It could be the nonstop rain (I know we need it but damn I miss the sun!) or it could be that I haven’t made any exciting long-weekend plans or it could be that I’m just irritable but I don’t have four things to celebrate today. Instead, here are four things I’m decidedly NOT into:
- The Shutdown: This one’s a gimme, but I still felt it necessary to include. Thankfully, furloughed workers will now receive back-pay (eventually), but this historic failure further underscores how useless it is to put party above people. And logic. And reason. Note: The 🚫 in the photo and the 🚫 in the overlay ≠ a double negative here. Just let me have this.
- 10-Year/Aging Challenge: I don’t have a conspiracy theory, but rather an annoyance for lack of imagination and authenticity. Some people, like Zuck, sure do look exactly as they did in 2008/2009. But most posts I’m seeing are Facetuned, filtered and fake AF. It kinda defeats the point… and since my first FB profile photo is from 2005 I can’t even properly participate in the 10-Year or OG #HowHardDidAgingHitYouChallenge ← also one of the worst hashtags ever.
- Terror in Kenya: As news of yesterday’s attack in Nairobi made its way to my little life, I couldn’t help but hold my breath and pray fiercely. Having just spent 11 days in Kenya, and three of them in Nairobi, I couldn’t imagine the beautiful and thriving metropolis under fire. I don’t need a soapbox to tell you how senseless terrorism is, but this one really struck me as a heartbreaking and horrific event.
- Baby Shark: Parents everywhere should be nodding their head in agreement and also maybe hating me for putting this back in their heads. With 53 million+ views, this viral tune is likely playing in approximately 5 million households at any time. On repeat. And while my nieces are obviously adorable and can do no wrong, I wouldn’t mind going a year or 10 without hearing this one again.
My eye has twitched on and off since I woke up at 6am, if you’re wondering how this week’s going for me. I have every intention of treating myself to a massage once I get through this month — until then, here’s what I’m talking about:
- “13 Reasons Why”: I nodded to this in yesterday’s 30 Before 30 post, but it deserves more than a nod. I binge-watched this Netflix series in less than 24 hours, if that’s any indication of how addictive it is. The premise: A high school student commits suicide, but leaves behind audio tapes about why she did it. It’s chilling, powerful, emotional — and completely necessary conversation about navigating today’s world (particularly as a woman). As always, if you’re in emotional distress, there are resources to help: 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat
- A Song A Day Patreon: There’s no easy transition from that heavy topic, so forgive me for that. You’ve heard me brag on my genius friend Shannon’s curation service, A Song A Day. In Shannon’s own words, “It’s grown to 45 active curators (and many alumni), ~6,500 subscribers, and 4 shows, 3 benefits…” and it needs our help! Check out the Patreon campaign, share it on your social networks and please do whatever you can to keep ASAD alive 😀
- #JLWebWed: The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) offers regular webinars for its members, on a variety of topics, from women’s rights to emotional intelligence and more. I was pumped for today’s session about building social media strategies, and even more excited to learn our presenter was from Daytona Beach! Darlynn Tacinelli provided excellent advice and thoughtful answers to our many questions. Way to represent the 386, Darlynn!
- “Believer” – Imagine Dragons: Any song that starts with “First things first” has me hooked, let’s be honest. I can’t quite place who or what this jam reminds me of, but I’ll keep listening until I can. And with 30 million-plus views of the music video, either lots of others are trying to figure it out or they’re just as hooked as I am. Enjoy!
In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”
The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.
By 30, you should have…
8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you.
When I first read this week’s challenge, I thought: Well, duh. Who else would have access to my email, voicemail or bank account?
I was quick to learn, though, this is about more than having a few things private to yourself. It’s about what we share of ourselves and what we keep to ourselves.
Jacquelyn Mitchard writes about how quick we (especially as women) are to share our experiences, insights and perspectives. But what are we left with when we share everything? Mitchard asserts that if we spend our time focused on listening, rather than talking, we stand to gain more than when we divulge endless pieces of us.
I see Mitchard’s point, maybe more clearly after the past year than I would have before: When we give away so much of ourselves, whether in conversation or on social media, we don’t always allow room for us to take things in.
I’ve struggled with privacy concerns on this blog over the past six years, because I haven’t wanted to give away too much of myself to the world. Knowing full well I’m nowhere near a celebrity’s status, there are still many pieces of my life I don’t want to be known via Google search. Forget sordid college memories — I mean as basic as what I do for a living or where I reside. It’s all a balance of wanting to connect with anyone who’s reading, without opening myself up to be the inspiration for an episode of “Law & Order: SVU.”
What’s easy to forget in our share-everything world is how much of a luxury it is to have privacy. We’re quick to post where we’re going, who we’re with, what we’re doing, what we’re eating, how we’re spending — everything but our social security numbers — in a Facebook update, Snapchat story, Instagram post or tweet. Hell sometimes, it’s on all networks at once!
