Photo by Martin Vysoudil on Unsplash

Dear Santa,

The last time I wrote to you I was about 11 years old. I asked for a new American Girl Bitty Baby doll and probably some clothes. Putting together my Christmas list used to bring me so much joy. I loved the excitement of writing to you, thinking it would soon reach the North Pole.

I know I’m no longer a child. It’s been a while, but I feel a letter to you has never been more appropriate. Unfortunately, my wish list isn’t quite as cheerful as a new babydoll. The world is falling apart. It’s too much…

If you made the jump from a corporate setting to a startup, prepare for a bit of culture shock. Follow my lead, and you’ll get comfortable within no time.

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My first post-college job could not have been a more controlled environment. I worked for a television news station.

Being a television personality meant I had little control over my appearance. Dressing to the nines every day was a requirement.

My hours were set in stone. I clocked in at 9:30 a.m. and clocked out at 6:30 p.m. No ifs, ands, or buts about that one. I had 10 vacation days. Questioning authority or providing feedback to someone in a higher position, not an option either (unless you wanted to get fired).

Some people enjoy the structure of a setting…

Rippy holding an award.

A few summers ago, Morris “Rippy” Patton was walking home from a Bristol Blues baseball game. He stopped at a local bar with his friend to grab a beer.

“We walk in, I get to the bar, and some random white guy, sitting right there next to me goes, ‘We don’t like to serve Black people here.’ He had no shame about it. It wasn’t quiet,” Rippy said.

He said everyone in the bar heard it; still, the man held no remorse. In that same city of Bristol, Conn., where Rippy often falls victim to racist remarks, he’s a leader.

Tanysha Washington was nine years old the first time someone called her the “n-word.”

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

I understand that the color of my skin provides privilege. But—this privilege doesn’t give me, or any White person, a hall pass to remain complacent.

Our solidarity is crucial in dismantling racism.

Show up. Learn. Educate.

If there’s a protest happening in your area, join. There is strength in numbers.

The fight against racism doesn’t end when the posters are put down, though. The conversation needs to be continuous.

Continue learning. Don’t turn a blind eye to the news. Listen to what the people are saying. Research. Read about it every day.

Use your voice to educate others. Share books…

I quit my job one year ago. I broke the cardinal rule. I did it without having another job lined up.

And you know what?

I would go back and do it again.

I was working as a television news reporter in Binghamton, New York. It was my first job out of college. I thought it was my dream job, but a series of unfortunate events quickly made me realize I wanted more. I wanted more from my career. Not more as in fame or notoriety. I wanted my career to provide work/life balance. I wanted a more liveable salary…

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Normally, I love watching television. Once I find a show I like, I have a hard time not binge-watching it. But, in quarantine, things are different. Watching TV doesn’t feel the same. Maybe it’s because I’m more distracted. I turn on the TV and continue working or will mindlessly scroll through social media.

Books, though, have been my saving grace. Reading the words and translating the text into imagery is a fully-immersive experience. Distractions completely unwelcome. It’s glorious being entirely engrossed in a story that’s far from our current reality.

From thrillers to historical fiction even memoirs, there’s not really…

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The weight of the unknown feels overbearing. COVID-19 has swept the globe, leaving us all a bit frazzled. When will we return to normalcy? When will our loved ones heal? Are we doing enough? Will conditions worsen?

When these questions circle my mind, I find solace in poetry. There’s something healing about the ambiguity of the carefully-crafted stanzas. The poet, she writes with intention and passion. She has her own interpretation as she puts pen to paper. For the readers, the interpretations of a poem are unique to whatever they may be feeling at that moment.

There’s a poem by…

Grace Gagnon

Former television news reporter now working for a weather intelligence start up in Boston. Lover of dogs, books, and people.

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