Hello, unicorns. Yes, I still have a blog. I’m surprised I even remembered my password. It’s truly the small victories nowadays, y’all.
How are you? How are you holding up? How’s everything been? How’s life? All questions we’ve all probably been asked or have asked during the last five months. And after about 150 days in quarantine, I’ve merely been resorting to answering all of those questions with:
I seriously don’t even know how to answer those questions anymore. It’s like I have nothing to complain about. But at the same time there are so many things I’m angry about, ’cause ya know *gestures at the state of the world.* Like AM I ok? AM I good? I am. But AM I?
And with people mostly being torn between discovering new hobbies like making bread or tie-dyeing everything and simply *BEING* during the pandemic, I’ve mostly just focused on surviving. This, for example, feels slightly foreign to me now — in spite of writing for a living. Although, you can’t really compare writing commercials and CTAs to writing a blog post without specs. It’s been so embarrassingly long since I’ve last let my creative juices take me where they truly desire. So, please forgive me if this post seems vapid … let me work on getting somewhere more decent.
And my slight existential crisis is not to say my ~suffering is ANYWHERE near what other people have been through before and during the pandemic. And welp, let’s not even mention the generational trauma that’s going to impact so many people after this is all over … *shudders*
I turned 29 back in June and it honestly felt like it didn’t even happen? Celebrating anything felt weird in the midst of a long-overdue awakening to the horrors of the long-standing systemic oppression and racism that has plagued the U.S. since …well, FOREVER. Not to mention we’re in A PATHETICALLY AND ABSOLUTELY IRRESPONSIBLY HANDLED PANDEMIC?
Chaotic is the main word that comes to mind when I try to describe what the better part of 2020 has felt like. Adjusting to the new normal has been quite the ride. Between convincing myself that I have COVID-19 probably at least four times throughout the last few months (it was anxiety) and arguing with people in my DMs about some “all lives matter” bullshit, I’ve been trying harder to actively become a better human.
I hope for the end of the pandemic; for a working, safe vaccine; for the dismantling of an inherently racist and oppressive system that simply cannot be reformed; for my family and friends to continue to stay safe from COVID-19; for actual economic relief for people everywhere; for kids in cages at the border to be reunited with their parents; for rent and mortgage freezes; for a ban on evictions; for police to stop killing black people; for white supremacists to be called out for what they are; for workplaces to actually take care of their employees; for more of us to begin embracing the concept of eating the rich; for people to realize that COVID-19 is disproportionately killing black and brown people; for anti-maskers and people who think this is a hoax to be taught a lesson; and, man, so much more.
I’m happy to see that it seems like some us are taking this time to unpack and unlearn ideas and beliefs that are anti-black, anti-trans, anti-fat and more that have been ingrained deeply in our brains — some even without us even knowing. And if you haven’t started, it’s time. How have I been doing it? Reading. Learning. Listening. Watching. Speaking to people. Making sure I surround myself — on social media and in real life — with voices that are different than mine and amplify those voices. The voices of black women. Brown women. Asian women. Trans men and women. Submerging myself in the incredible work some amazing people are doing. Feeling uncomfortable in things I didn’t realize I wasn’t thinking about. Recognizing my privilege. Recognizing where I’ve only been passively not racist. Recognizing where I didn’t speak up when I should have. Recognizing why it took me so long to even start posting about current issues and talking about them on social media. Recognizing that being not racist isn’t enough. Learning to be ANTI-RACIST.
Really, dismantling systemic racism and white supremacy shouldn’t even be a debate. It’s not about politics, it’s about human lives. It takes commitment and work. It’s not a switch you can just flip and be done with. Becoming a better person is an ongoing process where you WILL fuck up, you WILL stumble, you WILL be wrong, you WILL be uncomfortable — and that’s OK. What matters is that you stay receptive to those trying to correct you and teach you (And thank them — or actually pay them — because it’s not their job.); that you sit with that feeling of uncomfortableness and actually recognize WHY you feel that way — THAT’S WHERE THE UNPACKING AND UNLEARNING HAPPENS! And that you realize that most of us are at the very beginning of our journeys when others have been doing the work for YEARS. It’s also important that you don’t give up because this process of learning and growing never ends.
