6.23.20 3

Life Lately

Hi, y’all! Long time, no chat—last week, I spent the week at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina with my two sisters and two of our cousins, and we had the best time. I’m going to pull together a full travel guide for that wonderful seaside town (that hopefully will be on the blog within the next week or so!) and am excited to share one of my favorite places with you. One thing I will note is that while we were there, it almost felt like there wasn’t a pandemic going on—we were sometimes the only group wearing masks at restaurants to talk to the hosts/bartenders, mask wearing wasn’t enforced at the grocery store, and we were often the only ones hand sanitizing like crazy. At some restaurants, the servers weren’t even wearing masks (which I didn’t know was allowed?!?!). Compared to DC where things are very, very strict, this was a huge culture shock. While I understand wearing a mask can be annoying, it also is a tool that I wish more people would embrace—if we all wear masks, it’s a small way we can keep each other safe and stop the spread, thus allowing us to have the opportunity to go out and do things like enjoy a patio margarita. That being said, we did find it easy to socially distance on the beach—most people set up their umbrellas at least six feet apart anyway and everyone was respectful of each other’s space.

I honestly can’t believe that next week is July—while I really felt like March and April dragged on, May and June seem to have flown by. I’m still working from home, but it’s gotten easier now that I’m in a routine and we’ve built processes at work to enable better communication since we don’t have the benefit of overhearing each other in the office. Said simply, it’s gotten a lot easier! (Which is good, because I think we will be working from home for a looooong time.) I am still leaning towards moving back to Arlington when my lease is up as I would love a little more space to spread out—and fit a proper kitchen table and desk! I’ll likely have to give notice at the end of July, so I’ve still got some time to think about it—and I will definitely keep y’all posted!

I have a smorgasbord of things I wanted to share, so I thought it’d be fun to do a life lately post today—hope everyone is hanging in there and having a great week! x

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On My Nightstand: May 2020

Hi y’all—I was originally going to publish this post last week, but wanted to save the space to amplify Black voices and the more important conversations going on. As I said over on Instagram, while normal content may come back—the work continues, and I am excited to learn more about the history of racism in America and be better at calling it out when I see it in my everyday life. I saved everything I posted in a new “BLM” IG Stories highlight, including five books by Black authors I would highly recommend. And, if your looking to support Black owned bookstores, THIS is a great resource. (I usually borrow my books from the library, but will be using this list when I need to buy a book moving forward!)

In May, I read six books, so a few less than previous months, partially because I didn’t read as much and partially because some of the books were longer than my normal reads. However, I am still six books ahead of meeting my 2020 reading goal of 72 books. I think I’ll be able to hit it no problem, and am optimistic I might even be able to exceed it. I’m heading to the beach next week and have a big stack of books I am bringing with me that I am so excited to tear through!

As is custom on these posts, I wanted to call out that I’m part of a program where Random House will send me some of their new titles each month. I’m under no obligation to post about any titles I receive, so I really can tell you my own opinion (good or bad!) about them. I’ve starred the books Random House sent me for free below. I’m so lucky to be sent books and that’s not lost on me!

You can always follow along with what I am reading in real-time over on Goodreads—feel free to friend me there!  Read more “On My Nightstand: May 2020”


A Few Thoughts

Credit for art above is Danielle Coke, @ohhappydani on Instagram

Housekeeping note: I originally posted this message above my weekly distractions that I’ve shared every Monday during quarantine, but it didn’t feel right, so I’ve separated them into two posts. 

I outraged over the murder of George Flyod and am heartbroken for his and the countless other families mourning irreplaceable losses; being Black in America should not be a death sentence. I’ve had some tough conversations, with myself and those around me, about my white privilege—especially after watching this video that shows Black parents teaching their children how to deal with the police, a conversation I never once had with my parents growing up. There is so much more I can be doing to be a better ally to people of color, and working to dismantle and root out racism. 

I do not have all the answers, and I’m afraid of saying the wrong things. But I’d rather say something and have the opportunity to learn than not say anything at all. I wanted to share this excerpt from A Cup of Jo on becoming anti-racist—you can read her full post here.

In the words of Angela Davis, “it is not enough to be not racist, you must actively be anti-racist.” We have to actively recognize our privilege and confront racism, as well as learning and listening as much as we can. It’s not enough to just be neutral and live your life; we have to actually do the work.

One of the first steps is to realize that even people with the best intentions can be racist in some ways. We all have unconscious biases — views we’ve absorbed from society and may not even realize we hold — and we need to recognize these before we can do the work of dismantling them. “It’s not: either you’re racist or you’re not. It’s to what degree are you prejudiced, against whom, and why?” says Padma Lakshmi. “To be socially conscious, we must unlearn toxic attitudes and behavior that have been passed down to us over generations in our communities or even in our families. We all need to question our biases, educate ourselves and commit to bettering ourselves.”

“The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be an antiracist,” says writer Ijeoma Oluo. “Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.”

In addition to working to better educate myself, I also want to take action.

To start, I donated to the NCAAP Legal Defense Fund. This article has some great ideas for how you can take action, as well as other places to donate.

If you’re in DC, here is a list of Black-owned restaurants open in DC and Maryland open during the COVID-19 pandemic. And regardless of where you live, here’s a list of Black-owned businesses you can shop online. 

And, of course, a lot of the ways I plan to take action are offline: talking to my friends and family about these issues, calling out racism when I see it, and working to educate myself by listening to Black voices. 

Black lives matter.