Category Archives: Let’s Be Adults

What we Choose

10th November 2016

On the morning of November 8th, I stumbled out of bed before the sun, laced up my Nikes and headed out the door to Ashford Park Elementary school. I arrived to a snaking line of quiet people. I hoped they didn’t mind my sweaty face. At least I brushed my teeth.

A few minutes later, a kind woman named Janice handed me a voter card. Maybe it was the endorphins kicking in, but there was something profoundly special to be had by standing in a voting booth at 7:15 am.

Let’s recount. I ran here. No one stopped me on the street. I never feared for my safety jogging in the dark. I arrived at the polling place. No one hassled me. I was handed a voter card. No one tried to keep me from expressing my opinion. And then I clicked a button on a screen for the candidate of my choice. No one forced my hand. And you know what, I got to choose a WOMAN as President of the United States of America.

No matter which side of the aisle you sit on, let’s not forget how incredible important every step of that routine was. You were given the freedom to make your own decision. Your choice wasn’t dictated to you by your race, your gender, your religion or someone else’s opinion. Your choice was in fact, yours.

November 9th was a little tougher to swallow. I’m sad. I’m angered. I’m tired. As the sun set yesterday, I forced myself to pull those Nikes back out of the closet and lace up, because, hey, endorphins.

This morning, my outlook is a little different than it was 48 hours ago. Maybe I’m reaching a new state of grief 😉 Here’s the conclusion: no man or woman in the White House is going to dictate how I spend today, tomorrow, or next week and nor should they any of us.

The best way to move forward is to choose to move forward. For me, that means I’ll choose to love, including those with whom I disagree or don’t understand. I’ll choose to listen, including to ideas I find troublesome. I’ll choose to talk and read and learn and act. I’ll choose to lift up the little girl with a dream and tell her she’s valued, she’s equal, she matters and she can do whatever the heck she wants to do. I’ll keep choosing.

We have work to do. It’s going to take time to put this one behind us. But guess what, we all get play a part in that work. We get to choose how to move forward. For millions of people around the world, choosing isn’t a reality. Let’s not forget that. This isn’t Donald’s work. Or Hillary’s work. It’s all of ours. Let’s put on our big girl pants and choose to make the world a better place. Together.

To my baby sister on her 21st birthday

25th March 2016

I don’t recall begging our parents for another sibling. I had one of those. He was my dinosaur bone seeking, bike ramp building, lava monster avoiding, best friend.

But the day you arrived, that changed.

It was a different kind of Christmas morning to wake up and have your aunt share the news: you were big siblings and a baby sister was coming home. We had never been prouder, Erik and I.

As you began to walk, talk, run and pull bows out of your hair, it became clear that we were destined to be opposites. I coveted dresses, you despised them. I kept shy, you stole the show. For years, our relationship was grounded more often in yelling than rainbows and hugs.

We heard it over, over and over again: someday she’ll be your best friend.

I can report that bit is true, moms never make mistakes. Here we are, not tiptoeing, but sauntering through our twenties, side by side. I had an inkling we would reach this point, but no amount of family stories can prepare you for what I’ve encountered.

You are my opposite in nearly every way, and I thank God every day for that. In some way, with seven less years on this Earth, you’ve taught us all more than a thing or two and for that, thank you.

Thank you for reminding me to never accept anything but the best. Be that friends, former boyfriends, or a great pair of shoes. Never lose your incredibly high standards, the rest of the world could stand to meet them.

Thank you for showing me that confidence is the best thing a girl can wear. You astonish us all with your ability to command a room, hold your head high and stand your ground, no matter who or what you are up against.

Thank you for constantly pulling me back down to earth and stressing the importance of a good day spent in bed, wearing leggings instead of pants and reminding me that yes, it can wait, Sweet Home Alabama is on T.V.

As you celebrate your 21st birthday, my wish for you is to never cease your ability to make us all to be a little braver, more rambunctious and more compassionate in every moment we encounter. Cheers to endless taco date nights, champagne toasts, movie nights and crossing our fingers that no soul encounters our judgmental gif conversations.

7,671 days after day one, I’m just as proud to wear that big sister title, if only I still had a t-shirt to go with it. Happy Birthday.

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How I’m surviving Serial Season Two

13th December 2015

There was a time when I was one of those focused runners who could run sans music or distraction of any kind. During the past few years, that dedication has slowly slipped away and the headphones find their way into my pack far more often than I like to admit. The “you’re not training for a race, just stop and take a break to take pictures” habit has also worked its way into my running routine, but I digress.

Headphones started as a means for talking on the phone to pass the time, progressed to Nike’s Spotify playlists, and for the past few months, have settled on podcasting.

Call it a funk, or a cure to one, but having someone feed stories into my headphones almost makes running feel like the by-product.

It wasn’t until this afternoon, two miles into a run, when the first episode of Serial Season Two came to an abrupt end and I was reminded of this terrible truth:

One story. Told week by week.

I jumped on the Serial bandwagon late. This translates to: I had the luxury of listening to every episode at my heart’s content. Unless someone hold my patience hostage, reality suggests that waiting for a full season of stories is not likely.

In the event that you also find yourself in the same Sarah Koenig, week by week void, here are a few of my other favorites to help you fill the time.

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Invisibilia

“The invisible forces that control human behavior, ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions.”

This series had me rushing out the door and adding miles just to race to the next episode. If you’re not quite sold, start with episode three, “How to Become Batman.” You’ll be brainstorming DIY superhuman skill tests before the 59 minutes are up.

The Lively Show

“Add a little extra intention to your everyday.”

Jess sucked me in with her exclusive on Young House Love earlier this year. Her topics are simple, yet leave you feeling like you can conquer the world.

The EntreLeadership Podcast 

“Grow yourself, your team and your profits.”

Don’t let the business-y focus of this one scare you. These guys know how to tell great stories and they dig into the personal histories of some of business’ best known leaders in a truly valuable way. Episode #115 with Walt Disney World Resort’s former Executive Vice President of Operations Lee Cockerell is a personal favorite.

What have I missed? Any other favorites out there? Preferably anything that plays into binge listening, my sneakers thank you in advance.