No Pride in a Police State
🌈 This Pride Weekend was the quietest, soberest one in personal history. The annual summer ritual of partying down Fifth Avenue to the Village replaced by a Queer Liberation protest pepper-sprayed by the NYPD as they marched under the banner: “No Pride in a Police State.”
As June comes to a close, I’m feeling the intensity of the past few months, not just from the global pandemic we’re all experiencing, but also my own personal Venn Diagram, amplified over the past few months into an intense, personal exploration of multiple identities and intersectionality — and the question of, What can I do to help?
Out of all the tweets, posts, and TikToks I’ve posted and re-shared over these last few months, the symbol running through it all is the Black/Brown Power raised fist, a sign that The Fight is still on — it’s a movement, not a moment. What are you fighting for? ✊🏽
On welcoming conflict vs avoiding it. I’m starting to realize that I operate in default peacekeeper, people-pleasing mode, unaware of the lengths I go to to avoid conflict. I’m just starting to realize that it’s okay to make people uncomfortable, and to have assertive, direct dialogue with people you disagree with, even if it makes me uncomfortable. Growth lies just beyond the discomfort.
🎾 Over the weekend I watched an episode of ESPN’s docu-series Backstory: “Serena vs the Umpire” about the controversial 2017 U.S. Open Women’s Championship — called “the ugliest Grand Slam in history” — and realized there was part of me, like Serena, that is just waiting to explode into conflict. This impulse can be empowering, when controlled and productive, or destructive, if unchecked. A simple, mathematical equation to help: calling BS > being polite.
🎾 In his open and vulnerable essay for Pride, “Breaking Through," Poshmark CMO Steven Tristan Young reveals that everything you want is on the other side of fear. As his high school tennis coach once said:
“You win tennis matches by playing your strengths and minimizing your weakness; luck favors the brave and you are bravest when using your strengths.”
🔮Lastly, this bit of astrological advice from Queer Tarotscopes for Cancer Season 2020:
If you feel yourself slipping into a place of anger or frustration, find emotions welling up within you without an outlet, take a step back and give yourself some space to breathe and process. What feels cathartic in the moment could end up causing more harm than you realize, and chances are that there’s no real way to win this particular battle anyway. What are you trying to prove?What are you working to accomplish? Instead of focusing on winning or on getting your own way, instead try to get out of sticky situations with the minimum of damage. How can you be sensitive to not only your own shifting emotions but also the needs and limits of others? What are you really fighting for? ✊🏽
Lessons from the Magic Mentor Corner
🔮 Since April, I’ve mentored 30+ students and professionals looking to break into, stand out, or level up in the creative/advertising industry. The best part of these mini-hangouts is what I get back from them. I’ll share more lessons we cracked in our 20-minute sessions, but at the moment I’m backlogged in responding to many of the follow-up questions and requests (promise I’m getting to them!) Top Themes include: redefining the Strategist 2.0 for our industry, rewriting your future narrative, leaning into your differences, and punching above your weight. 🥊💥
👋🏽 Just a few of the 30+ mentoring sessions.
🚶🏻♀️🐕 The Morning Walk. I’ve been practicing this one all week with iced cold brew and can verify, it works!
“Almost every day before work, I take a walk through the neighborhood with my coffee. That practice helps make the transition from “off” to “on” — in terms of work — a good one. It also gives me a minute to think about what I’m going to do with my workday before actually sitting down in front of a computer, which has a lot of distractions.”
Dope Stuff for Your Desk
I’ve rediscovered the joy of the mechanical pencil: smooth for longhand writing, infinitely erasable, and the cathartic wearing-down of a piece of graphite down to dust with the pressure of your words. For an elevated mechanical pencil experience, try my new favorite: Lamy Safari 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil in Charcoal.
Comic of the Week
400 Hours. $500. This comic ran in the Sunday New York Times, a powerful tribute for Latasha Harlins, from Laura Park, who writes:
“If you’re Asian American - and don’t know the story of Latasha Harlins, it’s a good place to start. For me it helped me reckon with the ways Asian Americans can profit from racism in a way… to a level I hadn’t considered. I’m posting the full page because the layout and centering Latasha’s face and story was important.”
From the Mixtape
Til next week- ✌🏽🎧