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The Preppy Democrat

Loving Dissent

Dissent is verbal resistance. It is the affirmation of our voices, of our worth. It is, in a democracy, a fundamental right. And, in fact, dissent is not related to love. They are complementary forces. In a climate where bigotry is an explicit value of those in institutional power, speaking love is an act of dissent.
 
Those eloquent words come from Carolina De Robertis in the forward of Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times.
When I got this book a couple of months ago, I had no idea how important it would become. Obviously it wasn’t news to me that things here in the USA are a mess. Obviously I care very deeply about what is happening; this is especially obvious if you know me well–or are simply my friend on Facebook.
However, when I finally picked it up off of my “to be read” pile a a couple of days ago because my other book was too hefty to fit in my bag, I didn’t realize that things were going to become that so more uncertain for this country within the next forty-eight hours. I didn’t realize that I could become even more angry than I was previously.
But, here we are.
I’ve not written my own words since the election, back in 2016. I haven’t had the energy and, quite frankly, I really haven’t known how to express myself. All I could fathom was the anger, sadness, and pain that was surrounding me.
But, reading this book, I’m realizing something.
I need to stay angry. I can’t let myself become numb to what is happening, because then I will be less likely to fight.
That said, I also need to remember to love. Love my neighbors, love those affected by Hurricane Harvey, love students that will be affected by the ending of DACA, love my friends and family, and (perhaps most of all) love myself. We cannot grow weary and we cannot be quiet.
Be radical in your dissent–be loving.
And, if you need inspiration beyond this book (which I highly recommend), check out this playlist from Spotify. It will be sure to lift you up and maintain the fight. Or, if that isn’t quite your cup of tea, “Quiet” was just revamped as an acoustic single by Mlck. Have other suggestions? I’d love to hear them! Comment below and keep on loving.
spotify:user:spotify:playlist:37i9dQZF1DX1lwjn4hAQau
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Love Trumps Hate

I’ve been typing and re-typing this post over and over for the past week. Every time I try to find the words to say, I’m at a loss. There is simply so much to say.

So, here I am, finally sitting down and putting the words out there in the best way that I can.

First off, I need to say that my heart is aching. As I posted on Facebook:

My heart hurts.

It hurts for my fellow women. It hurts for the LGBT community. It hurts for people of all nationalities and ancestries living in the US. It hurts for those practicing religions that aren’t aligned with the popular views. It hurts for the immigrants that were hoping to come here and live the American dream.

Truly, I am scared. Very, very scared.

But, a reminder: somehow, love WILL trump hate.

Second, I also am feeling a lot of hope. I know, that sounds weird, but in recent days my timeline has been filled with positive words, hope, and encouragement. Be it from pages that I follow, friends and colleagues, or the Pantsuit Nation, I find myself uplifted more often than not. My world is filled with movers and shakers that are ready to make a difference.

Third, as I am coming to terms with the election and it’s aftershocks, I am finding myself thankful for what happened. Now, hear me out: I am not glad that Trump is president. I never will be. I am not glad that there is such blatant racism, xenophobia, sexism, anger, hatred, etc. rampant in our society. But, I am glad that we are now aware of it. If it weren’t for this election and what has happened in the days since, many in our nation would have continued on their merry ways completely unaware of the schisms in our society.

Before this, it was all too easy to claim that here in the United States, we are above other nations and everyone gets along. For many, it has been clear for a long time that this is not the case. But for just as many, it has not. And now, they know and can act.

Which leads me to point four. On another blog that I follow, This Time Tomorrow, Krystal Bick had this to say in her after-election blog:

While yesterday may have been a day of mourning for many people in this country, I think it’s important today we mobilize into action. To help spread love whenever possible. To listen better. To empathize. To reach across party lines and to connect. To recognize our differences and to not vilify them, but celebrate them. To get involved. To work together. And yes, to stand together, at a time when our country is so deeply divided. It won’t be easy. It won’t be pretty. But nothing worth having ever is.

Today, we don’t plan our moves to Canada. Today, we dig our heels in and work even harder and more diligently — together.

Regardless of who you supported on Tuesday, our civic duty doesn’t end at the voting polls. If there’s a change you’d like to see, we have a decision to make. We can either lose momentum and continue to point fingers at each other (or worse yet, give in to apathy). Or we can kick the shit out of option B.

