Picking A Lane
Between COVID cases hitting 2.6 million, public outrage and protest over the murder of George Floyd, ongoing Black Lives Matter protests across the nation, civil unrest over the murder of Breonna Talyor by police officers, and dozens of other political and social events, I’m probably in good company when I say it can feel like I’m drowning. No one is immune to the confusion and exhaustion of the 24hr newsreeI. I hope you are taking steps to let your mind find spaces of rest and using your own powers for good in our unsettled world.
If you aren’t sure where to start or next steps to take, remember that every little thing counts. Here are a few actionable ideas I’ve been tapping into:
- Call a friend to check-in and see how they are doing. Friends who have been laid off or have limited working hours are especially stressed right now. A simple “Hey, how are you?” can make a big difference in someone’s life.
- If you are able, order out from a small restaurant near you for takeout or delivery. Make sure to tip the delivery person.
- Turn off cable news and limit time on Instagram/Facebook. Being informed doesn’t require the endless scroll. Stream Up First from NPR and get the three biggest stories in just 10 minutes.
- Find small businesses near you that are still operating online and buy something special this month. Every little purchase will help keep businesses afloat. Buy a Gift Card and have something to look forward to when businesses reopen.
- Dive into someone else’s story. Have a movie night or even better, open a book. Use your mind to get out of your own head :)
- Donate or offer support to organizations that value the same things you do. Vox recently published a list of credible BLM organizations to give to.
I wanted to take a small amount of money and donate it to an organization equipped with more know-how and reach than just me alone. After feeling straight-up overwhelmed by options, I thankfully ran across this wisdom:
Resistance is not a one-lane highway. Maybe your lane is protesting, maybe your lane is organizing, maybe your lane is counseling, maybe your lane is art activism, maybe your lane is surviving the day. Do NOT feel guilty for not occupying every lane. We need all of them.
This is spot on. Pick your lane and go do something. I let go of that “I have to do it all” nagging voice and arranged a raffle for my Domed Looping Earrings where all the ticket proceeds went to an organization I feel deeply about, the Loveland Foundation.
Why a raffle? Most people I know are not feeling great about money right now, so a raffle seemed like a great way to bring together lots of small donations. This idea was likely birthed from the same part of me that always buys merch from a band at a live show. As a punk rock kid, the t-shirt was what I could afford. I eventually discovered that buying lots of little things (shirts, stickers, buttons) adds up to a sustainable, big win for a band. The same is true here, lots of little contributions add up.
Why the Loveland Foundation? I believe that mental health is a human right. After more than 25 years on this planet and masters-level education, I found myself without the tools and knowledge I needed to work on my mental wellbeing. I was fortunate enough to have access to mental healthcare and my commitment over the many years since has changed my life in profound ways. Supporting the Loveland Foundation is a no-brainer. They provide financial assistance to Black women and girls nationally seeking therapy and work to dismantle the barriers that stand in the way.
With all of the tickets purchased, we donated an amount that will cover the cost of at least 4 therapy sessions for Black women and girls. This is huge! Thank you so much to everyone who participated, we did this together.
I've always considered jewelry to be more than just something beautiful to wear and own, and I'm looking forward to creating raffles, fundraisers, and other new avenues for my work to reach beyond your jewelry box.
Jewelry has the power to communicate ideas, represent beliefs, speak poetically, yell politically, and represent the status we assign to ourselves thereby negating the one constructed for us. It's talismanic quality isn't just about bringing good fortune or warding off evil. Jewelry has its own kind of magic that can make you feel powerful, stand taller, speak volumes without saying a word. There isn't a time like now to get in touch with those powerful feelings.
Until next time. Stay healthy and keep making time to take care of you.
What I’m listening to: Becoming by Michelle Obama
What I’m reading: How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi