It’s time for a life update! It’s no surprise that life has been absolutely weird the last 5 months. From the onset of COVID, to the paradigm shift in social justice, life has just been one major adjustment after the other. In the middle of all this, was the fact that the husband and I moved to Chicago. Which means that our plates have been incredibly full—and I’ve been particularly absent from the blog.
Black Lives Matter
I’ve started writing so many posts about where my head and heart are at when it comes to the recent awakening in our social climate. And I’ve never quite completed them because it’s still just a lot to process. Aside from being a POC, I’m also working on my own anti-racism activity. And it’s been really draining to keep tabs on both fronts. To all the social justice warriors out there: You belong to the sainthood only allotted for teachers, nurses, and any other career that faces “the hard stuff”, all the time, by choice.
As a woman of color, I’ve found myself in a unique position to have a lot of opinions on the Black Lives Matter movement. (I fully support it, not least of which because we still don’t have #JusticeforBreonna, and it’s high time we #DefundthePolice). But I’ve also decided to work on my support for the movement through paced and consistent action. I’ve signed the protests. Sent the emails. I’m actively searching for (and finding–hello Oui the People Black-owned businesses to support (they’ve been overshadowed for too long!). And I am consuming as much information as I can handle before I hit the limit and become fully overwhelmed.
Still, in the weeks since the murder of George Floyd sparked the largest movement in American history, there’s a lot of work to do. AND while I’m not scared of standing on my soap box to challenge people, I’m making note that my pursuit of the true equality for men and women of all races might seem more subdued and intrinsic in the next few weeks or months.
It’s up to you to do the work.
The point of my saying that is this: If you haven’t worked on your steps toward anti-racism today/this week/this month because you think you “did enough” and things are “better now” and people aren’t shoving factoids about inequality in your face, then I’m here to remind you the work is not done, and your complacency reflects your privilege. Way harsh, Tai… I’m not the blog you come to when you want to be coddled babe, consider this a challenge. It’s very easy to get complacent if people aren’t challenging you to do more. But it’s nobody’s responsibility but your own to stay active during this movement. You’re welcome!
You’d be living under a rock not to know by now that the hubs and I moved to Chicago. ha. We stepped into our apartment for the first time (we rented sight-unseen?) on June 2. Which meant we entered the city limits at the tail-end of the most violent riots the city has seen in decades.
That being said, it was a really powerful time to be in the city at the time. Now that I can breathe, I’ll be writing a separate blog post about how the move went.Plus what it was like renting an apartment in the Age of Corona, as well as another about what it’s like living in Chicago right now. Stay tuned!
But let it suffice to say here that I’m so happy we made the move! The stress of moving was enough to make me question whether or not staying in Omaha was a better idea. But I’m happy I trusted my gut and followed through with making the leap!
Omaha Travel Guide
That being said, Omaha was our home for 4 years. That’s no insignificant period of time, and there are plenty of things that I miss (friends & food). Eventually I’ll share my guide to Omaha! It’s jam-packed with tons of bars and restaurants that I personally recommend. Plus some pro-tips on how to make the most out of each neighborhood/your time in the home of those fancy-pants steak boxes.
I’m really proud of this piece and how it came together because I only set out to write about a few of my favorite spots. But I got so carried away that I had to break it out by neighborhood! I also stopped myself from going into anything outside of the well-defined areas because there are pockets of deliciousness scattered all throughout the city. But I thought a 10-page guide was probably plenty, right?
When domestic travel looks more like a packed sedan than a reclining seat in an exit row, Omaha is the kind of destination that can scratch a bit of your travel bug itch you can satisfy on a whim. No passport required. Road trip, anyone?
Don’t worry— I’ll seep you posted but it’s coming so so so soon!
Remote Work-Life Balance
When we moved, I planned on not working right away for 2 reasons: 1. Finding a new job amid a pandemic and on the cusp of a recession is so comical. I couldn’t possibly expect to find anything in my field or expertise right away. And 2. It was time for a break!
- I work in marketing and I know my industry is competitive. That being said, I also know I’m very good at what I do, so I’m in no position to settle. Unfortunately, the roles I’m looking for are usually A. Awesome and B. Scarce to being with, so finding an opening when job security is already rocky, is tough. So, for the first time (maybe ever?) I decided to just ~*Go WiTh ThE fLoW*~.
