Guys, this week. It was a year long and took such a toll. You too? It’s all just too much. And I can’t even come close to comprehending the pain of those who lost everything or lost someone in an instant. The insanity of it all has certainly gotten me thinking about what really matters most and how it relates to this teeny tiny corner of the internet. You see, I’ve been holding down the Apt34 fort for a long time, but even nearly a decade in, I’ve still not 100% comfortable with sharing online. It’s so much easier to talk about the happy shiny things. So you get glimpses. Peeks. An idea. But it’s really only a sliver.
Also, it appears when you talk about pretty things, you’re not supposed to have an opinion. Heaven forbid you offend. Or take a stand. But if I’m going to teach my son that when you see something wrong, you must step in and say something, I have to lead by example, no?
So in the wake of Las Vegas, the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, the NFL brouhaha and the generally terrifying tenor of everything in our nation in 2017, I’ve decided I cannot be silent. And I can’t offer little innuendoes or bury my thoughts on Instagram stories. These days, we’re talking about the literal difference between life and death for so many people.
And while the following is little more than a gesture – no lives will be changed by my words – I do believe words have power. Collective voices have power. Knowing you’re not alone gives others power. And the will of the people has power so I’m throwing my hand up in the air to be counted. I’m doing it here where it will be seen by you. I’m doing it on the phone to be heard by my elected representatives. I’m doing it at the dinner table with my friends and family. I’m doing it with my time, my money, my vote, and any other means I think of. Because I cannot see something so terribly terribly wrong and talk about throw pillows all day.
THE APARTMENT 34 MANIFESTO
I believe women’s rights are human rights
I believe gay rights are human rights
I believe trans rights are human rights
I believe healthcare is a human right
I believe immigrants’ rights are human rights
I believe black lives matter
I believe everyone with a platform should #TakeaKnee
I believe gun control is common sense and better for everyone
I believe difference is what makes America great
I believe I am part of institutionalized oppression just by being white, and unless I’m taking active steps every day to counteract institutionalized racism I am a part of the problem
I believe we have real challenges in this country – massive income gaps, education gaps and opportunity gaps, wage stagnation, drug addiction and addiction to stupidity, narcissism, laziness and reality tv
I believe we do need change but it has to come from us – it’s obvious it will not come from seats of power. At least not from those who currently occupy those seats. It will come from how we treat our neighbors and how we treat strangers. It will come from how we respond to what we fear. It will come from how we stand up to oppose discrimination, oppression, and fear mongering. It will come from what we demand as acceptable discourse and examples of leadership. There are solutions if we use common sense and look for common ground.
I believe I must do everything in my power to protect and advance these rights for every human being.
This means I cannot keep who I am, what I believe or what I’m fighting for off of this platform. Every time you are silent, you are complicit.
So now you know me. Deep down. Not just what color palette I think feels good for fall.
For those who don’t want politics to gussy up their daily Apt34 inspiration, fear not. This site will continue to stick to all things pretty. And should you disagree with my opinions, I by no means think I’m changing your mind. If you feel like you can no longer appreciate my design advice, entertaining inspiration or style tips because you don’t agree with my views, I would be sad to see you go.
But I can look my son in the eyes and tell him – be who you are, be proud and never shy away from expressing what you feel in your heart is right.
With that here are this week’s must click links.
> How to donate to hurricane victims
> How to help earthquake victims in Mexico
> How you can fight for gun safety
> If you need to learn even more about guns in America
> How to register to vote
> How to find your members of Congress
> How to make a difference in 2018
> If, like me, you still wish she was president
> If, like me, you still want to believe humanity exists – I give you a grandpa holding babies in the ICU
photo via norm architects