BEING ANTI-RACIST

“The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward” – Ijeoma Oluo

It has taken me far too long to write and share this post. I was holding off in doing so because I wanted to write it in a way that didn’t make it about me. I was also worried about saying the wrong things.There has been a lot going on in the world and on social media since the barbaric and untimely death of George Floyd on the 25th May 2020. I have posted to social media, I have shared stories and information to my Instagram stories but I have also listened, I’ve learned, I’ve signed petitions and I’ve donated. Now I want to use this (very modest) platform to share some of what I have learned and some of the resources I’ve found useful.

On Tuesday the second of June I posted a black square to my instagram grid with the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday. Thankfully I had already noticed posts saying not to use #BlackLivesMatter because it erased lots of very important information and so I didn’t have to delete it for that reason. I did, however, spend the day considering whether or not to delete my post. I was consuming so much content on the topic throughout the day. Some people said delete the square, it’s not helpful, others said keep the square once you have not used the Black Lives Matter hashtag. I didn’t know what the “right” thing to do was. I kept the post. I kept the post but I wasn’t silent. I used the day to share some resources I found and to try and amplify melanated voices and I’ve continued to try to use my platform to do that. It’s not helpful if you posted a black square and then moved on with your life because you could, because in reality it’s “not your problem”. 

I’ve learned it’s not enough to say “I don’t have a problem with black people” or “Well I’m not a racist”. It’s not enough to just be ‘not racist’. I need to be anti-racist. I need to use my white privilege to call out racism and to support black people. If you’re reading this and thinking “I want to be an ally but it’s hard or it’s uncomfortable to call people out on their racism”, I found the tweet below from @kthpupp and it really hit home:

“Whether you like it or not, this year will be written in history, your children will be educated of these events. They are going to ask you what you did, wouldn’t it be embarrassing to say to your own children that you did nothing because you were uncomfortable.”

 

SOME THINGS I’VE LEARNED

  • Sharing videos of black people being killed by police is not constructive. How many videos of white people being killed have you seen on social media? We have had camera phones for about 15 years. It hasn’t ended racism yet. It’s also not raising awareness that black people are disproportionately killed by police. Is there anyone who doesn’t already know that? Talking about it and raising awareness, however, is important. @akilahh said on Instagram:

“When I say ‘don’t look away’ I don’t mean consume black death like it’s a meme on TikTok. I mean look in the mirror. Look at your family. Look at the community you live in. Look at your friend group. Look at the wealthy white woman with the recuse dog in the goddamn park. And don’t look away.”

  • Stop asking black people what you can do. Please don’t assume that every black person is a spokesperson for their entire race. It’s also unfair to expect them to have all of the answers. Use your time to educate yourself. Google it. Follow anti-racist educators on social media, go through their back catalogues, read books on the topic. 
  • We need to stop telling oppressed people how to protest. I want to make it very clear that I do not agree with violence and I don’t think it solves anything. That being said, it’s very small minded to have the attitude of “why can’t you just protest peacefully” or ” why cant you protest the right way”. Black people have tried marching. It didn’t work. They tried taking a knee. That wasn’t right either. famous people have spoken out about racism. That hasn’t ended it. It’s also a huge distraction to let the actions of the few take away from the actions/intentions of the many. This post on Instagram from @ZerlinaMaxwell sums it up so well. 

SOME RESOURCES/WAYS TO HELP

If you have any information or resources to share with me, I’d love to hear them. My intention with this post was to be supportive and to share resources I’ve found useful. I’m learning everyday and don’t promise to always get it right. I’m open to correction if anything I’ve said was inaccurate, unhelpful or hurtful.  You can come & chat in the comments, DM me on Instagram or email me at ali@paparali.com

Anyway, that’s enough from me this week…catch ya next week…maybe!

Ali x

 

I had a slow start to Sunday with a lovely lie-in, some painting out the back garden, chats with the girls and some time spent out in the sunshine. A good Sunday all round.

If you want to find out more about Ali Edwards’ ‘Week in the Life’, you can here  and you can see some of Ali’s pictures here.

10:42am | I had a glorious lie in until 10am.

11:58am | Women at work. Mam and I getting the paint out and finishing off the fence out the back garden. I definitely picked up my love for painting from my mam.