And I’m not saying we should close ourselves off from the world, refraining from any social interaction for fear of repercussion. Instead, I think it’s a lesson in practice to think before you post (or share in person), to ask yourself why you want to share this piece of information:
What’s the motivation? Is it to brag? To vent? To not feel so alone? Whatever it is, can you get those feelings validated by another means? Can you keep things to yourself you otherwise might not have, because you recognize they’re only lessening your value, not enhancing it?
Clearly, this week’s theme raised a lot of questions for me, so I’m curious to know your take — if you’re so willing to publicly comment 😉 What’s your philosophy on sharing, whether it’s in person or online? What types of things will you always share, versus always keep to yourself?
I follow mostly friends and dogs on Instagram, with a few celebrities thrown in for good measure. Recently, I saw posts on my feed tagged with #IAmMoreThan, accompanied with an inspirational story and beautiful photo. Turns out, this campaign was started by none other than the Insta-queen herself, Kylie Jenner.
Jenner has more than 35 million followers (as of today’s writing) and is using that social-media power for good: She began this anti-bullying campaign to showcase people who’ve overcome bullying and can prove they’re “more than” what they’ve been teased for.
From plus-size women to those suffering from rare genetic diseases, there’s a relatable story for every person who’s felt shamed for something, often out of their own control.
Personally, I applaud Jenner for shining a spotlight on the strength it takes to persevere beyond your tormentors. I’ve been on both sides of the bullying coin, and it’s taken years for me to face each path.
I developed physically in 3rd grade (well before most of my female peers) and was teased endlessly through the years because of my body, reddish hair, dark freckles, fair skin, huge glasses, awkward braces … you name it.
My parents had differing suggestions: Dad took the “toughen up, soldier” approach, while mom encouraged quick comebacks and a sharp wit. I took the latter route to the extreme, becoming a bully myself while I used humor as a defense mechanism. If I could hurt them before they hurt me, I thought, I won’t be so miserable.
This led to me being quite the mean girl all the way through high school — often friendly enough with various groups but never dare letting anyone get close enough to see the real, genuine me.
The vulnerable girl who hated her large chest and freckled skin.
The funny girl who overdeveloped a sharp tongue and tough exterior.
The sad girl who contemplated how easy it’d be to just end the pain.
I’m not saying adolescence is a walk in the park for anyone — and Lord knows, I’m thankful every day that I went through my most awkward years without social media or the Internet to document it all. Kids today who struggle with cyberbullies have seemingly no escape from the ridicule, the nasty names, the constant cattiness.
It’s my hope that with campaigns like #IAmMoreThan, people of all ages will feel more comfortable in their own skin and proud of their “flaws.” I wouldn’t expect it from a Kardsahian clan member, but I’m sure glad she’s using her soapbox for good.
The days stretch out longer in anticipation of more sunlight, warmer weather and fewer layers. At least, that’s how most of the country feels. I’m pretty pleased with the year-round climate here that allows for #basic sweaters and boots err’day. And when I’m not talking about weather, I have these other tricks up my bedazzled sleeves:
- Secret SF: I’ve recently joined this Facebook Group that promotes all things San Francisco. Whether it’s about restaurants, exercise, dog parks — you name it! There’s something for everyone looking to find their own little slice of SF heaven. Check it out, peeps!
- ANYTHING but “The Dress”: A tireless and ridiculous social-media debate got heated last week and is still going. Was it about gay marriage or socioeconomic differences or domestic violence or anything thought provoking at all? NO. It was about the fugliest dress I’ve ever seen. Sometimes, I hate my generation.
- The Fox Theater: A good friend invited me to a show at this iconic venue in Oakland, and I was nothing short of amazed. The acoustics were bumping, the lighting concepts had me in awe, aaaand I didn’t even have to smoke any herbz to feel like I was transported to another time!
- “Ghost Modern” Album – Geographer: That stunning show I witnessed was put on by none other than Geographer, an indie rock band with a super-hot frontman. Their sound is kind of futuristic-folksy, and I’m devouring as much of the pre-release album play I can get.
I’m so pumped for Friday, when I’ll finally have cable and Internet installed at home and can rejoin civilization! Exciting stuff, you guys. I’ve managed to keep busy sans-DVR, though, thanks to these four finds:
- “Gone Girl”: I devoured the book in less than 24 hours, so it’s no surprise I loved the big-screen version starring dreamboat Ben Affleck. It’s 2.5 hours of entertainment, so you can actually justify the $20 for a ticket and popcorn!
- Dim Sum Club: I stumbled upon this new restaurant in my neighborhood the other night, and “obsessed” is an understatement. The Shanghai Soup Dumplings (among others) are to die for. I’m drooling just thinking about them! #normal
- Breast Cancer Foundation Awareness: This brilliant campaign from DDB Singapore highlights what our generation’s priorities should be when it comes to checking things out — ladies, protect your girls!
- “All About that Bass” – Meghan Trainor: Ahh, it’s another upbeat pop hit that gets me in a dancing mood. Who am I lately? Answer: A happier version of me that’s all about that bass, no treble.
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