I could write this in the third person, saying Paria Hassouri is a mother of three, a pediatrician, a transgender rights activist. She loves running, Malbec, Jane Austen, retail therapy, and truffle on everything. Her personal essays have been published in the Huffington Post, Washington Post, LA Times, Women’s Running Magazine, Kevin MD, and Grown and Flown. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and children and is writing her memoir….but that wouldn’t sound like me. I only know how to write when I use my own voice… in the first person… so here it is:
Above and before anything else, I am a mother to three incredible human beings. All I’ve ever wanted to be for as long as I can remember is a mother, until one day, that all-encompassing identity made me look into the mirror and I couldn’t see me. I’d always craved and sought deep connection to other people, and it became apparent it was time to look inwards and connect to me.
When I realized that I had lost myself, I decided the easiest place to start was to retake ownership of my body. At that time, I couldn’t run a mile. Exercise was something I never had an interest in and couldn’t maintain for more than a couple of months. I also didn’t write. In March of 2012, at the age of 38, I began running, hoping that I’d figure out the next step once I could run five miles without stopping. Soon, running became my therapy. And once I started running, I discovered that while I was running my mind would narrate words that I would try to scribble down in a rush when I got home. Sometimes I’d stop mid-run, jot down some words in my phone, and then keep going. While training for my first marathon, I decided to chronicle my journey to marathon in a blog I kept called Mom On The Runsanity. After running my first marathon at the age of 42, I continued to blog, but my posts evolved to having less to do with running and being more about life, motherhood, and identity. Before I began running and writing, I felt like I was drowning. Running allowed me to breathe. It became the glue that seeped into all the little cracks in my life that I didn’t know were there and smoothed out the foundation of my being. In May of 2017, one of my kids came out as transgender. Suddenly, the rug was pulled out from under my feet. I couldn’t write about running anymore. And I couldn’t continue a blog without telling the truth. I am a truth teller. That’s the only way I know how to write. It’s the only way I’ve ever known how to connect with people. Once my daughter was ready to come out to the world, I was able to start writing the truth again.
Why share my truth? Because I moved from anger and denial to not just acceptance but embracing my daughter’s transition after hearing other families going through the same experience share theirs. If there is one person who needs to hear our story, then it is worth telling.
On this website, I will post some of the publications I’ve had and future ones. If you’d like to be alerted when I have news to share, then please subscribe.
*If you’ve stumbled upon this site and are interested in me as a pediatrician for your child, this website has nothing to do with my professional life and is only my personal site for my writing. You can find my office information through Cedars-Sinai’s website here.