1:22pm | Getting ready to go and meet the girls for a socially distant chat. 

1:38pm | Time for a socially distant, but in real life, catch up with the girls for the first time in months.

4:54pm | Soaking up some sunshine out the back garden. Chief taking the opportunity to get a belly scratch from an outstretched foot. 

7:48pm | Turning this spaceship into a hanging basket for The 100 Day Project. Ok, it’s not a spaceship but it kind of looks like one.

8:54pm | A pretty sunset and time to finally go inside for the evening.

11:34pm | In bed catching up on Instagram stories…and that’s a wrap for ‘Week in the Life 2020’.

 

I usually like to get things done on Saturday but with very little sleep on Friday night, it was mostly a day of rest.

If you want to find out more about Ali Edwards’ ‘Week in the Life’, you can here  and you can see some of Ali’s pictures here.

4:53am | Chief had me up at 4:10am because he can be a real asshole sometimes. Luckily, I love him. After I fed them, I tried to catch some more ZZZs on the sofa. 

9:15am | Everyone is up out of bed and someone is still stalking me for my tea.

10:36am | The laziest morning. I got approximately 1.5 hours sleep so having a lazy morning was the top of my agenda (and everyone else’s, apparently).

11:42am | I woke up with a second coldsore in a matter of two weeks and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, so Dave was being the voice of reason and telling me it could really be worse. 

11:59am | I looked up and saw her little face staring at me through the chair. 

2:32pm | After my terrible night sleep, I needed a nap. I’m terrible at taking naps so really I read for an hour and kind of half napped for 30 minutes.

3:49pm | Still feeling tired and a little sorry for myself so it’s the world’s comfiest onesie for the rest of the day.

6:03pm | Making candle holders for The 100 Day Project. 

8:13pm | Zoom quiz number 4637 of lockdown. I mean no offence when I say that I’m fairly over video calls. 

12:28am (technically Sunday) | Late night snuggles with Chief while we watch The Chase. We’re truly living the dream. 

 

 

I don’t work on Friday so I had a lovely lie in. I’m struggling to focus on reading the past couple of weeks but I woke at 8:30am and managed to stay in bed until 10am.  

If you want to find out more about Ali Edwards’ ‘Week in the Life’, you can here  and you can see some of Ali’s pictures here.

11:11am | While Dave worked, I drove down The Strawberry Beds to get us a (late) take away breakfast.

11:18am | How beautiful is this cottage on The Strawberry Beds? I love the Wisteria at the entrance and I would love to see what it looks like inside. I always admire it as I go by, this time I stopped and took a photo.

11:37am | Breakfast. Fresh sourdough almond croissant and a sourdough pain au chocolat. I couldn’t choose so we split them in half and shared. 

12:26pm | Waiting for the rain to stop so I can call to see Stephen & Sally for a socially distant chat and to drop off some pastries.

3:33pm | Covid-19 related things. I’m not having an easy time getting refunds for flights from the airline so I’m attempting a chargeback from the bank instead.

4:01pm | Adding gold polka dots to the bottom of the wall in our box bedroom/dressing room for day 46 of The 100 Day Project.

4:43am | Relaxing (and resting my back) for a few minutes while I wait for Dave to finish work so we can go for a walk.

5:12pm | Going for a walk and stopping at Dave’s parents house to say hi.

7:10pm | Look who’s back for the weekend! My mam arrived with Chief & Lady just after 7pm.

7:51pm | A rainbow after all that rain.

9:20pm | Gin & Tonic and Jack Change it. When you have nowhere to go at the weekends, you have to think of things to do at home. We play cards or games one night over the weekend. 

1:53am (technically Saturday) | Both of us on devices as we stay up way too late because it’s the weekend.

 

Coming to the end of my working week, picking up some paint to finish the garden fences at the weekend and working away on The 100 Day Project and our Star Wars marathon.

If you want to find out more about Ali Edwards’ ‘Week in the Life’, you can here  and you can see some of Ali’s pictures here.

9:09am | I thought I better show myself brushing my teeth at least one of the days, in case people think I don’t do it. I draw the line and sharing my showers.

09:37am | I won’t miss the queues for EVERYTHING when (read: IF) life goes back to normal. I’ll never take popping in to a shop for some milk or going to a DIY shop for paint for granted again.

