Weakness

Weakness

I’m 5 foot 2. 107 pounds. Probably can’t do a pull up. Not that I would be one to try. One thing I’ve never been described as in my life is strong.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told to speak louder, be more authoritarian, stop being so nice. I’ve been told to lean in, stand up, take up more space, take charge, say no.

The older I get and in the more competitive environments I find myself and at the higher level I succeed; the more frequent the comments have become. I am told to be a good leader, I need to stop being “weak”. While much of that advice was well-meaning, it is disempowering. And it is false.

When they say weak, they’re talking about the moments that I listen instead of speak, think instead of raise my hand, process instead of stand up, acknowledge instead of interrupt. Again and again and again.

And for once, my introverted and introspective character breaks and I actually just want to scream at all of them: they are wrong.

My interest in hearing others out is absolutely not a lack of confidence in my own ability. My tolerance is not passiveness. Do not confuse my kindness for submission.

Do not confuse my true strengths for “weakness”.

It takes strength to shut up. To observe. To forgive. To trust. To choose the war over the battle. To serve.

For so long, power has looked like man. Loud, big, competitive. A man painted by men. Just because it’s our history, that does not mean it should be our future.

We need to speak and we need to listen. Stand up and lean down to lift other. Join in in harmony and stay silent for someone else’s solo. Give opinions and receive feedback. There is a time for speaking up and standing out and taking up all of the space and interrupting when you haven’t had the chance to be heard. But let’s not confuse all of these things for inherent strength just because they’re loud.

Stop telling leaders who don’t look or sound exactly like the ones that you’ve always been used to, that they are doing it wrong. Stop telling boys to stop crying and girls to speak louder. Maybe we wouldn’t need to speak so damn loud if anyone else stopped talking long enough to listen.

There is so much strength in listening, understanding, silence, crying, feeling, apologizing. These are not female or male characteristics, these are human.

Stop calling all of my strength, weakness.

Thrift Haul #3

July was a mess of heat, estate sales and popsicles for me. I wanted to share some of my most recent second-hand finds at various garage sales/thrift stores/flea markets with you for inspo!

IMG_6991One of my favorite most recent items! I’m into oriental-style decorative art and this little bud vase is amazing.

IMG_7005Another thing I tend to gravitate towards is feminine motifs. I think it’s super fascinating how different cultures/times portrayed women and my room is now covered in strong femme examples. This one is from a Pacific island circa mid-70s.

IMG_7003

IMG_6994

IMG_6995 I’m a sucker for kitschy and unnecessary little things like this but how beautiful is the dragonfly motif?

IMG_7004Lamps are inexplicably expensive even at Target. This little marble guy was a $1.50 and I’ll throw on a little white shade.

IMG_6994IMG_7001IMG_6993Mugs. Big fan. Always. Need. More.

IMG_7000

IMG_7008

IMG_7002Kitchenware is a great thing to pick up for cheap at garage sales. It’s usually in almost perfect condition and kitchen shit can get really expensive even at Ikea. I also prefer the vintage styles.

IMG_7006

IMG_6989Okay so I don’t yet have a coffee table, but I still buy coffee table books. Aesthetically pleasing books that you’ll probably never read but MUST have as a respectable Gen Z’er are everywhere at second hand markets. I loved this little houseplant book cover and the vintage dictionary circa 1950 was too cool for me to pass up. Anthropologie would probably charge you $30 for one of these tbh.

IMG_7009IMG_7010

This jacket. I saw it and fell in love. I can actually picture the bleach-blonde teenage girl working at the diner wearing this jacket decades ago. Best part of all: the shop owner sold it to me for $10. This is going to be a favorite this fall and I love the story that it tells.

