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Thank You, President Obama

Thank you for making me feel like anything is possible, Barack Obama. I’ll never forget how inspired I felt the night you were elected. The feeling that I could do anything. If someone who looked like me– who had the audacity to be optimistic and inclusive– could hold the highest office in this country, maybe I could pursue my dreams, too. The same month Obama was inaugurated, I risked everything to move to the city of angels to pursue my dreams. Best decision I ever made (although not totally due in part to him, obviously).

I believe he did the best he could with what he was given– the worst economic crisis our country has faced since The Great Depression , a war “on terror” and an onslaught of racially-charged criticism that he addressed with grace and integrity. I believe later we will look back and recognize him for taking us forward in healthcare reform, human rights reform, and for helping the U.S. to recover from an economic nightmare. Not to mention his humor, charisma, compassion and style– a true role model as a father and husband and world leader.  

You don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. Thank you so much, Barack Obama. I can’t even articulate the positive impact you’ve had on me the last 8 years. I took it for granted. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 🙏🏼✌🏼️🇺🇸
Written November 4, 2008. 

“Today is an absolutely monumental day in American history. Barack Obama was elected into the role of President of the United States. It seems weird to be writing about politics, but I feel so inspired.

I am in completed disbelief that he is our leader. He represents so much that I stand for. He’s positive and forward-thinking and new-age-y. I feel like perhaps our culture is on the verge of a spiritual revolution. We are stepping away from our cynical and defeatist attitudes and values and have begun to have the courage and HOPE to believe in amazing things. I look at this man– a minority– and I believe that he truly understands me and my perspective as a minority. It’s unbelievable that he has accomplished such an incredible feat.

If he can do this, I feel like I can do anything.

I feel like I respect what he has to say. His message is so, so inspiring.

Yes, we can.

I’m surprised at how moved I am… I guess I just had to write it down.”

So, so different from what I feel today. But, let’s see how this goes.

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Second Glance

Second Glance

With all of the distractions that we face every single moment of these overly informed, visually over-saturated, social media/Internet-driven modern day lives, it’s hard to stay focused.

When it comes to creation of any kind– whether it’s art/writing/design/fashion/music…  I think a good rule of thumb is to attempt to make it worth the second read, a second glance, a second visit, a second listen– worth a second second in a world in which time is everything.

Personally, this theory translates to my everyday life decisions. Don’t do anything that’s just not worth your precious seconds. Here’s to staying true to yourself, and to having integrity in everything you do.

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” -Cecil Beaton

Image via: Tang Yau Hoong

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Mani O'Brien

Mani O'Brien

Storyteller and Virgo

LA-based social media marketer and brand journalist Mani O’Brien spends her downtime raising a small human and ranting on this blog. Here you’ll find frequent cursing, a self-indulgent analysis of her 30-something existence as a wife, mother, Millennial, digital marketer and astrology-obsessed feminist.

3 Millennial-Friendly Resources to Keep Up with Politics

Here’s your way to catch up on all-the-political-things, quickly and for free if the headlines in your Facebook Newsfeed have informed most of your election knowledge.

Doesanyone else feel like this has been the longest presidential election cycle of all time? Since when have we followed along with not only the main election, but also the primaries? It’s exhausting. Personally I started to zone out when there were up to 16 Republicans vying for their party’s nomination. It was all too much to keep up with (at first, anyway).

With the first Presidential debate airing tonight at 9 p.m. EST,  it’s time for you to care. Here’s your way to catch up on all-the-political-things, quickly and for free if the headlines in your Facebook Newsfeed have informed most of your election knowledge. These outlets are more digestible than traditional press like The New York Times if you’re the type to spend more time perusing celebrity Instagram feuds than current political events (no judgement).

Use these articles to get informed before the candidates go head-to-head tonight.

Buzzfeed

I’m here to advocate for Buzzed for being far more than a quiz website. Their coverage of news, current events and politics is fantastic and palatable for any Millennial.
Mani O'Brien

Mani O'Brien

Storyteller and Virgo

LA-based social media marketer and brand journalist Mani O’Brien spends her downtime raising a small human and ranting on this blog. Here you’ll find frequent cursing, a self-indulgent analysis of her 30-something existence as a mother, Millennial, digital marketer, almost-wife and astrology-obsessed feminist.