1:53pm | Throwing together a prawn fried rice  to have for lunch out the back garden. 

2:24pm | Still keeping an eye on that peony and it has opened a bit more today. 

3:26pm | I’m working from the comfort of the armchair today because my back has been causing me trouble hunching over my laptop for work. The sun shining in on me doesn’t hurt.

5:36pm | Planning and hanging things on the wall in the attic to make a Harry Potter gallery wall. A really fun one combining home decor and Harry Potter, two of my favourite things, for day 45 of The 100 Day Project.

7:32pm | Getting a walk in to get some fresh air before dinner. I haven’t gotten any exercise in this week with my back but it really helped to get out in the fresh air. 

9:35pm | Embracing those dark photos. Enjoying a can of Diet Coke (ok two cans) and watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We’ve watched episodes 4,5,6 and 1,2,3 and now we’re onto the newer movies. I haven’t seen the last 3 yet so it’s really getting exciting now. 

An absolutely stunning day on Wednesday so I was really looking forward to getting out in the garden once work was finished for the day. I’m already feeling like it’s going to be hard to get out of the habit of photographing everything next week. 

If you want to find out more about Ali Edwards’ ‘Week in the Life’, you can here  and you can see some of Ali’s pictures here.

 

9:41am | It looks like video call meetings will be happening for the foreseeable future.

12:26am | Working with my mam (who is also on lockdown with us) means I get to spend some of my time working face to face with a colleague.

4:43pm | The dreaded food shop seems to be less stressful every week and it’s definitely quieter mid-week. I’m still buying stuff we would never buy pre-lockdown. 

5:25pm | Dave trying out the new bottle opener. The 100 Day Project pays off for him sometimes. 

5:39pm | It’s a gorgeous day and definitely barbecue weather. 

6:49am | The sun is still shining so we’ve moved to the front garden with some summer time treats. Remember when I said I’m still buying stuff we would never buy pre-lockdown. 

08:09pm | I’m painting today for The 100 Day Project. The painting days are definitely the most relaxing, even if I haven’t a clue what I’m doing and taking my inspiration from Pinterest.

10:19pm | Both of us on our devices while The Chase plays away in the background. I, at the very least, hope there’s some general knowledge going into our brains at least. 

11:39pm | Window selfie on the way to bed.

I’m slightly happier with the photos from Tuesday. I have to remind myself that setting up photographs with a timer feels very unnatural but in order to actually get pictures of my day, I have to. I don’t think Dave would appreciate if I called him from his work to take pictures of me eating my lunch.  I’m also trying to embrace the dark photographs rather than trying to brighten them up. 

If you want to find out more about Ali Edwards’ ‘Week in the Life’, you can here  and you can see some of Ali’s pictures here.

09:26am | Putting a wash on before work. Riveting, I know, but it’s part of life.

11:30am | I’m on peony watch. They’re my favourite flowers so I can’t wait for this one to open.

12:03pm | Working away at my makeshift desk.

2:40pm | More peonies. Impatiently waiting for some garden peonies to open too. I shouldn’t wish the time away, they last such a short time once they’ve opened.

6:30pm – 7:26pm | Some socially distant chats (and prosecco) with the family. My mam is staying part of the time with Dave & I and part of the time in her own house so we don’t need to socially distance.

8:34pm | Pizza on a Tuesday. This lockdown life is just crazy. We usually get one each which means dinner today and lunch tomorrow. 

9:43pm | I’m so not into gardening at all, but I’m desperately trying to keep the few things that we have out there alive, so I’m watering them in the evenings (when I remember).

10:55pm | Working on The 100 Day Project very late today. 

This is my first time doing ‘Week in the Life’ and I’m technically a week behind. Ali Edwards does ‘Week in the Life’ in May every year and she (and lots of others) did it last week. I had the best intentions of doing it last week too but I didn’t have the energy to do it so I’m doing it this week instead.

I definitely took too many photos for Monday which I’d imagine is normal but then when I looked back at them, I didn’t like any.  Anyway, I’ll just share a few here. I

If you want to find out more about Ali Edwards’ ‘Week in the Life’, you can here  and you can see some of Ali’s pictures here.

