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A few weeks ago I had to have a conversation that I had been putting off for years. I had to talk to my Southern evangelical parents who never really accepted my gay sibling about my transgender child. Differences aside, I’ve remained close to my parents, especially my mom. I credit my mom with a lot of the things that have made me successful and happy in life.
But I was a cisgender, heterosexual woman who was friendly, tall, outgoing, thin, and achievement-oriented. I was the type of daughter my mom would have ordered if there were such a system.
Newsletter editor Lily here.
Well, folks, my 27th birthday came and went last weekend. It was truly fabulous. My fully vaccinated best friend of 16 years came up from DC, and we ate our weight in cake and pie, walked around Central Park, napped, and went to dinner with a few of my closest friends.
We actually ended up also grabbing drinks outside at a bar that mostly caters to 23-year-olds who chug a lot of Bud Light, but the bright side of that was the people watching was A+.
I’ve talked quite a bit in newsletters about the weirdness of 27 for me, but it’s funny how you pass a benchmark like that and life goes back to normal so quickly. Today my roommate and I are spending hours on customer service lines trying to figure out where our dining area furniture is. I have to go for a run later because, you know, health. I’m currently sneaking Sour Patch Kids from my cabinet even though I really don’t need any more sugar today. Such is life.
During the last year, my partner Paul has had more than the usual COVID anxiety considering he’s 40, in good health, and we aren’t frontline workers.
Why? Because back in 2013, he saw me hospitalized with pneumonia in three-quarters of my lungs. My kids couldn’t visit because I looked too scary, hooked up to too many machines with too many things being pumped into me. The next month, I gave a keynote in Chicago, but I had to sit on stage, or I’d cough too much. I was on stage giving a keynote, even though my lungs couldn’t support me standing and talking. Why? I was a single mom under attack and I needed that $15,000.
“I basically can never leave California,” Eli said to me the other day.
Yep. My guess is everyone talking about how “over” California is doesn’t have a transgender loved one.
In nearly half the states in this country, it’s become open season on trans kids as the GOP thrashes around for any culture war to ignite their base and hate their way back into power.
How much are you even hearing about it, though?
Remember a few years ago when states were trying to pass laws that wouldn’t allow transgender kids to use the bathroom of their gender? Remember how up in arms liberals were? Remember when large corporations were leaving cities as a result?
I had a mind-blowing realization the other day.
I was talking to another female founder about the Chairman Mom community.
I was telling her about Susie the Ninja who helped solve Evie’s ninja problems and Serafina and Valerie the total badasses teaching our course on financial literacy who I got to know through the Sisterhood course. I was telling her about the amazing writing in the Ready, Set, Write showcase; how I just so happened to be writing a graphic novel about pigs and cows, and Elena had trained to be a vet. And about Leah Y., who absolutely has to start a podcast about Asian folk tales and how they resonate in today’s world.
Last night Paul and I decided to watch a movie and were drawn to Senior Moment starring Christopher Lloyd, Jean Smart, and William Shatner. The big reason (other than Jean Smart) was that it was a movie about Palm Springs that was actually filmed in Palm Springs.
I am in agony that I gave this thing $6 of my hard-earned money. I feel like I have to right that wrong by telling you how bad it was.
It was extremely sexist, racist, and just plain f***ed up. I googled it to try to figure out what happened with this film that had a good cast, atrocious production quality, and seemed to have had the red carpet rolled out for it in Palm Springs. Did anyone read the script first?
“Mom,” Evie said the second she walked out of school, dripping backpacks, water bottles, art projects, and lunch boxes and other things that could actually go inside the backpack. “I need to have a private conversation with you as soon as we get home.”
I am getting a lot of these lately with both kids. And it’s not just because ice cream is frequently an answer to emotional after-school problems.
It turns out, Evie came up with a special ninja training program at recess and was teaching all the girls to be ninjas. And, of course, it was cool. And so boys started joining the course. And you know what happened next: A boy decided he was going to be the teacher too.
I haven’t offered a single course by Chairman Mom that I didn’t want, need, crave, relish.
But our next course I get to tell you about…well, let’s just say after the crying-all-night-nothing-I-do-is-enough wall I hit last week…it couldn’t come at a better time.
We’ve got a quick four-week bootcamp by happiness and brain science expert Nataly Kogan on opting out of BURN OUT.
We talked around the title of this event for weeks. This is not a course on taking a bubble bath or momentarily self-care’ing your way out of exhaustion. It’s a course that is a behavioral shift. It’s a course that gives you permission to simply opt out of struggle and shows you how. It’s not about a one-time refuel. It’s about doing it all differently to begin with. And it’s in your control.
Today’s intro comes from CM contributor Adimika Arthur, a public health expert, hospital executive, and founder of Health Tech for Medicaid (HT4M). She fiercely advocates for vulnerable populations and loves to help people better understand health equity, healthcare, and health technology through storytelling, connection, and sisterhood. She is also the co-founder of the Sisterhood Project with Sarah Lacy, a six-month tailor-made deep dive in supporting other women, and co-host of the new sisterhood podcast Bring a Friend.
Newsletter editor Lily here.
Something very strange started happening this week. Several friends and acquaintances I know just finished up their two weeks of time post-second vaccine shot and suddenly want to hang out. And I…feel so overwhelmed at the idea of trying to make plans, especially multiple plans in a short span of time.
Just earlier today I had a friend try to flake on weekend plans because her schedule was too packed tomorrow (what?!) and I thought to myself, “Oh my God, I hate all of this.” I didn’t miss that part of socializing or friendship, because every single interaction has had to be so intentional for the past 13 months.