After sharing her favorite feel-good stories of 2019, Esther Hallmeyer lists the top articles and essays that stuck with her throughout the year.
The best writing has the power to teach you perspective, create empathy, even break your heart. I read a lot of stories this past year and in no way can remember them all. But I thought it would be fun to comb through my Twitter, Facebook and some of Cutline’s Slack channels to revisit some of my favorite stories from the year. Here are five of them—if they’re new to you, I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I did.
1. The New Yorker, Anna Wiener, How Hipcamp Became the Airbnb of the Outdoors: This is such a colorful and vivid examination of not just Hipcamp and its founder, but the growth of camping and outdoor experiences and the quest to commodify them.
2. Politico, David Freedlander, ‘I Want Him on Everything’: Meet the Woman Behind the Buttigieg Media Frenzy: No matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on, or how you feel about Democratic Presidential candidate Mayor Pete, it’s hard to deny that his initial rise was a master class in publicity. This profile on his campaign manager Lis Smith offers an inside look at how she designed his campaign and rocketed his name to national recognition.
3. HuffPost Personal, Steven Romo, I Grew Up Hiding My Family’s Shameful Secret. Here’s Why I Finally Decided To Share It: The writer of this essay is a news anchor who has carried shame with him throughout his adult life about his childhood. Here, he decides to stop hiding from his past. This piece was so beautiful in all its pain and honesty, and I greatly admire the writer for putting his story into the world.
4. Vox, Rebecca Jennings, The impossible quest to build a better breast pump: I loved this story about the pressures on women to breastfeed, the difficulty of pumping even in a supportive work environment, and why smarter pumps are just a bandaid for the wider issues working moms face in the United States.
5. The Week, Zoe Fenson, It's so much more than cooking: This essay really nailed the mental burden of meal prep that many women carry. I found myself nodding my head in agreement throughout the entire piece. Sometimes, just putting words to a vague feeling we’re carrying around is incredibly powerful—and makes us feel we’re not alone.