09:43am | A quick walk with the dogs before they go back to my mam’s house for the week. She lives 2.3km from my house so covid-19 rules were recognised.

11:16am | The day job. Working from our box bedroom/dressing room as Dave is working from the attic/office/craft room.

1:47pm | Lunch. I’ve been craving a fish finger sandwich. It’s usually a hangover go to for me but not this time. 

2:40pm | Some more work in the afternoon with a cup of tea to heat me up. 

4:32pm | Clocked off work for the day and thought it would be interesting to include a picture of our messy bedroom, it usually only gets shared when it’s nice and tidy. I wanted to tidy it but I turned around and walked back out. 

4:42pm | Reading some newsletter emails including one of my favourites by Allie Lehman

6:24pm | Time for day 42 of ‘The 100 Day Project’.

7:02pm | Sunday night’s leftovers on a Monday is always a win. I hate cooking on Monday which is ridiculous because in lockdown Dave has made about 70% of dinners. 

8:53pm | Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith before bed.

PERSONALITY TYPES

Hi, I’m Ali and I’m addicted to personality type quizzes. I’m also very into other people around me doing them so I can learn more about them. I think you can learn more about someone by their personality type than you can based on what they will tell you about themselves. The personality types that I’m most interested in are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Enneagram. 

I’ll give you a quick background of MBTI in case you haven’t heard of it and you’re interested. It’s a personality test, made up of statements, and you give your answers on a scale of how much you agree or disagree. It was created by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers during World War 2. Their work was based on theory by Carl Jung and it indicates differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.There are 16 different personality types.

My personality type according to Myers-Briggs is INFJ. Introvert (I), Intuition (N) Feeling (F) and Judging (J). Some INFJ traits that definitely apply to me:

  • Hates loud and crowded places
  • Not good with money
  • Take their commitments very seriously
  • Seek life-long relationships
  • Have very high expectation for themselves and others
  • Hates coming home to a dirty house
  • Never compromise their personal values
  • Extremely stubborn if they think they’re right
  • Either non-stop talking or very quiet
  • Organised (but, with me, this really depends on what aspects of life we’re talking about)
  • Always feels like there’s something they can be doing to improve themselves
  • Recharges their energy in solitude
  • Feels anxious about future unknowns
  • Puts pressure on themselves to get things done
  • Extreme dislike for criticism
  • You should never lie to an INFJ, they’ll know and it will matter

If you want to give the test a go, you can here.

The history of the Enneagram of Personality is a bit more unclear but they’re believed to come from the teachings of the Bolivian psycho-spiritual teacher Oscar Ichazo from the 1950s and the Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo from the 1970s. The Enneagram has 9 different personality types and they’re much easier to remember: 1-9. To make it a little bit more complicated though, it’s believed you have 1 type with a wing type as well. The wings are the two numbers either side of yours. Usually your score much higher in one of them and that is your wing.

My personality type according to Enneagram is Type 6 with a 5 wing.

Some Enneagram 6 traits that definitely apply to me:

  • Tend to be anxious, suspicious and indecisive
  • Loyal
  • Thinks the world is dangerous
  • over feels and over thinks
  • Enjoys true crime stories
  • Security is important
  • Likes to be prepared
  • Doesn’t like sudden changes
  • Stands for justice
  • Expects the worst, hopes for the best
  • Tends to play it safe

If you want to give the test a go, you can here

 

LOCKDOWN LATEST

  • I’m worried about: Lockdown ending. Is that weird? Am I the only 1? Is everyone else just so ready for it to be over that they’re not worrying? I think my personality types above will tell you that it’s not out of the ordinary that I’m worrying. I’ve even been dreaming about it. I think I’m more worried about going back out into the real world than I ever was about being stuck home, but I guess that’s the introvert/over-thinker in me. 
  • I’m reading: I just finished Normal People by Sally Rooney. I can’t decide what to move onto next.
  • I’m enjoying: The glorious sunshine. It was so so nice out yesterday. Today is a little grey but that’s ok. 
  • Online orders: I ordered some festoon lights for the back garden. We also ordered a bench for the front garden that arrived this week. I went wild and ordered 2 pairs of runners/trainers. It’s time I replaced my favourite pair. I think I have them about 6 years now. 
  • Random supermarket purchases: Last week I went to the big Tesco for our food shop and I bought a garden shears, some birthday cards that I plan to use for a gallery wall (maybe) and 3 jumpsuits that were reduced to less than €10 each.
  • I’m watching: We binged Normal People. I loved it. The acting was so good. Dave hated the ending. I found it very emotional and kind of liked it. We’re also working our way through the Star Wars movies in chronological order because Dave hasn’t seen any of them and I haven’t seen the last 3. It’s all very exciting.
  • New Traditions:  We’ve had a cocktail night on a Saturday a couple of times and this is something I definitely want to continue to do when lockdown is over. My new favourite is the Berry Collins (pictured above). I learned the hard way to stick to just one type of cocktail.