Peruse all the articles in their Politics section under Buzzfeed News. One of my favorite long-form pieces is Inside the Fraternity of Haters and Losers Who Drove Donald Trump to the GOP Nomination… a thorough and humorous follow up to the now infamous 36 Hours on the Fake Campaign Trail With Donald Trump, both by McKay Coppins. Their podcast No One Knows Anything is pretty great, too.

The Skimm

I hate email, but The Skimm is an exception.

My sister mentioned our obsession with daily news email subscription The Skimm in a previous post and our mutual admiration goes beyond the inbox. Founded by former newsroom ladies Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, The Skimm offers a concise and often humorous overview of the previous days’ news headlines. It’s brief morning read that truly keeps you looped in on current events, politics, social just issues, celebrity gossip and more.

Beyond the daily reads, The Skimm also offers robust, well-designed, well-researched “guides” on  intricate issues including this year’s election. Browse their Skimm the Vote election guide for a full run-down.

NPR Politics Podcast

This podcast is the BEST. NPR reporters Sam Sanders, White House correspondent Tamara “Tam” Keith, political reporter Scott Detrow, political editor Domenico Montanaro, campaign reporter Asma Khalid, and editor/correspondent Ron Elving get together to chat about the latest political headlines all the while explaining the context for the layman. This podcast comes out every Thursday with a weekly round-up of the top headlines from the campaign trail, and more.

Download the podcast here.

Pssst… are you still not sure how to download podcasts? It’s okay. You’re not alone. Here’s a play-by-play for how to download/subscribe if you have an iPhone:

1) Open the Podcasts app on your iPhone. This comes standard on your phone and you probably nestled it into a folder with the Stocks app and others you don’t use (see right).

2) Tap on Search icon and type in “NPR Politics” (in the lower right-hand corner as seen below). You should see a screen like this:

3) You’ll click on any of the NPR Politics icons and then click the ‘SUBSCRIBE’ button (shown in the upper-right as seen below). You should be able to access all episodes under the “My Podcasts” menu from here on out.

Bonus Read: Lenny Letter

Here goes any attempt to be bipartisan, but in case you missed Lena Dunham’s interview with Hillary Clinton on the (amazing) email-meets-magazine Lenny Letter, you can check that out here.

 

5 Links OTW for the Modern Day Feminist

Famous quotes by stellar women: Olivia Wilde.

Famous quotes by stellar women on Refinery29: Olivia Wilde.

Refinery29’s “50 Amazing Women, 50 Hilarious Quotes” includes zingers by some of our favorite leading ladies of Hollywood including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Lena Dunham, Rashida Jones, and Olivia Wilde on topics that do not include anything relating to clothing, gossip or beauty regimes.

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence

Sweaters for Days’s Jenny Trout compares the way in which the media spins Jennifer Lawrence’s public passion for food compared with Melissa McCarthy’s.

How to talk to little girls

How to talk to little girls

The next time you encounter a little human, take not of the way you speak with them– especially girls. If you’re anything like me, and despite of your feminist values and however much you make a conscious effort, you find yourself showering the little lady with compliments about her appearance. Girls in Real Life republished a great essay by Lisa Bloom about how to talk to little girls in a way that helps shape their intellect. [Image]

Neil Gaiman comments on "strong female characters" with BBC.

Neil Gaiman comments on “strong female characters” with BBC.

Writer Neil Gaiman shares uncanny insight into how to develop “strong female characters” with BBC News during a special commemorating the 10 year anniversary of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in which he suggests that writers actually go spend time with cool women.

Gaiman: I think the big thing to point out to people is, you know, possibly they should go and hang around with some women. And also, it’s worth pointing out that people, unfortunately, misunderstand the phrase ‘strong women.’ The glory of Buffy is it was filled with strong women. Only one of those strong women had supernatural strength and an awful lot of sharpened stakes. And people sort of go ‘Well yes, of course Buffy was a strong woman. She could kick her way through a door.’ And you go ‘No, well that’s not actually what makes her a strong woman! You’re missing the point.’

Read details on Jezebel.

Texas husband forbidden from taking his pregnant wife off of life support.

Texas husband forbidden from taking his pregnant wife off of life support.

Some controversial news has transpired in Texas where a man has been forced to keep his pregnant wife on life support despite his or her wishes. Read more on CNN.

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