Captivations is a monthly feature with links, stories, and news that captivated me. Take a look at all the things captivating me lately. I’ve got no chill when it comes to things we can be doing to make ourselves better people and make the world a better place. I’m trying not to make these monthly posts a soap box, and this activist role is where I’m at in life right now.
What is White Privilege?
This article is a good read. Echoing my thoughts and recommendations in my last Captivations post, it’s crucial to learn more about the subject to understand it. Look up books and documentaries. If you have any book recommendations, I would gladly take them!
Working on a Farm
This month I crossed off a life list item by volunteering on a farm! Austin has a few farms and I’ve been wanting to volunteer for a while to see what it is like. Urban Roots is a little different because they use their farm to transform the lives of young people by giving them leadership roles (leading volunteer days) and educating them about healthy lifestyle choices. It’s the beginning of the season, so we did a lot of weeding in the fields. By November, the crop will be ready to harvest and it will be sold at the farmers market. It was cool to see these bold young people leading groups of volunteers and to look back at the fields after a few hours and see our hard work. I’ll definitely be back! [If you want to see other culinary-related volunteer opportunities in Austin, check out this list.]
Two Couples, One Mortgage
This is a very interesting article from The Atlantic. Two couples and good friends decided to move in together, hopefully for decades, and all share responsibility of the mortgage and expenses. It’s like having an extended partnership without any additional hanky-panky. Strange but if it works for everyone, why not? A strong community is what makes a person better.
At the beginning of the month, Boyfriend and I were in Florida visiting his family. We went to Disney World and had a good time! See that post here.
What Were You Wearing?
This art exhibit at the University of Kansas is making a powerful statement and chilling proof to the myth that a woman’s outfit causes sexual violence. The exhibit features representative outfits and stories from 18 rape survivors.
I Have a Lifetime
I read When Breathe Becomes Air this month. HIGHLY RECOMMEND and get ready for tears. I was in awe of the author’s intelligence, writing talents, and introspection. Ultimately, it reminded me that life is so short. Related because he was recently diagnosed with cancer, Scott Riddle reminded me in his post to “Stop just assuming you have a full lifetime to do whatever it is you dream of doing.” You can follow what he is up to here.
Austin Bakes for Harvey
I was proud to be a part of the Austin Bakes for Harvey bake sale this month. We raised $20,011 for recovery and relief in and around Houston! Started in 2011, Austin Bakes has gathered bakers to put on eight events to raise more than $80,000 and bring relief from disasters around the world. We’re already working on another bake sale soon to help the other recent disasters.
Thank You, HEB!
Speaking of Harvey relief, I want to give a BIG THANK YOU to HEB, a Texas grocery store chain, that helped with relief and recovery by providing supplies and meals to first responders and those affected. This Texas Monthly article gives a look at their efforts.
Disaster Relief ASAP
If you are interested and able, please continue to give to relief efforts around the world. Places like Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are not getting enough press time, which means less aid. These are devastating photos from Puerto Rico. I’m thankful to the organizations that are providing products for sale, like the below cookies from Shortbread Baking Co. Giving to local organizations is better and faster than a national organization like the Red Cross. Here is a list of ways to help Puerto Rico.
Maybe climate change is sensationalized but WHAT IF all of these scientists are right? Wouldn’t it make sense to acknowledge research to see if something can be done? Because multiple hurricanes, tropical storms, and earthquakes happening simultaneously doesn’t sound normal to me! Here are some articles that are worth a read:
- Coffee, Bees, and Climate Change
- Evidence from NASA
- What would happen to Earth
- 4 ways climate change makes hurricanes worse
Are we expecting too much from our romantic partners?
I read this interesting interview in The Atlantic about how our expectations have changed in the last few decades. We’re not only expecting someone who will pull their weight in the home but he/she also needs to be fit a number of criteria. The ideas mentioned are good things to keep in mind if you want to find and keep a relationship that is right for you. [You know how I feel about expectations!]
- It’s not about disrespecting the flag or the country. It’s about taking a knee to stand up for injustice. Americans have the Constitutional right to speak their mind and to peaceful protest. A democratic leader calling for punishment against those rights is incredibly dangerous.
- It’s not about destroying history. It’s about telling our American brothers and sisters we recognize those leaders honored by statues advocated hate against them.
- It’s not about frivolously spending money on the environment. It’s taking CLEAR FACTS and being willing to entertain them and discuss a solution.
- It’s not about illegals “ruining” our economy. It’s about how much our economy, humanity, and the world would suffer if we put up discriminating policies. Fight for better immigration policies and processes instead!
- It’s not about prohibiting people from owning guns. It’s about prohibiting the wrong people, people who would gun down innocent people, to own guns. What kind of policies can be put in place to keep that from happening?
365 Days of Hiking…Plus Trash
What happens when you combine your goal of hiking with the desire to make the world a better place? Documenting your daily hike plus the trash you pick up along the way. I love this Austinite’s Instagram account!
Ever since I posted about my favorite wallpaper in Austin, I’ve found three more spots! Hopefully I can find some more so I can
nerd out share them with you!
Read: Half the Sky
At times, the graphic and horrifying descriptions are hard to endure and imagine, but Half the Sky is an eye-opening book that shows all the opportunities to improve the lives of women around the world. Here are a few big points:
- Put pressure on countries to end sex trafficking, which involves kidnapping girls and women and forcing them to become sex slaves. They can do this by making laws and enforcing laws.
- Give women rights and opportunities so that they are respected. This prevents murders and abuse.
- Educating women will help them help their communities, protect their health, improve their family life, earn a living, and give them rights. Education will change culture and communities.
As a woman and advocate for education, I’m passionate about this! I love donating to Fields of Dreams Uganda during their fundraiser every December to give girls hygiene kits, which keeps them in school. Through Half the Sky’s recommendations, I’m also looking into sponsoring a girl’s education for a year and funding women businesses.
This Vogue article about letting go of the “chill girl persona” is a good one. I think the act of being “chill” means you go with the flow and you do it all, leading to stress, anxiety, and demise. Thankfully, I think technology and social media has pushed into a wonderful time of being as honest and unafraid to reveal our feelings and our authentic selves.
Of course not. Especially with reminders like this.
What are you excited about?
One of the reasons I started these monthly Captivations posts was to share what I’m captivated/excited about, and this tweet from Jeremy Cowart reminded me of that sentiment. There is A LOT of content out there, like daily posts on each social media account, and it only conveys so much about what you and I are excited about right now. I hope these monthly posts inspire you to find things YOU’RE captivated by. So, let me know in the comments. What are you working on?
What’s captivating you lately?