Are you doing anything you’d like to keep up after lockdown? If you do the personality tests, please please tell me your results. You can come & chat in the comments, slide into my DMs on Instagram or email me at ali@paparali.com

Anyway, that’s enough from me this week…catch ya next week…maybe!

Ali x

 

I promised myself last week that I was going to make the next post about something other than Covid-19 but what else is there right now?

POST PANDEMIC PLANS 

Things I want to do or do more of when this is all over:

  • More family photos. I have approximately one of us all together. 
  • A Sunday afternoon down the pub watching football.
  • Bottomless prosecco brunch in The Exchequer with the girls.
  • The obvious ones – nail appointment, hair appointment etc.
  • More exploring around Dublin. We’ve spent so much time at home since we bought the house which I’m grateful for because we were making it into a place we’re happy to spend all this time in. Now I’m looking forward to spending my weekends out of the house.
  • Go shopping for NON-ESSENTIALS. Let’s be honest, its a Penneys (Primark) and Ikea haul for me!
  • A cheeseburger and skinny fries from Bunsen. If you’re Irish, or visiting Ireland and haven’t had a Bunsen yet. Do yourself a favour. There are 6 in Dublin, 1 in Cork and 1 in Belfast. The Best Burgers.
  • Book that trip to New Orleans we’ve been talking about for the past couple of years. Hopefully in a 2021, post-Trump America.

One quick thing, am I the only one who is a bit worried that I’m going to be even more socially awkward when this is over?

Again, planning fills my cup. If it doesn’t fill yours, don’t do it.

LOCKDOWN LATEST

  • I’m worried about: The weather has been pretty damn good up until now, which has made this a whole lot better, but now we’re in for some rain this week and I’m interested to see how many meltdowns I have per day when that happens. Up until now I have been eating at least 1 meal a day out in our little garden. I’ve been working on outdoor projects and I’ve also been spoiled with the option to go for a walk whenever I choose, rather than trying to get one in between showers. Is this making anyone else nervous?
  • II’m reading: I’m almost finished ‘The Book of Life’, the 3rd book in The All Souls Trilogy. I think this has been my favourite of the 3.
  • I’m enjoying: The 100 Day Project is absolutely keeping me sane. At first I thought the timing was terrible because I wouldn’t have the access to supplies whenever I want them, but it’s been great because it has pushed me to work with what I’ve got or can get in the supermarket. It also puts structure on my day that doesn’t involve work, which is really helpful for me. It’s never too late to start your own project. Why not jump in? It can be anything, just do it for 100 days. Sounds simple eh?! The pictures above are 1-20 of my project – 100 Days of Paparali Projects. 
  • Online orders: I ordered some white masonry paint online for painting the wall out the back garden. It arrived today, just on time for all the rain!
  • I’m struggling with: Not seeing the very few people I like to spend time with and working from home. It’s getting harder, not easier.
  • Random supermarket purchases: This week, in the middle aisles of Aldi, I picked up – a new succulent (surprise, surprise), a highlighter (the make-up kind, not the marker kind) and some sanding blocks. Last week, I got an outdoor heater from Lidl. It was a big win and we sat out the back garden until 11pm.
  • I’m watching: We finished Season 3 of Narcos and plan to move onto Narcos: Mexico. We also re-watched Season 1 of After Life on Friday and then watched all of Season 2 on Sunday. I laughed and I cried.

How is lockdown going for you now and what do you plan to do when it’s over? Come & chat in the comments, slide into my DMs on Instagram or email me at ali@paparali.com

Anyway, that’s enough from me this week…catch ya next week…maybe!

Ali x