Hi friends! While Meg and Chris have been Harry Pottering it up, Corey and I took a quick trip to see one of our favorite cousins in Alabama (hi Jean!!) Megan had some very exciting news, but I will keep my trap shut until she can come tell you herself. So onto today’s scheduled programming.
Ever since I listened to Serial, I have become a little bit obsessed with listening to books, podcasts, and really anything audio that I can get my hands on. I guess I realized how much more efficiently I can get little tasks completed if I am entertained while doing them. Organized drawers? Check. Painted dresser? Check. Organized mess of a storage closet? Check. I’m like Monica from Friends except sans label maker. But I’m not above considering it. Anyway, I wanted to share some of my favorites because there are some real gems.
#GirlBoss – The first time I saw this one at the bookstore, I thought the hashtag in the title was a little lame. But I just finished it today and I am feeling energized. The book is written by the CEO of NastyGal (which honestly I had never heard of), and how she started selling vintage ebay clothes out of her bedroom and turned her little business into a hugely successful company. I really love how Sophia kept reiterating how she became successful from just a ton of really hard work. Sure she was lucky, but she made things happen for herself and didn’t take no for an answer. I feel like this book is a good swift kick in the pants that we are in control of our destiny and a much needed remember that my most powerful advocate is me.
The Invention of Wings – This book was so inspiringly beautiful. It is actually about two real sisters who were among the first female abolitionists and feminists from Charleston. It is a fictional account of one of this sister’s relationship with her slave, and how they lived the life they wanted to live instead of the one given to them. I won’t give anything away, but this is a must read.
This American Life – I’ve tried to fill the empty hole that Serial left with This American Life, which has actually been around for a long time and I think is one of the most popular podcasts. Each episode is a different story (vs. Serial which was obviously one story for the whole season) and the reporting is really excellent. Listen to Batman, Is this Working?, and Harper High School Episode 1 and Episode 2. Mind. Blown.
I’ve been having a bit of an epiphany in the last several months. I think it may have started with The Happiness Project, and several other work happenings have continued to spur it on, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how I live my day to day life, and how much my perception can affect how I feel at work and home. I’ve realized that for me to be happy and feel better, I not only have to work on remembering to do the little things I enjoy and improving my relationships (which are both important.) I also have to let go of some of the fear and anxiety I’ve been holding on to. I’m an engineer, and my entire career and college experience has taken place in a male dominated environment. In my classes, my male schoolmates always seemed to know more than me, so I just assumed that they did. Time after time, I would get my grades back only to realize that I was doing better than my study partner John or my lab mate Steve, even if outward appearances didn’t show it. Since I’ve started my career, I’ve been consistently paralyzed by fear that I didn’t know what I was doing. What if my calculations are wrong? What if this report isn’t good enough? Even more so when I’m in the field (which happens quite often) and there is literally no safety net. And it seemed like all of the male coworkers knew so much more than I did. More recently, I’ve decided to stop worrying so much about if I’m wrong. When I read this article the other day, it really hit home. It says exactly what I’ve slowly started to realize. Men, in general, have more confidence than women. Even if they don’t really know what they are talking about, they tend to think that they do, or that they at least know more than us. This has been a huge inhibitor in the success of women in upper level roles because we simply don’t feel like we should be there or are afraid to speak up because we think we might be wrong. This is so maddening to me, but it makes so much sense. I’ve decided to let go of the fear and start believing in myself and my abilities. Here are some kick ass women to get us inspired. And if you have a couple of free minutes, you really should read this. It will blow your mind.
All images via the fantastically titled pinboard Vote for Women by Ginny Branch Sterling
Tina and Amy / Susan / Jessica / Hillary
Last year I dropped the ball on fall. There were quite a few things that I simply forgot to do that are really some of the things that make the season so special. This year, I am not going to neglect any of them because I’m making a list and I’m sticking to it.
One – Being outside in the fall is my absolute favorite. I love the briskness in the air and watching the leaves change. When I was in college I used to visit the nearby state park at least once a week just to get out. I don’t really have anywhere like that in Charlotte and I so miss it. This fall I intend to remedy this by trying out some nearby trails and definitely at least one mountain hike.
Two – Last year I didn’t have one caramel apple. Not one. Major screw up. This is literally my favorite fall treat. I’m going to have about 100 this year.
Three – For some reason, whenever I try to read one of the classics that I haven’t yet, I can never get into them. Pride and Prejudice I can read all day every day, but I can’t get past the 10th page of Great Expectations. This fall, it’s happening.
Four – My absolute favorite thing that we did last year (other than the Harry Potter party, obvs) was going to the haunted trail and pumpkin patch at Scarrigan Farms. There is a rock quarry that you hang out in before (which made me feel like we were in a 90’s teen movie because who hangs out in a rock quarry) and the haunted trail is one of the best I’ve been to. That is saying a lot because I go to at least one a year and am rarely impressed. I cannot wait for us to go again.
What things are you guys looking forward to this fall?