Outfit of the Week: Lift Those Leaves

I haven’t done an outfit of the week in a while. Let’s face it, during this pandemic did any of us really wear things that could be construed as “outfits”? My daily clothing choices mostly consisted of pajama bottoms or sweat pants and a work-appropriate top. No accessories, not shoes, nothing really to tie to together. But I’ve started going back to the gym, and that does actually require, if not fashion-magazine worthy clothing, at least real clothing.

And I am so in love with this fall inspired workout attire that I just had to start my outfit of the week back up again.

An outfit lays on the ground. The shorts are teal with birds and leaves. The shirt is bright orange, with a black bra behind it.

I mean look at these cute shorts! That bird? The watermelon slices? The lovely orange? It’s perfection.

This patterned cloth has birds, stawberries, orange leaves, watermelon slices, and orange palm trees on it.

Shorts: I Am Becoming (IAB), no-ride 5 inch
Top: SheFit clip tank
Bra: SheFit Ultimate

In a library, a few books are open on a table with stacks of books next to them.

I read only books by authors of color for a year. Here’s what I learned.

In August 2020, I committed to spending an entire year reading books written by authors of colors. I would read nothing by a white author, with two exceptions: one book by one of my favorite authors that I had been waiting a while for, and any educational/historical books on racism that were part of work efforts (which ended up being only White Fragility). I had long ago recognized that “classic” books were male dominated – in middle school and high school, most of our reading lists are books by men or male-identifying people. I felt this lack of diversity, especially when writing essays or preparing for the AP English test, but I easily balanced it by filling my for-enjoyment reading lists with anything my heart desired. In fact, I probably skipped a lot of classics simply because they were written by men and instead read Jane Eyre, Little Women, and all of Jane Austen’s books early (and often!). And though we read a few books by authors of color throughout my school years, I, like many white people, had a blind spot into how white my reading list became.

So, last summer when I committed my year to the theme of “Educate and Expand”, I decided that one way I needed to expand my knowledge was by examining the books I read and actively diversifying my reading list.

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Simone Biles wearing all of her career medals stands in front of the flag of the United States.

How Inside Out Can Teach Adults to Hold Multiple Emotions around Simone Bile’s Withdrawals

Featured Image Credit: Click2Houston.com

Remember when Pixar’s Inside Out taught children that you can feel multiple things at a time? That a memory can be both happy and sad? That emotions are complicated and not everything is simplicistic?

There are some adults (mostly white men) who need to watch this in regards to Simone Biles.

You can feel both disappointment and pride over Simone Biles’s decisions not to compete in the 2020 Olympics. She can still be the GOAT and need to prioritize her mental and physical health. These are not mutually exclusive.

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Books lined on their spines are in a row

I’m Reading Books by Authors of Color for a Year

Push yourself to places you’ve never been. Be a better you, for you.

Each year on my birthday I pick a theme or idea to focus on for the year. I believe that part of the human experience is one of self-transformation. We’re constantly improving, changing, progressing. Change can bee hard. I find having intentional purposes helps. I try to focus my actions around the theme. I’ve been doing this yearly theme for a while, but I did recently come across blog written by Dean Bokhari around the power of the practice.

Last year’s theme was “fitness” – thus my year of CrossFit.

This year, my theme it “Educate and Expand.” I will focus on educating myself and expanding my awareness.

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My Journey to Fitness – A Year of Working Out

What started out as a 6-week program, turned into a year-long CrossFit adventure. And though it was expensive, it feels completely worth it.

Disclaimer first though: I do not support any of Greg Glassman’s racist and homophobic statements. I am glad he is not the CEO anymore of CrossFit HQ and more importantly that my gym will no longer be an affiliate. Now, onto my journey!

You may have noticed a break in blog writing. I got stuck in a toxic job that ate all of my energy and left no room for creative thinking. It also caused me to stop paying attention to my health – both mental and physical. A little over two years ago, I took a chance and quit that job, without another one lined up. I worked part time, consulting for a few months before landing a full-time limited duration position that turned into a regular job. I spent some time recovering, finding myself a bit, with my main focus on my mental and emotional health. I adopted a dog, bought a house, started dating again, joined a chorus that was 5 minutes away instead of an hour+, etc.

Then, a year ago, my physical fitness really came to the forefront of my mind. While I have never been an athlete or extremely fit person, I enjoy activities like hiking, swimming, biking, etc. When I realized that I could no longer finish my favorite hike, a nice shady crisscross uphill hike in Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, I knew I needed to make a change. I didn’t like being so unfit I couldn’t be physical.

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Celebrating Modern Black Authors

One of my favorite prompts across all of the dating apps I’ve tried, is OK Cupid’s “you should message me if…” I admit when I first started using dating apps, my answer wasn’t well thought out and quite generic. It was probably something silly and/or generic. However, as I grew and began to understand myself and what I was looking for, I adjusted my answer to this prompt. It now explains that people should only message me if their favorite creative works and artists – books, movies, shows, music – include females. To me it’s a great indicator that they are actively thinking about the patriarchy and ensuring that they have gender representation in what they consume (Bonus benefit: the number of inappropriate first messages decreased significantly).

When I wrote that answer, I realized I need to make sure that I was following my own requirement. Not with gender parity. That I knew I had. But in making sure that my own choices included people of color and different orientations. In particular, this has resulted in very intentionally diversifying my bookshelf.

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Outfit of the Week: May 4th, Quarantine Style

It’s May 4th, which for us nerds is known as Star Wars day because it readily invites its self to the pun – May the Fourth be with you (May the Force by with you). I, like many other Star Wars fans, like to celebrate by dressing in something that celebrates it. My favorite shirt to wear on this particular day is one that I found at the Houston NASA campus a few years ago. It takes it to another level by using the physics formula for force, F=ma. Hard to tell in photos, but the text is actually sparkly, which I think adds just a little fun.

And since we’re still in shelter-in-place, I’ve paired it with typical lounging at home wear – leggings and slippers. Haha.

A bright blue shirt reads May the F=ma be with you in sparkling white text. Gray leggings and teal slippers are next to the shirt.