I caught a little cold this weekend. Not the kind that knocks you out completely, but the annoying kind that just kind of grates on your nerves (and your sinuses, and your throat) for a few days. I had a friend’s anniversary party to attend, and I didn’t want to miss it, so I decided to just hermit myself away on either side of it. Sleeping for long stretches, blanking on work I’d planned to do, ignoring emails. The night of the party, I roused up a pretty good amount of energy, danced and laughed, and even went out to eat afterwards. And then I slept for another day afterwards.
This morning, I’ve still got the grating sinuses (I’m convinced a golf ball has taken up residence in the left one), but my energy’s back mostly to normal and I’m getting ready to happily head upstate to spend the week with my family. Upswing.
Just over a year ago, though, I remembered, there were no upswings in my life at all. My body had been breaking down in various ways, through autoimmune wackiness, hypothyroidism and a few other physical ailments, for a number of years. How I felt this past weekend was, in fact, how I felt most of the time, and how I’d come to manage having a semi-public-facing life. Sleep and cry a lot when home, and muster up some version of myself for the public. Finally, in July 2013, my business wife, Sonal, said: “This is not okay. You are not okay.”
Known facts about this freaking refugee:
Arrived in: 1979
Country of Origin: Viet freaking Nam
Current Residence: Texas
Damage Caused/Jobs Stolen:
- Took up 1 spot in AmeriCorps National Service for 1 year
- Stole 1 seat at Teachers College, Columbia University
- Prevented real Americans getting jobs at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Veterans Crisis Line
- Stopped 1 small business owner from taking the name Emotion Technology, creating jobs for as many as 6 people
- Made it impossible for up to 1,000,000 people a year to NOT get emotional support when in crisis, including up to 300,000 VETERANS per year.
- Convinced Facebook and Google (among others) that mental health was an important platform for them to focus on, decreasing people’s freedom to not get access to help when they need it.
Statement from “Christopher” Vu Gandin Le:
I was sponsored by a family in Maryland, my dad was sponsored by a woman in Del Rio, Texas. That woman, a school teacher for 35 years, a strong republican and a good Christian became my Grandma. She saved my life time and time again. She took in a family of refugees, people whose conflict caused her own son to go to war, and she chose every day to be my grandma. To love us as her own kids. I owe a debt of gratitude to her and to this country, my country, for taking me in.
Reblogged from freakingrefugees
This quote has landed deeply for a few folks with whom I’ve shared it recently, and I made it into a lock-screen image. Thought y’all might like it, too.
People often ask me what they can do as allies to help ensure equitable gatherings and communities. I was answering an email this morning about being invited to moderate a panel, and wanted to share one of the ways I try do to my part. Here’s what I said:
I would *love* to join as the moderator of this panel. It sounds like an incredible gathering. As part of my participation at all events now, I like to ensure that diversity & equity are as much a priority for the events as they are for me. Can you let me know if you have women of color, queer and/or trans folk, etc, joining the panel? If you need help reaching out, I’ve got lots of great contacts who I could recommend to you.
Would love to hear suggestions for improvement; feel free to share if this is useful/helpful.
From an email that Ruth Ann Harnisch sent me when I was sunk in a moment of deep crisis:
Soon you will know that it is not selfish to say no to anything that is not powerfully pulling you, irresistibly drawing you, calling you from your most joyful heart place, not your saddest most obligated place. Just like you can’t be poor enough to help the poor to thrive or sick enough to help the sick to be well, you can’t be guilty and obligated and sad enough to uplift people in need. You have to come from your place of abundance and joy and love and strength, the place that builds you up instead of draining you. It seems selfish at first until you begin to see that you are putting on your oxygen mask so that you may assist others.
(from the #NCCWSL14 talk I gave on June 7th, 2014)
Love you, Chris.
I take too long to respond to stuff – too long at least to enter the Op-Ed space. I feel like my thoughts come to me in these waves, that I have to wait for each wave to go back out so I can see what things are left on the beach.
So many other people have written about the shooter’s connection to…
Reblogged from emotiontechnology
the best depiction of an OCD-related twitch ever, courtesy of the Oscar-winning animated short, Mr Hublot.
Join me in sharing.
When you #swipeleft because your shared friends are your craytown friends.— Deanna Zandt (@deanna) April 14, 2014
When you #swipeleft because the dude is wearing a Monsanto tshirt. O_o— Deanna Zandt (@deanna) April 14, 2014
When you #swipeleft because it’s stunningly obvious that they took a selfie and wants to make it look like it isn’t. Own it, honey.— Deanna Zandt (@deanna) April 14, 2014
When you #swipeleft because you were kinda spacin’ out there for a sec and OH SHIT HE’S GONE FOREVER— Deanna Zandt (@deanna) April 14, 2014
When you #swipeleft because “100% man.” Didn’t realize there was a new-style buzz feed quiz for that already— Deanna Zandt (@deanna) April 14, 2014
When you #swipeleft because he says “swipe right” in his bio and you don’t want to be told what to do (most of the time)— Deanna Zandt (@deanna) April 14, 2014
When you #swipeleft and Tinder’s like, I got nothin for you grrl. This may conclude my own livetweet for the evening. Feel free to carry on— Deanna Zandt (@deanna) April 14, 2014
Beyond the pop sensation of the song, this moment… YES. For the longest time, I didn’t understand why I wanted to make art or how to describe the feeling of creating something that connects with other people. Pharrell is living here what I’ve finally understood to be the whole point of creation: not that someone says, “hey, I like what you made” but that you’ve created something wherein people can see and feel themselves. It makes us all feel a little less isolated, alone, and frankly, crazy.