Amazon Prime Picks

I’m a huuuuuuge Amazon fan. Because there’s nothing like semi-instant gratification for a Gen X-er as well as options, options, options. And when they probably take over everything and the Earth is ruled by Amazon Echos gone rogue, I may regret these purchases but until then I will keep hitting Proceed to Checkout and demanding nothing less than 2-day shipping. Check out some of my favorite recent Amazon Prime purchases:

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 8.40.53 AM

The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution, 1.69 Fl Oz

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 8.44.56 AM

Del Mex Classic Mexican Falsa Blanket Vintage Style (Fiesta)

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 8.47.32 AM

Jelly Comb 2.4G Slim Wireless Mouse with Nano Receiver Less Noise, Portable Mobile Optical Mice for Notebook, PC, Laptop, Computer, Macbook – White and Gold

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 8.48.16 AM

Mkono Macrame Plant Hanger Hanging Planter Wall Art

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 8.46.10 AM

Waist Bag Women Rivets Leather Chest Belt Fanny Pack Bags Casual Handbag Red Black

Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 10.40.13 AM.png

LEISURE ARTS Cafà Letter Board | Includes 145 Black Letters, Numbers and Symbols

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 8.50.35 AM

Carvapet Luxury Soft Faux Sheepskin Chair Cover Seat Cushion Pad Plush Fur Area Rugs for Bedroom, 2ft x 3ft, White

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 8.51.27 AM

Regal Home Collections English Manor Lacey Pinsonic Quilt (Full/Queen) – Assorted Colors (White)

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 8.52.14 AM

Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook – Plain Pages – Red

 

ps. I don’t make money off these links or anything! Doin’ it just because I’m lazy and love convenience!

Thrift Diary #2

I’m still working on finding my favorite thrift places in Columbus but I recently went to Volunteers of America on Indianola and found some goods. Check it out for inspo for what to look for on your next trip:

IMG_4653

This little pot/container/thing was made in Japan in 1978 and I just threw a plant in it! ($0.99)

IMG_4615

An ASOS culotte jumpsuit that works for actually every single occasion this summer. ($1.99)

IMG_4624

A midi black dress that can be belted, dressed up/down and even work-appropriate. ($1.99)

IMG_4640

These shirts are huge at places like Urban Outfitters right now and you can DIY for an eighth of the price with a men’s floral buttondown! ($0.99)

IMG_4636

A black and tan striped midi dress. So 90’s, layer over a white shirt for true Carrie Bradshaw vibes. ($1.99)

IMG_4649

This beautiful, soft blue chair was $11 (!!!) and though I definitely did not have room for it in my car and had to drive home with it hanging haphazardly out of my trunk, I needed it. Thrift stores are my favorite for vintage furniture that’s high quality and adds so much character to a space.

 

Happy hunting!!!

Not Your Mother’s Study Abroad Advice

Not Your Mother’s Study Abroad Advice

You’ve heard them say it. “When I was abroad…” Everyone cringes (including the person who said it) and you carry on. The thing about things that everyone claims are life changing, is that they are. Even if you don’t think it will be. Here are the things that mattered to me. That changed my life. That might change yours. And then you can be that guy who talks about their experiences abroad and everyone cringes but you smile anyways.

  • buy things at the grocery store that you don’t recognize
  • order things off the menu even if you dont know what they are
  • ride public transit
  • follow local news
  • volunteer teaching English
  • make friends who aren’t American
  • wear real clothes to class
  • walk!
  • go up to the highest place in every city you go
  • don’t overpack
  • read local authors
  • write it down
  • collect postcards, they’re easy to transport
  • don’t rush
  • do your research before you go to a new city
  • don’t forget to call your mom and dad
  • take pictures
  • sometimes forget to take pictures and just look
  • avoid going to same Irish pub in every single city
  • try McDonald’s in every country
  • don’t forget to sleep
  • take vitamins
  • go to a trivia night, you will know nothing and that’s good
  • sometimes just sit in a cafe and listen
  • open heart, soul, mind
  • tell your professors thank you in their native language
  • study sometimes
  • repeat outfits
  • be alone occasionally
  • take naps
  • if you have the chance, stay with locals
  • know that bad things will inevitably happen and it’s okay
  • dance as much as you can

Thrift Diary #1

Every summer I like to set intentions or I will literally lay on the couch watching Sex and the City for three months. This year one of my intentions is to thrift more and shop fast fashion less. If I’m good, thrift only, shop fast fashion never. When I was in high school I used to thrift all the time and I actually found so many of my favorite unique pieces at random Goodwill stores in bins or shoved into corners. As I’ve gotten older and lazier, I’ve strayed away from thrift stores and opted for the Forever 21s and Zaras of the world. But this summer I want to get back into thrifting and encourage you to as well because there’s like 8 billion benefits to this hobby. Here’s 6 of them:

  • Environmentally Friendly
    • Clothing production uses valuable resources like water, crude oil, nonrenewable energy and creates nasty byproducts like toxic gas. There are harmful pesticides used to grow cotton that wreak havoc on the surrounding ecosystems. New clothes travel long distances to reach the customer, creating huge amounts of transportation-related pollution. By buying second hand, the demand for new clothing that is not sourced decreases and so does your carbon footprint.
  • Socially Just
    • Fast fashion is often (if not always) produced in questionable working conditions in countries that offer cheap labor. Women and children are subjected to extremely low pay, ridiculous work hours, unsafe work conditions and offered no voice for change. When you purchase at a thrift store, this consequence has been absorbed by the original owner and it’s one less item that you will be purchasing from a fast fashion store. (However, wearing a branded item with a unethical company’s logo is still an advertisement for a organization that sucks!)
  • Supports programming
    • Many thrift stores also do a lot of good in their communities by hiring unemployed/disabled/homeless employees with that may not otherwise be able to find a job, donating unsold clothing to homeless shelters or donating funds for humanitarian aid.
  • Dolla dolla bills y’all
    • This one is obvious but you save sooooo much money thrifting and that’s more money to dedicate towards ice cream and disgustingly expensive skincare products because we’re ballin’ on a budget here.
  • Unique pieces
    • You can find some wild shit in a thrift store and typically much higher quality than you would ever see at Forever 21. There are fantastic leather jackets that sat in a chic old woman’s closet for 20 years and are now vintage gold. Brand name pieces from suburban housewives and funky old man shirts that you crop and wear to day drinks. I’ve found designer pieces and sooooo many vintage items that you would pay a billion dollars for at Urban Outfitters.
  • Okay, actually it’s so fun!!!!
    • To me, it’s a game. I might be the only person who in the world who loves National Treasure but in Goodwill I am Nick Cage. In a good way. If there is one.

The hardest part of thrifting is sifting through all the junk to find the diamonds in the rough. Sometimes you might spend an hour or two at a store and only walk out with one item.  It can be hard to know what to look for and where to find things in a giant, overwhelming place that smells like mothballs. (Fun fact: I actually love the smell of mothballs). Here are some pieces I found in my last Goodwill trip for inspiration and to help you get started on your scavenger hunt:

IMG_3364

Aunts, grandmas and moms love stripes and this summer, I do too. There’s five million striped shirts at Goodwill and they’re easy to crop for a more modern and less grandma look.

 

IMG_3365

I always look in the denim section for cool 90s mom jeans like these. I found my favorite pair of vintage Levis at a thrift store and these with the funky hardware detailing are a new found love.

IMG_3354

I look for home goods at thrift stores a lot because the price comparison can be insane. A desk lamp on Amazon costs at least $15 and this one was $2.99!

IMG_3363

Everyone loves a classic band tee and the best way to get the vintage worn look, is to literally buy a vintage worn shirt. You can crop, tuck or tie these and they typically go for around $3.

IMG_3353

I look out for these silver trays or other decorative pieces because I love them for keeping sunglasses, perfume, nail polish, all of the shit that’s been sitting on your desk for the past 3 months, etc.

IMG_3355

I always, always look in the sweater racks even in mid-June because you can find some keepers in here! I found this Ralph Lauren sweater for $4 last week.

 

Happy hunting kids!

What Surprised Me Most

What Surprised Me Most

what surprised me most is how not different we are. i pictured far away places where everything was crazy and odd and strange. but when i got there it wasn’t that crazy or odd or strange. people were still laughing and going to school and wanting to be around more people. buses still roared and kids still threw tantrums and two old ladies still sat in the cafes gossiping. businessmen still strutted in navy suits and babies still waved behind embarrassed moms and middle school boys still made a scene on the metro. everyone was still running towards a thing or studying for a test or looking really hard for something somewhere. there are different food and buildings and sounds and pants and all kind of things i thought there would be but underneath there are still busy, scared, searching humans that might not understand what i mean when i say excuse me but know exactly what i’m saying when i point at gelato.