Thoughts: Oh (em gee).

I have always been bad at ignoring the obvious, so I will go ahead and acknowledge upfront that the world is on fire and, like most fires, it burns and it’s scary but at times it can also be dazzling to watch. We have to remind ourselves that in all its potential destruction, fires also produce good stuff. Like warmth. And the deliciousness of candles. And s’mores. (Cue the Covid marshmallow shortage…)

The kindling right now consists of so many things. Most current and visibly (because tragedies in 2020 only get about eight seconds to shine on their own before the next one swoops in to show off, like some weird school talent show for disasters), is the Black Lives Matter movement, which perhaps sits with me differently since I am a part of the same community that this fight is of and for. We all know the words that I don’t have to say – that Black people have been disposable, mistreated, abused – in America since the moment America was even the beginnings of a “thing,” so I won’t say all that here. What I will say is that I am cautiously optimistic because something about this moment feels mobile and different, something about the actions being taken as a society and the conversations we are having as individuals feel like they matter just a little more than what I’ve lived to see before.

Then there was the step backwards announced yesterday for the LGBTQ community and their healthcare rights, during gay pride month, on the anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub hate massacre. A painful and disappointing step on its own, even if you remove all the adjectives from my previous sentence. And as hard and overwhelming as it is to keep up with injustices to one group when you’re busy fighting against injustices for another, we have to care about both. We have to talk about both. We have to support people, not just movements, not just moments, and challenge ourselves to be allies when it’s not breaking news, too. So that news is also shit. And it also matters.

I also think that maybe there is a pandemic still going on? But I’m not super sure because everything is opening again and we basically stopped talking about it like those super progressive couples who ignore all the shitty parts of their relationships because if we don’t acknowledge it, it goes away?

So, yeah, idk.

What I do know is that this post is not designed to be one where I spend all my words talking about that stuff. I can’t ignore it, but I can also take a break for a second. I think we could all use it. Because in addition to the little fires everywhere (ok, I swear I wrote that on accident but now that it’s there, I’ll just say it’s really worth a watch on Hulu), we are also approaching a very real mental health catastrophe in this country and we need to take care of ourselves, people.

So, GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA (is this social media? Ok, read this post first and then get off social media) and try some other stuff for the seconds when you need it. Some stuff like what I’m including below. Ready? Go…

  • Banana Bread Baking. Alright, so everyone in the entire world is doing this right now but it doesn’t hurt people or contribute to the world’s problems in any negative way so why not do it, too? I’m pretty sure those are my pre-reqs these days to do just about anything. Anyways, some of my agency partners sent me this video the other day that made me lollll, while we were in the midst of discussing all the different banana breads we’d baked. Anywho, I baked this one by Chrissy Teigen and it was delicious and got me off of Twitter for an hour so…double win.
  • Wow, no, thank you. No, this isn’t just me speaking the way I always do, but it’s this really fun essay book by Samantha Irby that I highly recommend to make you LAUGH. What’s laughing? You’ll recognize it once you do it again! It’ll be like riding a bike, I promise. And these essays have honestly made me laugh out loud so many times and I still have so many more to read. It’s just a smart, lighthearted read about Irby’s experiences consuming aspirational content while being a normal human being, and considering how much of a moment Black authors are having right now (please keep reading what Black people write when it’s not “trendy” anymore, ok?), why not give this one a try?
  • Love Island U.K. On the other end of the spectrum from human rights and firestorms, sits Love Island U.K. (LIUK forever onward). It’s honestly just a bunch of hot people with U.K. accents “trapped” in a luxurious villa for six weeks during the summer while the “outside world” watches and votes on really deep topics like which boys are hot enough to enter the villa next and which people they are tired of watching and want to send home. The goal is basically to not get sent home, and find true love, and ultimately win some cash. Why is it great? Because trash TV is great. Also because there are like six season and each season is legitimately ~40+ hour long episodes so you will never, ever get through it all. (If you have, I’m not judging whatsoever. You are an inspiration. Teach us your ways.)
  • Meditate. I promise it’s not as hard as it sounds (doesn’t it sound hard?). Anyone can do it, including me (or you!), and apps like Calm make it really easy and really accessible and it’s good for you, especially right now. So try it?
  • Go On Walks. Outside is a pretty cool place that I think we forget exists sometimes! So go there. And like, stay there for longer than the amount of time it takes to get into your car. Besides, wearing sunglasses is a confidence boost in and of itself, I’m pretty sure.
  • Register To Vote. Idc what you think (ok, yes I do), but you are kind of a psycho if you can see everything that’s going on right now and not care enough to want to cast some kind of vote in November. So, be registered? And then…actually vote? Ok, amazing, thanks so much.

Alright, that’s it from me today. Now get off social media! Unless you need to screen shot some of these ideas first so that you remember, but then get off!

Loving you all and wishing you peace.

Xo Charlene

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