It ended up being one of the best decisions I could have made.

Being a millennial in the animal rights world, I often find myself surrounded by experts in mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. I have always admired these types, and the benefits of mental wellness are clear. For me, I’ve always struggled with finding the space to explore my inner self. If I wasn’t moving at 1,000 miles an hour, I might as well not be moving at all. If I wasn’t taking on more than any one individual logically should handle, there was no point in getting out of bed in the morning. I understood the value of a positive and present headspace, yet I never made the space for myself to even try. …

From one former cast member to another, you are worth so more

Heartbreak and anger: the great, gut-wrenching, soul-crushing duo. Pair that with both relief and regret, and you end with a whole bunch of feelings that leads one to do the only logical thing — open Medium in the middle of the night and start writing.

In case you haven’t heard, Disney is in the midst of laying off 28,000 hourly employees, or “Cast Members.” This week, more layoffs came around. It has been several years since I worked in the “Most Magical Place On Earth,” but I still have a slew of contacts living in the land of palm trees and tourists. Over the past few days, many of them got the email they had been dreading. …

I moved to a “nice” town, that also happens to be a racist one

Like many millennials, my partner and I entered adulthood with crippling student debt and the inability to find jobs despite our college degrees. Instead, we both worked multiple low-wage jobs merely to be living paycheck-to-paycheck. At 26, he finally landed a job in his field as an engineer. I had moved to Florida after college, but this job happened to be in my home state of Massachusetts, so my now-husband and I made the decision to move in with my parents in attempts to get a grip on our student loans and be able to afford to purchase a home.

It was a long three years at my parent’s house, years which I’m sure my parents would be equally unwilling to re-live, but eventually, I also found an okay-paying job, and we had saved our downpayment. Last year we bought a house in a town that is consistently rated as one of the safest towns in the entire county. While we didn’t (and still don’t) have kids, it also had great schools and over a dozen parks. …

“It’s only a cup.”

By 1:00 yesterday afternoon, I was exhausted. Why? I didn’t have any coffee. When I contemplated it, I realized it had been several months since I had gone a day without a cup. “When did this happen?” I thought.

Five years ago, if someone had asked me how I liked my coffee, my answer would have been as far away from me as possible. Four years ago, I was drinking it only on those days where I was working from 6 am until after midnight, and I loaded it with soy milk and artificial flavor to keep it from actually tasting like coffee. Three years ago, I realized my ‘every now and then’ had become more regular, and I stopped entirely before addiction formed (relying on sugar to get through those long days is not a recommended alternative). …

Inspired by Gen-Z, we fight on to November

Slack, Spoke, Slack, Spoke, ThruTalk, VoteBuilder,…repeat…It’s been a hectic few months as a volunteer for an underdog. Last week, that underdog, Senator Ed Markey, won re-election to the U.S. Senate. When rumors started to fly about a potential challenge by Joe Kennedy III last year, polling immediately put the not-yet-running Congressman Kennedy 17 points ahead, where he hovered even after entering the race. Until the pandemic struck…

Though in Congress for four decades, Ed Markey wasn’t well known in Massachusetts until this race. He wasn’t what some might call a “talking head” who is constantly doing the news circuits, and was seen as an easy target for a cute face from a Massachusetts dynasty. Many would argue that Kennedy seemed so sure of his inevitable victory that he didn’t even bother to define why he was running, a trend that continued until he stopped trying and began dodging the question. …

We don’t have to agree on every policy to admit that she is the right choice

I am pro-Medicare for All. I believe a Green New Deal should be the absolute baseline for climate policy and that public colleges should be free. I want to see a mandatory buyback of assault weapons and a Universal Basic Income for all Americans. Despite the apparent difference in policy positions, Kamala Harris was my top choice for Vice President since before she announced (and ended) her campaign. I am elated that she could be the next occupant of the office.

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Kamala Harris commands a room. She exudes confidence, is consistently bold, and doesn’t take no for an answer. She is precisely the kind of woman that deserves a place in history. In 2016, little girls around the country started to believe they could do anything. Hillary Clinton was far from a perfect candidate. Still, she took a giant leap towards breaking those barriers when she won 3 million more votes than her opponent in a general election. Then came a man who is full of racism, sexism, and classism. A man who says there are “good people on both sides,” sends “thoughts and prayers” instead of taking action, and who tear gasses peaceful protesters fighting racial injustices. The 2020 Democratic Primary looked like America. Yet, as a party, we ended up nominating a 77-year-old, white, male, career politician who is still making some questionable statements about race in interviews. While announcing his running mate would be a woman was a positive move, today’s racial reckoning showed us that a white woman wasn’t going to cut it (even if that white woman was progressive queen Elizabeth Warren). …

Yes, it is terrifying. Yes, it is worth it.

So you’re an introvert? So you hate talking on the phone? So you are intimidated talking to strangers?

Me too. I don’t answer my phone when it rings. If I need to find an electrician, I will immediately narrow my options to those who allow you to request a quote online. If I bought the wrong item, there is a decent chance I’ll just donate it instead of dealing with an exchange. I even spent six years in a job where talking was literally a reason to be fired. Real, human interaction? Nah. I’ll pass.

For some reason I still haven’t quite figured out, a year after leaving a job that didn’t involve speaking, I decided to take a job as a public speaker. Every day for the first two years, I woke up with gut-wrenching anxiety. …


Alisa Marvel

Cat lady & broccoli enthusiast

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