On Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 3,128 people from 131 different countries became U.S. citizens at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and one of those people was my husband! What an exciting, proud, and heart-warming day it was.
When a Trump-sized handful of France's billionaires can pledge nearly 1B Euros in a day to reconstruct Notre Dame, that certainly puts a lot of things into perspective. When the news of Notre Dame being on fire hit me, I felt a few different emotions, some of which were conflicting. First of all, it's not the first historic building to catch on fire and needed to be rebuilt. However, there's a lot of history and it is quite emotional to watch a piece of history and culture burn. It's also a place that I, like many, have had great memories of. I was even one of many who dug up a couple old photos to share. Still, what does it say about us when people can act so quickly to save an old building, while many either ignore or are completely unaware of the millions of people they could actually be helping? Not only that, but what people choose to save and what they choose to let fall away shows us what's wrong with our society.
We all know that sleep is an important factor in our overall health, and as an active and vivid dreamer, I unfortunately do not ever really get a full night’s rest, even if I fall asleep easily and sleep for the recommended seven to eight hours. Not to mention, as a writer, I sometimes write deep into the night, because you can’t turn off inspiration and you never really know when or where it will come from, so after long hours of work, my body needs good rest. Therefore, the mattress I sleep on is incredibly important, because if it’s not comfortable, then it adds to my inability to get a full night’s rest. The right mattress, however, helps to improve my sleep.
A group of my friends and I went out one evening in Venice Beach recently, to celebrate one of my girlfriends' birthdays. After dinner we decided to hit up the bars, and had a fun night dancing. A few of my girlfriends with me that night are single, so my husband and I played "Wing-Team." It's always fun playing wing-woman, because there are no reservations about approaching anyone, but for the first time I had one of those moments where I thought, "I'm too old for this"--not so much the wing-womaning, but the scene. First of all, most people in the bar we ended up in looked like they were home for the holidays from uni. Secondly, it felt like for the first time I saw with my own eyes the lack of understanding and respect for boundaries and consent that some people have. Now, I'm sure it wasn't really the first time I had ever witnessed inappropriate and borderline behavior, but it was the first time I saw and comprehended certain behaviors to be inappropriate that I might not have at eighteen or twenty.
Prince William once said something very wise. I'm sure he has said wise things more than once, but there is one thing I heard him say that really stuck with me. He said, "We all have mental health." People oft think of therapy as a way to "fix" something, and it can be; but therapy is also like an incredible mental vitamin. If we removed the stigma from mental health, and treated it the way we do our physical, dental, and vision health, we'd all be better off. Imagine if we could have regular check-ins with our therapist. We'd all be A LOT better off.
The holidays are a joyful time, a time of love, and time we remember to cherish our loved ones near and far. For some of us, it is also a time of massive family dinners, which can be stressful. I don't know what your family is like, but as much as I love my family and our family dinners are always top notch, but they are nonetheless stressful. Sometimes it's just the pure manic of feeding 20 mouths, mom yelling, dogs running around, mom yelling some more. Sometimes some of us are having a rougher year than others and the holidays can be overwhelming or even sad. No matter what your holiday may be like this year, unless you're gallivanting off to Hawaii or having some other non-traditional and very relaxing or quiet holiday, here are a few tips to help you get through the madness of family dinners (also to be applied at Thanksgiving, Chinese New Year, big birthday celebrations, and any other large family gathering).
December is in full swing and as joyous a time it is, it can also be super chaotic. So, I'm going to give you my top tips for maintaining your sanity and holiday cheer throughout the month and therefore prevent you (hopefully) from losing your mind before we enter the new year.
I recently spoke with Mickie Zada on her podcast Surviving Abuse Network. Mickie lived in abuse for 34 years and essentially restarted her life at 50. She started Surviving Abuse Network, to create a positive and supportive space for survivors, and also offers a helpful tool for helping those who many not realize they're in an abusive relationship.
Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation is not a Surprise but Don't Worry Gen Z will Make Sure Handmaid's Tale Doesn't Become a Reality
Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation as a Supreme Court justice is not a surprise because we as a society still have centuries of misogyny and abuse of power and control to unlearn. It's sad and disappointing that still, many people do not take sexual assault seriously, but look at who's sitting in the oval office. What concerns me more after seeing Kavanaugh's and the Republican party's response is that people still support Brett Kavanaugh is that people still support him as a Supreme Court justice after he behaved completely unprofessionally and abhorrently. If they're not concerned with having a potential sexual predator serve a lifelong appointment in the highest court of our land, if they're not concerned about his position on certain major issues, his behavior and responses should have given pause to those that support him. Even the way he responded to questions about his position on different issues outside of the sexual assault accusations were concerning, though he certainly showed his true colors when being questioned about the sexual assault claims. All we saw was an entitled, privileged white man with a tiny mouth behave like a childish, egotistical maniac. Although maybe I shouldn't be surprised by that either, since again, look at who's sitting in the oval office. There's now officially a boys' club of "Tiny Mouths with Big Entitled, Privileged Egos." Despite all this, I have hope. I have hope, because I went to speak to about sixty eleventh graders at High Tech High North County in San Marcos, California--yes, that's the actual name of the high school--and these students showed me they won't let Handmaid's Tale happen to us.
One of the worst and most frustrating feelings is feeling unwelcome and disrespected in your own home, especially when that home is your country. It's hurtful and carries the level of disrespect that is inhumane. This week, Mesut Ozil, unquestionably one of the top players of my generation, announced he would no longer play international football for Germany, the country he was born and raised in and calls home, because of the increasing amount of racism and disrespect he has been receiving, particularly from the German Football Association (DFB) since he took a photo with Turkish President, Erdogan, at a London charity event in May. Ozil's family originates from Turkey and he is a practicing Muslim. In his letter, describing what has led to this difficult decision, Ozil reminds us of the deeply hurtful issue to which every minority can relate--being treated like an outsider in your own home.