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20 Essays You Need To Read From BuzzFeed Life This Year

A look back at some of the brightest ideas and most beautiful writing about food, health, style and more that we published in the past year.

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I Don’t Care What You Think About My Breakfast — Katie Heaney

After years of copying other people’s snacks and fending off unsolicited diet advice, Katie Heaney wrote about finally figuring out what she wants to be eating.

Hell Yeah, I Wear A Fanny Pack — Rachel Wilkerson Miller

Rachel Wilkerson Miller makes a case for why the fanny pack may not be the purse we want, but it’s the purse we need.

How I Made A Career Out Of Showing People My Cervix — Alexandra Duncan


As a gynecological teaching associate, Alexandra Duncan uses her own body to teach medical students how to perform pelvic exams. She wrote about why it’s the best, most empowering work she's ever done.

How I Gave Myself Permission To Be Gluten-Free — Martha Stortz

When she was diagnosed with celiac disease, Martha Stortz was more concerned about how her gluten-free diet looked to other people than she was about what it meant for her.

I Fell For The Perfect Guy, But Not For His Open Relationship — Jess Haberman


After years of disappointing dating, Jess Haberman finally found someone great. The only problem was his other relationship.

There’s No Shortcut To Making A Mouthwateringly Delicious Curry — Anup Kaphle

For years in America, Anup Kaphle tried and failed to replicate the Nepali dishes his parents made. Then he realized he was doing it wrong.

Pinterest Is Actually A Porn Director’s Best Friend — Kitty Stryker


Find out why your favorite place to window-shop for succulents is Kitty Stryker's new favorite way to plan on-camera threesomes.

I Have Long Nails Because I’m Proud Of What They Mean — Jacob Tobia

As a genderqueer person, Jacob Tobia's fingernails have made their femininity more visible, both to other people and to them.

How I Learned To Celebrate Eid Al Adha In America — Zainab Shah


Zainab Shah can’t slaughter a goat, but she can roast a leg of lamb.

I Was A Fundamentalist Christian Until I Discovered Feminist Writers — Susan Gray Blue

Today it’s finding feminism, not God, that makes Susan Gray Blue want to testify. But getting here took a long time.

I Used To Be Ashamed Of My Fear. Then I Started Training As An Acrobat — Susie Armitage


Susie Armitage is not fearless. But she spends a lot of time doing things that terrify most reasonable people.

I Moved Back To My Parent’s House At 29, And It Wasn’t The End Of The World — Ramona Emerson

When Ramona Emerson moved out of her parents’ house at 18, she didn’t expect to be back a decade later. Now she may never want to leave.

Volunteering At An Abortion Clinic Made Me Lose Patience With The Abortion Debate — Kaye Toal


Kaye Toal explained why anyone who really wants to understand what’s at stake in the debate over abortion should spend some time outside the places where it happens.

I Don’t Need To Choose Between Black And White, And Neither Does My Hair — Lauren Paul

For most of her life, Lauren Paul struggled with her hair because it reminded her of her own otherness. After her mom died, she realized she didn’t have to.

I Didn’t Feel Like A “Woman Of Color” Until I Dyed My Hair Blue — Kaela Myers


Experimenting with the color of her hair has helped Kaela Myers to claim it as truly hers, and to change the signal it sends about her biracial identity.

Why #DuragHistoryWeek Is More Than A Joke — Vann R. Newkirk II

Or: How the iconic hair accessory of Vann R. Newkirk II's youth became an unexpectedly meaningful way to celebrate blackness in the face of isolation.

I Can’t Live Without Fear, But I Can Learn To Be OK With It — Arianna Rebolini


Arianna Rebolini wrote about coming to terms with her OCD and the inescapable fear that the people she loves will die. Read more from Mental Health Week here.

I Have To Push My Own Limits To Let My Kids Find Theirs — Josh Stearns

Josh Stearns's greatest challenge as a father is figuring out how to teach his kids independence and keep them safe at the same time.

The Year Of The Snail — Alanna Okun


Getting an unexpected pet made Alanna Okun feel like an actual adult.

In Defense Of Going Out — Ramona Emerson

The next time you’re inclined to whine about going to another party, remember people like Ramona Emerson, who is hardly able to go to any.

If you have a personal essay you'd like to write for BuzzFeed Life, get more info on how to submit it here.

More recommended reading: The Most Moving Personal Essays You Needed To Read In 2015