue sky beyond.

Deans Groves, Sauerwein, and Baucom,

I have worn the honor of Honors. I graduated from Virginia.

In 2010, I graduated from UVA, as did my husband. We cherish our time there and look fondly upon it, often reflecting on our memories of youth — the things we learned, mistakes we…


Enough is enough.

People who have worked with me know that I have long tried to be a voice for those not given a seat at the table, particularly within the architecture and design industries. Sadly, my voice has often been singular, dismissed and pushed aside when it was inconvenient to take into…


An unlikely recipe for attacking personal anxiety

Sourdough starters. Handstand challenges. Netflix. Push-ups.

We all have a recipe for trying to deflate our coronavirus anxiety balloons.

Some people meditate or initiate a yoga practice to try and relax. Others may bite their fingernails or nervously bounce their knee. Maybe they eat a whole pizza. There could be…


Trying to stay sane as an unemployed shut-in

Woman looking out window in city.

I have a dirty secret to share.

When my last office first started working remotely, I was convinced that I was going to become a body-builder, superstar chef in all of my newfound free time. Goodbye, MTA! Time to be interior designer by day, kick-ass housewife by night.

Then I…


A lesson from a Disney princess and the produce aisle.

Cinderella’s castle in Disney world with sun behind

Growing up, I never wanted to be a Disney princess. Sure, I watched the movies, but I never had the same obsession with them as some of my friends and classmates. The Princesses were a tangential part of my youth…


An in-progress puzzle of a New Yorker magazine cover

An introspection and the musings of a perfectionist struggling in these very imperfect times.

I’m not sure I even took a breath this past weekend. Strangely, not because I was afraid of inhaling dangerous coronavirus particles, but because on Friday, I lost my job. I was laid off. It wasn’t something I even knew how to begin to process. …

Laura A. Heeter

Designer, thinker, and doer based in Richmond, VA.

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