I’m with Krystal. Let’s kick the shit out of option B. Need some ideas on how to do so? There are marches and peaceful protests happening all over the nation in the coming weeks and months; I myself am attending one in Oakland tomorrow night. Volunteer at Planned Parenthood. Volunteer at your local government office with a representative that echoes your views. If you see someone making inappropriate comments, very carefully and tactfully insert  yourself into the situation in a way that protects yourself and the abused. Be aware of your own words and actions.

Together, as a nation, we will get through this. It won’t be easy and it may not be pretty, but I know that we will.

Be a mover and a shaker. Make a difference in your own way.

And, above all, don’t give up.

Life is Better in the Mountains

This past weekend (I know, I’m horribly behind here) I went down to Harrisonburg, Virginia to visit my best friend Sarah for the weekend! Activities included watching lots of movies, drinking lots of bubbly, hiking, and exploring downtown Harrisonburg–which, I must say, is one of the cutest areas I’ve seen. Much of Harrisonburg is JMU’s campus, but in the heart there are lots of super cool coffee shops and stores to visit!

I’m so glad that I was able to get down to VA for a few days and definitely can’t wait to go back!

Taking the High Road

Michelle said it best when she said, “When they go low, we go high.”

The current political climate is, to say the least, a nightmare. Media is filled with misogyny, hate, references to rape culture, anger over the “threat” of having guns taken away, and people claiming that women should no longer have the right to vote (again).

It’s easy to get angry. I am angry. There’s no denying that.

But we can’t stoop. “When they go low, we go high.”

Just as alarmed as I am by the far right these days, I am also alarmed by the far left. I’m about as liberal as they come, but I also recognize the need for compassion for ALL. It isn’t always easy, but it’s the right path to choose. I see many fighting anger with anger. That won’t help, it will only create more fire.

So listen to the best First Lady our country has known. Go high. Take the path of kindness and hope.

 

Falling for Loafers

Ever since I saw Lena Dunham rocking her loafers a year ago, I knew I needed to invest in some. I wound up going with the Ralph Lauren ones pictured above, and haven’t regretted it once in the MANY times I have worn them since.

You can find them here or here! If you opt for ordering them online, rather than picking them up, I would definitely suggest using Amazon if you have Prime. Free shipping is the best!

I’ve had my loafers for about 9 months now, and wear them at least two or three times a week. I have always been a huge Sperry lover, but these are just a little bit more dressed up, which is super convenient for work. I can wear them with a dress or nice jeans, but in warmer weather they work really well with a pair of shorts, too!

If you’re in the workforce and are looking to invest in some shoes that will give you a break from those high heels we Pittsburgh ladies love to rock (despite the crazy hills–I think we might be crazy!), then these are definitely the shoes for you.

Currently… (9-30-16)

Wanting: Fall is coming so the nice mauves, scarves, and checks are back in! I recently got the small Le Pliage Longchamp bag, and now am definitely wanting the large version–it’s so nice and versatile, and I love that it folds up so easily! Perfect for weekend trips, which I make a lot of. Also along these lines, Kate Spade is having a surprise sale right now! It ends today, so if you want to snag something for up to 75% off, do it while you can!

Watching: Downton Abbey. I know, I’m seriously behind the game on this. But my boyfriend’s sister and I were talking about it a couple of days ago and with it on the mind, I had to finally start it! I love watching an episode after dinner on weeknights, it’s a great way to wind down with a cup of tea or glass of wine.

Listening: Fall is here, so I’m delving into the wonderful world of indie folk, which always reminds me of the season. Spotify has an awesome playlist that I can’t get enough of at work that’s called Autumn Acoustics. I would definitely recommend it if you like chill tunes! You can listen to it here.

Quoting: “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence,” Mark Twain.

 

 

 

Hello!

I have always wanted to start a fashion/news blog, and I thought that now is as good of a time as any to do so!

I’m super excited to be getting this started–it will be a blend of fashion, food, workouts, and news. I know that not all of these seem to fit together, but I’m willing to make it happen so here goes nothing!

I hope you follow along with me as I begin this journey–I’m super excited to see where it will go.

XOXO,

Rachel

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