Some Good Words: AUGUST Edition
A mysterious painting, Destiny's Child, the truth about positive affirmations, a Bluey thinkpiece, the lows of the "high life," and more!
Happy weekend, WANT fam!
We’re back with SOME GOOD WORDS: our monthly email/post dedicated specifically to things I think you’ll love. There’s SO much noise out there when it comes to media to consume and things to invest time/money in — what do I watch? what do I read? what do I buy? — and I always find it so helpful when I’ve got a set of vetted recs to sift through from someone I trust. The podcasts, shows, books, etc. I share here are all to help you move forward fearlessly in your own life by being proactive, not reactive. Sometimes that means a deep intellectual read. Sometimes that means baby animal videos. Sometimes that just means a random thing I came across that’s really cool.
I’ve structured this kinda-sorta inspired by the the James Clear 3-2-1 rubric, but with my own spin on it: THREE things to read, TWO things to watch, and ONE thing to hear.
I’ve also added MORE recommendations in the form of an even more robust link roundup at the end, just for all you paid subscribers! You also get A Note From Your Self: a note meant to be read to you, from you. It’s a reminder of who you are, what’s possible, and what might be worth considering today. Just a little thank-you for everyone who supports every month — I am definitely not making bank (or anywhere close to it, haha) from Substack, but it does help offset some of the hosting costs for WANT and the WANTcast, which means so much.
If you’d like, you can upgrade to a Paid subscription here. I promise I share good stuff. Products too. There is a Bluey thinkpiece in there today. Just sayin.
Speaking of things that mean so much: thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you to every single person who has preordered a copy, who has shared the WYS link with a friend, who has sent a note of encouragement — all of you!!!! I know ordering a book in advance can sometime feels trivial (like, “cool, awesome, I'll get it when it's out!”) but when it comes to being an author, preorders are EVERYTHING. The book's success — as in, booksellers deciding to sell it in their stores or on their websites — is very much about how many preorders happen from now until then.
So thank you from the bottom of my heart for preordering right now — it's a vote of confidence in both me and this Little-Book-That-Could. It comes out in 43 days. I can’t believe it. And I can’t WAIT for you to get your copy.
*If you want a look at our entire collection of tips, tools, motivation, and inspiration, go browse through The WANT Library at womenagainstnegativetalk.com — these posts date all the way back to 2015, so needless to say, there’s pretty much something for everyone!
Have a rec you think would be a good fit for this email? Leave a comment directly in this post on Substack (or just email me at email@example.com) to share what you’re loving, and it might get included in a future round-up.
SOME GOOD WORDS
To quote Taylor Swift — are you ready for it?
Here are some links to articles, videos, podcasts, and more that have enriched my life lately — and that I think you’ll love, too.
3 THINGS TO READ
Fewer People Are Having Kids These Days. Author Ruby Warrington Explores Why—and What It Means for All of Us via Maria Schriver’s Sunday Paper — As a woman without kids myself, Ruby Warrington’s work around non-parenthood, and her book Women Without Kids, have been deeply meaningful. I’m sure at some point I’ll dive into childfree-ness and the complicated feelings/interactions it brings up for so many of us (especially those of us who love kids but don’t want to be a parent, which is particularly perplexing to the world), but while I’m still working to find the words, it’s so encouraging that Ruby has such phenomenal ones.
The Lahaina Ohana Venmo page via Instagram —ok, this is technically not a “read” like an article or essay. But this Instagram page is an important read: it’s a Venmo mutual aid initiative by Lahaina residents for Lahaina residents affected by the August 2023 fires. Each photo is paired with a caption written by the residents (or in some cases their loved ones) and a Venmo handle/QR code. If you’ve been overwhelmed thinking “What can I do to help?” — here is a direct way. h/t to my friend Lily Diamond, who is also a Maui resident and has been sharing incredible resources and action items on her Stories and feed.
The Lows Of The High Life via The New Yorker — “Any door I want to open, opening. But what good is an open door? Growing up, I was often bullied, so I began to will myself from being passive to active, soft to hard. Yet none of that knowledge, none of that hard-earned change, would have come without resistance. These welcoming smiles, these soft comforts, feel like the beginning of atrophy, of danger.” I really loved this beautiful and honest essay about one man’s relationship with money — and what happens when you end up having it after not having it for so long.
2 THINGS TO WATCH
‘His Name Was Bélizaire’ via The New York Times — “For many years, a 19th century painting of three white children in a Louisiana landscape held a secret. Beneath a layer of overpaint meant to look like the sky: the figure of an enslaved youth.” This is technically an article paired with a video (sort of like a 9 1/2 minute documentary on this painting, which is sort of like a detective story) and it is so many things, including riveting, enraging, heartbreaking, haunting, and, ultimately, hopeful. I highly recommend watching the video, then going back and diving into the article.
Positive Affirmations: Do They Actually Work? via NBC News Daily — ok so spoiler alert…this is ME!!!! This past week, I got to make my in-studio television debut on NBC News Daily (yes, at THE 30 Rock. Pinch me???). And I got to film not one but TWO segments on this topic.
If you’ve been following along for a while…you can probably the direction I took this segment in ;)
Personal moment: after obsessing since 2007 over the nuances of why things like positive affirmations fall short SO often, it was deeply meaningful and poignant to not only get to speak about it on such a huge platform, and not only get to offer people some (hopefully!) valuable tools to add to their robust mental and emotional toolkit, but to have hosts and producers on a major national outlet be genuinely excited to have a different conversation about the conversations we have with ourselves. Honestly, it gives me hope.
As the kids say, CHOOSE UR FIGHTER: Click here for Leopard Print Wrap Dress Katie in segment number one (at the 6:46:00 mark; it should go straight there when the page loads), and/or click here for Yellow Satin Wrap Dress Katie in segment two (starts at 8:45:47; should go right there)
1 THING TO HEAR
60 Songs That Explain The ‘90s via The Ringer: If we have had a conversation over the last few weeks, there is a very good chance I’ve talked your ear off (or texted your phone off?) about my new favorite podcast: 60 Songs That Explain The ‘90s. Especially if you’re in the Millenial or Gen X demographic.
I am not a true crime person. I’m not a celebrity gossip person. I’m not a sports person. I usually listen to podcasts that are more of the deep-mental-and/or-emotional-dive-conversation genre. But sometimes, I want to listen to something that’s…lighter? This podcast hits all the right notes for me: a deep dive into something highly specific, 90s pop culture, music history, an earnest host that’s audibly geeking out over 90s pop culture and music history, so many laughs, nostalgia galore, and so much more.
I haven’t listened to them all yet (I’m trying so hard not to zoom through them all!), but so far, my favorites have been the ‘Criminal’ by Fiona Apple episode, the ‘Shoop’ by Salt N Pepa episode, the ‘If It Makes You Happy’ by Sheryl Crow episode, and of COURSE, the episode about ‘Say My Name’ by Destiny’s Child that takes a very long and delightfully winding road to finally get to the song itself.
(h/t to my friend Joe who knows me very well and sent this to me!)