Who am I? That’s not easy to define. But I am learning to know myself.

A white woman with long brown hair faces the camera smiling and holds a toddler with curly hair who faces away from the camera against the backdrop of the ocean.
Picture of me at the beach with my oldest child.

I’m not ______, I’m Julia!

My parents like to tell this story from my preschooler years: if anyone called me “cute”, “beautiful” or “adorable” I would place my hands squarely on my hips, stick out my lower jaw in defiance and shoot back a glaring, “I’m not (cute/beautiful/adorable), I’m Julia!”. Whenever they repeat the story…


PREGNANCY

It wasn’t for attention

Toddler with brown hair admires the pregnant belly of his mother, who is lying reclined.
Photo taken by author’s husband

When I announced the birth of my youngest child on Facebook, I received a message from a friend I had last seen a couple of weeks prior. She was shocked. She hadn’t noticed. And she didn’t know.

I hadn’t exactly tried to hide it when I saw her, but I…


Feminists don’t hate men — we hate the structures that hold all of us back

Image by bernardbodo on Canva Pro

I was 18 years old. My friend and I were travelling. Neither of us wanted to go to college directly after high school. We wanted to see the world — experience life!

That particular night we were on the beach at a bar thousands of miles from home. …


The link between irritable bowel syndrome and sexual assault

Image by kieferpix on canvapro

After the barium swallow test, my general physician said there was nothing more they could do. Nothing was physically wrong with me. They couldn’t explain why I was doubled over in pain most days or why I couldn’t safely be far from a toilet. It must be psychosomatic. …


POLITICS

In defence of a multilingual society

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Much ado is made in the province of Quebec about the problem of Montreal. From the perspective of preserving the prestige of the French language, I can understand why. It’s a diverse city, lauded worldwide for its bilingualism. …


Living life on total parenteral nutrition

A young woman lies in a hospital bed with an IV pole behind her. She is dreaming of all kinds of food, demonstrated by a thought bubble filled with foods like tacos, pancakes, fruits, meat dishes and vegetables.
Image compiled by author on Canva Pro

Life has a way of circumventing all our plans. I remember sitting in my clinical nutrition class learning about TPN (total parenteral nutrition).

“It’s the last resort, of course. Because of the risk for sepsis and other negative outcomes.”

As the professor switched slides and outlined the risks of TPN…


The migraine hack your doctor never mentioned

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I am an occasional migraine sufferer. Luckily I do not experience them with the same frequency as some others do. …


A poem in free verse

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The years stitch themselves into my grief
with copper threads of longing
and I — I am belonging more and more
to the land of living things — of earth devoured
parsnips growing long into autumn, of my fingertips
punctured by a wild rose spindle, and finally
and surprisingly, I feel that pain once again…


Reentry is a rebirth

Image by Alessio Mattei on Canva Pro

Reentry. It’s something we’ve all thought a lot about in recent months as we navigate our way towards post-pandemic life. We joke about lost social skills and debate the merits of continued masking. Plans are made and cancelled as governments dip their toes in the water of normalcy only to…

Julia Marsiglio

I answer rhetorical questions. Intersectional feminism. Neurodivergence. Trauma. Grief. Canada things. A smattering of poetry and fiction.

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