Whew…I don’t really know how to summarize the past couple of weeks. There has been darkness and sadness, but there have been some major bright spots. Since I took last week to focus on #BlackLivesMatter and my thoughts on the amplification of the movement, I have so much to share with you! But I am forever changed by the events of the past couple of weeks. I have learned so much and have met so many new people, and for that, I am so grateful. We still have a lot of work to do, but I know there are some really beautiful days ahead.
Check out these things that have been rocking my world lately:
1. Workouts! On Memorial Day, I did my first ever MURPH Challenge workout. In case you’re unfamiliar, the workout was popularized in the CrossFit community to honor Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in the Afghanistan in 2005. It consists of a 1 mile Run, 100 Pull-Ups, 200 Push-Ups, 300 Squats, and second 1 mile Run, while wearing a 20 pound Vest. I’ve always wanted to take part in this challenge, and the stay at home order has me really missing races and other challenges, so I decided to give it a shot. I had no idea what to expect, other than it would be hard. But I actually really enjoyed it and plan to do it again in the future. In addition, Orangetheory reopened the next morning! Admittedly, I had some hesitation about returning, and I was still debating the night before. But ultimately, I was really missing the human interaction and the ability to connect with others (even without high fives and fist bumps), so I decided to return. Yes, it’s a little weird. The class sizes are smaller, the class times are shorter, the restrictions are tight, but little by little, it feels more like “normal.” I’ve been going 6 times a week, and it’s bringing me so much joy!
2. Getting Glam. Okay, so I’m really not one of those people that worried about my hair during the stay at home order. I’m not seeing anyone, my hair color is more of an Ombre, so growth looks intentional (Although my gray hairs really came out to party during this time.), and my hair doesn’t really grow that fast. But I’ve gone to my hair stylist, Rachel, for over 6 years, so I really missed seeing her, catching up, and getting a little pampering. Salons reopened, so I was able to go see Rachel and my esthetician, Heidi, and it was such a relaxing Saturday morning.
3. Shopping! Okay, so shopping never really took a pause while quarantined, but I have missed being in a store, trying on clothes, talking with the employees, everything about the in-person shopping experience. In the past couple of weeks, I have been able to visit a few of my favorite local boutiques and local businesses, and it feels so good! We are still exclusively doing takeout for our Saturday dinners, but we plan to venture into a restaurant within the next couple of weeks.
4. Collaboration Photo Shoot. Although I have stayed active on Instagram and on my blog, I have really missed in-person collaborations and events. With things starting to open up, one of my favorite local PR companies reached out wanting to update some photos for one of their clients, a local shopping center. They wanted to gather a few local girls to take some pictures around the center, inside some of the stores, and simply showcase the good times to be had in these businesses. I had not met the other two ladies that were part of the shoot, so making new friends was certainly a bright spot. But we had the best time! We laughed so much, we got to know each other, and we got to hold puppies! I was really honored to be asked to participate, and it felt so good to work in this way.
5. Discovering New Friends. As I mentioned, the past two weeks have been very hard for our world. The death of George Floyd was an unnecessary blow to our black community, and it created a ripple effect through us all. But as I also mentioned, there have been some very bright spots. Last week, there was a concerted effort on Instagram to amplify black voices–businesses, creators, makers, everyone. Because of the past few days, I am following a lot of new bloggers, influencers, and creatives on Instagram, and I am loving meeting them and getting to know them. At home, we have also committed to being more intentional about supporting black businesses. As you know, we are strong advocates for supporting small businesses, but we need to seek out those that are owned by our black entrepreneurs. On Saturday night, we tried African cuisine for the first time, with dinner from Fannie’s African Cuisine , and we were able to use our Give and Partake book. Y’all. The food was incredible, and we have leftovers for a month. Admittedly, this type of cuisine intimidated me, and without the added motivation to support them, it would have taken me a really long time to cross it off our list. It’s amazing what a little intention can do to bring more joy into your world.
I’m hoping that this update brought you some joy and that you are relieved by the positivity. This is much more my tone, but I do want to be clear that I am forever changed by the death of George Floyd (and countless others) and by all of the things I have learned as a result. Our black community not only matters, but they are precious to me, and I need to spend the rest of my life doing my part to ensure that they have a safe space in this world.