Which leads me to # 2
- It’s time for a break. Like so many of my peers, we’ve worked our buns off to get ahead in our careers. I’m proud to say I’ve gotten to a place that I’m very proud of—but I’m ready to pause. Just for a moment! Because I’ve got workaholic tendencies. I usually throw my full heart into what I do so it’s difficult for me to detach from my work.
Right now I’ve got a stack of books piled up, articles saved, French workbooks earmarked, and podcasts queued. It’s time I get to dig in to feeding the other parts of my brain, too!
Also, moving to a new city requires a lot of energy. Especially for one as big as Chicago! And I really think I should commit to fully exploring the local food scene… You know, as part of my acclimation process?
I was asked to stay on with my company through June. So I pushed my summer of leisure back to July. Since it’s currently July, it’s important I tell you that I was asked to stay on (again) through this month. Flattering for sure! But I can only handle a few changes in my grand scheme in such short periods of time. So I’m compelled to take a more proactive approach to August.
I’ve found some positions with companies that have really sparked my interest, not just because of the work they do, but also because the vibe just seems right (You didn’t think I’d write this whole thing without any woo-woo, did you!?). I’ll keep you posted on how it all shakes out. But in any case, you can expect I’ll be making more time to nourish my creative energies this season!
I’ve been on a beauty-haul binge. Between our move and some logistical errors with some of the beauty subscriptions I receive, June ended up being the month where everyone “caught up” to what I should have received through most of the quarantine.
Plus, I stumbled on a few really key deals on my favorite brand Sunday Riley (check out my post here!) in the last few months. I always try to share them in my stories! But some of them are new to me. That being said, I currently have an excess of products. But I’ll be sure to let you know what I’m loving and leaving soon!
TBH, the hubs and I had a little COVID-scare. We had a few symptoms, got tested, and luckily tested negative. We’ve been pretty much self-quarantined unless we have to leave the house for something. And if we do our masks are ON.
While abiding by the CDC guidelines as things re-opened here in the city, we were comfortable moving about town masked-up. However, with the increasing case numbers and even quarantine restrictions on visitors from hotspots in recent weeks, things are starting to get a little dicey.
I’m not making any distant plans anytime soon (seriously though, I miss my travel agent, Heidi? Do you miss me too??). I was hoping to hop out east to get my hands on a lobster roll. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen this summer, either. I’ll be visiting family in the next few weeks but I don’t feel comfortable leaving the MN/WI/IL bubble until the curve starts to trend down again.
In fact, I’ve even discouraged friends from visiting because I don’t think the travel is worth the risk. I’m even a little uncomfortable going to restaurants knowing that COVID can linger in the air. But restaurants here have taken guidelines pretty seriously, and between the open air dining, and distanced seating, I might actually venture outside the house this week for something more than groceries! But that’s a really big ‘maybe’.
Instead, I’m going to be sharing some of the places I’ve visited over the years, and basking in the nostalgia of gate-area memories!
Wear a damn mask and wash your hands, people!
This is a hard topic for me because I swear I am the laziest shopper but I love an outfit that makes you feel good! I also could not tell you what my style is because it’s all over the map. For context, my husband told me I was dressed like a cartoon yesterday, and honestly, I don’t think he was wrong ?.
But when I find a style groove I stick with it, and I’ve found some awesome pieces I love in the last few weeks that make getting dressed to go nowhere simple, and comfortable. The best part is some of the pieces are on Amazon so you can really maximize your Prime Membership!
And that’s it (for now)! I’ve got my work cut out for me when it comes to posts and I’m in a good headspace that allows for words to flow from my fingertips (something a writer knows is a moment you do not let slip by!). And truthfully, it feels good to write again. I’ve missed it but it’s been too cloudy in the old head to move forward, but here we are!
Bonus: Oh and if you made it this far, we have one more surprise to share tomorrow–any guesses on what it is!?
If you need me, I’ll most likely be posted up on the balcony with a spritz in-hand, writing and pretending I’m in Italy.