Tuesday, November 22, 2016

sundays (6 days of giving).

Version 2 Version 2 DSC00147 

The last time I posted, I wrote a letter to my parents. It felt like the best thing to do in the wake of a scary, confusing, and disappointing election. Every time I go on the Internet, I discover another depressing (and terrifying) article. It can feel overwhelming and helpless and sometimes I don't even know where to begin to try and make a positive difference. And in a space like this one, I don't know what to write.

So here I am on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving with little more to say than this: just hug the people you love and promise that you won't become complacent even if that feels like the relieving option. And to really drive that point home, I've decided that for the week of Thanksgiving I will give to causes that are already hurting very deeply and need support.

Here's my timeline. Let me know what you plan to do to shed some light.

TuesdayEarthJustice || The nation's original and largest nonprofit environmental law organization.
WednesdayCamp of the Sacred Stones || Needed supplies (or donations!) for those protecting sacred lands and water supplies in North Dakota.
ThursdayACLU || For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.
FridayAnti-Defamation League || Founded in 1913 to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Today, it fights against anti-semitism and bigotry as one of the largest civil rights organizations in the country.
SaturdayBorder Angels || Border Angels is an all volunteer, non profit organization that advocates for human rights, humane immigration reform, and social justice with a special focus on issues related to the US-Mexican border.
MondayBoys & Girls Clubs of America || Every day in America, over 15 million kids (1 out of 4) are left unsupervised after school. In the summer, 43 million kids (3 out of 4) don't have access to critical summer learning programs. Boys & Girls Clubs of America believes that every kid deserves a Great Future.

Find some small way to pay it forward, friends! Find a cause that makes your heart sing and find some way to support it. Every gesture counts. Love to you all. xo

Thursday, November 10, 2016

for the ones who raised me.


Dear Mom & Dad,

I remember how we sat at the dinner table together every single night. I remember playing in the front yard. Filling a big Rubbermaid container with water for our toys' community pool. Playing baseball. Playing basketball. The time we put all our Furry Families on the van and Dad accidentally drove off, they all fell off, and we scoured his entire driving path until we found nearly every last one.

I remember conversations about being kind. Sticking by your friends. Sitting next to someone who might be alone at school. I remember the times we talked about respecting everyone. I remember dancing to this song on birthday mornings.  Eskimo kisses. Ice cream sundaes with peanuts. Singing prayers together at the dinner table. I remember Sanibel Island and the Smoky Mountains. I remember Maine and New York City. I remember camping in the middle of Point Reyes and hearing coyotes cackling to one another. I remember learning about acceptance and empathy.

And what I mostly remember is you leading by example. Living out the example you hoped we would someday carry on. Laughing in darkness. Standing brave during hard times. Tucking us in at night. Telling us you love us after every single phone call. I remember the love radiating from our home. Palpable.

Thank you.

Thank you for giving me the courage to find beauty in the many rich differences of the human experience. You are the hope and the fire and the light that I carry in my heart every single day. You are why I believe that people are mostly good and could always use a little bit more love. My gratitude to you is endless. It goes on forever and ever.


Friday, November 4, 2016

an election post (the final plea).

Photograph of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton with Socks the Cat and Buddy the Dog: 04/07/1999

I have been asked why I support Hillary Clinton about a million times during this election season, especially because I was also a Hillary supporter in the primaries.

How on earth could I support a candidate who housed a private email server and has engaged in "shady acts" throughout her entire political career?!

I have been catcalled more times than I care to remember. I have been terrified to walk my dog just after sunset. I have been followed home. Numerous (unspeakable) words have been shouted at me and I have called my dad as I ran home in fear. I have been told that I'm too flat chested. That I "could be pretty if my boobs were bigger and I had a few more curves." I have been told that I was wearing too much makeup. Or not enough. I have been told to sit down. Back up. Know my limits. Know my place. Speak softly. Be less vocal. I have been told to be flattered by exploitative comments. I have been told to soften my edges. To take up less space in this world.

And I am a privileged white woman who grew up in an environment with nearly every resource at my fingertips and I was instilled with the belief that my dreams didn't have a ceiling. I have lived a blessed existence. For many women it has been so much worse.

There is a man running for president who literally personifies all the most terrifying experiences I (and countless other women) have endured simply because I AM A WOMAN. He is unqualified and, quite frankly, out of control.

There is also a woman named Hillary Clinton who is running for president. She is strong and fierce and brave and level headed. She is also messy and imperfect. She is human. She has done and said regrettable things and she has sincerely apologized for them. She has made a promise to try harder and better. She has consistently fought for children and families. She has made mistakes and learned from them. She has championed progress for everyone, from all walks of life. And she has done so under a microscope of public opinion and scrutiny (much of that scrutiny tied directly to her womanhood). She has shown grace and class in circumstances where many might unravel or fail. That sounds like a president to me. That's why #ImWithHer.

(Photo via The U.S. National Archives)
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