And if you don’t know where to begin your own journey, try starting here: alittlebrittoffun.com/anti-blackness/. Brittany has been doing the work for YEARS and I admire the realness with which she approaches all subjects. She’s one of my favorite content creators and the effort she puts into her blog, feed and story posts is obvious and incredibly admirable. I highly suggest you start your journey there because it’s a great resource. Read her blog series and check out her monthly action items, her AMAZING deep dives and her weekly polls.
Then, maybe find some organizations to whom you want to donate. Consider making it a monthly donation — if you have the means of course. These are some organizations I’ve donated to: Black Aids Institute, Fronterizx Fianza Fund, The Sato Project, Minnesota Freedom Fund, Black Lives Matter OKC, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, and Border Angels. Do your own research on the millions of organizations that you can donate to and find the one you connect to. You can also check how the organization scores on charitynavigator.com.
Then, start diversifying your Instagram feed and for fuck’s sake create a Twitter account because that’s where it’s all happening. Here are some profiles on Instagram and Twitter that I follow and have found educational or informative:
Black Lives Matter
So You Want to Talk About
Bree Newsome Bass
Attn: White People
The Guerilla Feminist
El Paso Matters
Texas Rising UTEP
Shit You Should Care About
Know My Ballot
If you have other profiles that you think more people should know about, feel free to leave it in the comments down below or direct message them to me! And as always, make sure you do your own research on the issues on top of reading some of these easy-to-digest graphic slideshows or tweets. Don’t forget that Google is free and should be used frequently. Also make sure that you diversify where you consume your news! It’s a good idea to read news from a variety of sources — national AND international. And lastly, buckle up because it’s going to be a long ride.
I certainly don’t have it all figured out. I’m not perfect and I’m definitely constantly learning. These are only a few things I’m doing to become a better human being inspired by the people doing the damn thing! You can definitely find your own actionable way to use your privilege. This post doesn’t even begin to reach into the complexities of it all, but hopefully it plants a seed and compels someone to dig deeper.
Staying on top of everything happening in the world at one moment can get overwhelming. But something the pandemic and several lovely people online have reminded me of is that finding things to be grateful for every day makes everything a little bit better. It gives you some perspective, at least. You should try it too. And these are some of the things that have brought me joy or that I’m grateful for throughout the last few months:
Playing CoD III Zombies Chronicles for HOURS with my sister
@Beforeandafterflips on Instagram
Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips
All of Chloe & Halle’s Ungodly Hour
Black is King (Duh)
My dog Mowgli
I May Destroy You on HBO Max (Michaela Coel is a genius)
Re-binging RHOBH and RHOA episodes.
Running at 6:30 a.m. on most days
Drinking Truly hard seltzers
My mom’s food
My dad’s humor
My sister’s wisdom and Capricorn realness
Beyonce’s Homecoming film AND live album
Drunk cooking with my sister
Queso Hustle’s classic queso
My running playlist titled “Bad Bitch Anthems“
Looking at houses I can’t afford online
Trying out new recipes (I COOK NOW!)
Wearing the same hoodie three days in a row
Learning how to make a croque monseiur
Picking back up on learning Portuguese on Duolingo
Dorit Kemsley’s outfits this season on RHOBH
Arranging my first charcuterie board (pictures to follow)
Lorde’s Melodrama in its entirety on repeat on repeat on repeat
Not having to wear a bra
Loving my sans makeup face more and more each day
Learning about sidereal astrology
Being able to work from home
Enjoying my solitude
Rewatching the Twilight movie series for the first time in a LONG TIME
Reaching savings goals
“WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion
Rewatching Sailor Moon in its entirety
So, yeah. That’s where we’re at in this here very strange 2020. Or at least, that’s where I’m at. I’m obviously not traveling right now, and I don’t really know where I want to take this blog, but I definitely want to use this space a lot more because writing this fed my soul. Hopefully something in this post peaked your interest or at least made you question why I think I can write hahaha. The end.
P.S. WEAR A MASK.