There are stoics in this world.  People who can withstand the lashing that comes with simply living life seemingly without much effect.  Strong people, while certainly not without emotion, never seem to be injured too much by what befalls them in the path to happiness.

By Sailko - Own work, CC BY 3.0,
By Sailko – Own work

Marcus Aurelius the  stoic philosopher (I didn’t know there was such a thing, and you think you have a stupid job title?), has a famous quote, “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

Okay Marcus, I’ll get right on it.

There are some of us in this world who don’t have it so easy as good old Marcus.  There are some of us that feel the heartache a lot more deeply than others.  There’s some of us who feel every bruising punch life hands out right down to our bones, and if you look around you, the ones that look the most put together and seem to make the right move at every turn, are often the same ones who are crying inside.

Syracuse Author, Blogger, Teacher, all around cool person Liz Petrone knows that first hand because she’s been through some things.  Some things we all go through, and some things you hope you never go through, and if you asked her today, she would tell you, begrudgingly maybe, that she is happy in this life.

Her beautiful memoir, “The Price of Admission” is a warmly told collection of life’s slices that holds back none of the emotional cost of a single moment of it.   Stories of unspeakable grief and loss, the kind of loss that never leaves you and can only be healed in the face of a child.   Stories of self image issues and a suicide attempt as well as stories of love, and the kind of beautiful life affirming chaos only a parent can understand.  Stories of her thinking she is never going to get her shit together.  (spoiler alert, she does, spoiler alert #2, if you think you won’t, you will)

Reading Liz’s words is like sitting on the porch on a cool late summer evening with a good friend as she guides you through the path of her life, never showing a moment of self pity.  I don’t know of too many writers who can make you cry in one paragraph and laugh out loud in the next, and as I think of it, isn’t that the point of it all anyway? The tears are the price we pay for the laughter and for all the walls we put up to keep out the hurt the only thing that helps the hurt is knowing that you aren’t alone.

“The Price of Admission” is the book we need now in 2020, when circumstances shrink our world to no further than the end of our driveways and  everything around us seems so terrible and that light at the end of the tunnel is so close and yet so far, we needed to be reminded of the truths Liz spells out with such warmth and humanity and even when  the world seems so hard to take, I don’t ever want to stop feeling every feeling, because the joy is worth the pain.

I’d rather live in Liz Petrone’s world than in Marcus Aurelius’

He’s kind of an asshole anyway if you ask me.


The Price of Admission is out today and available where you get books these days.



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