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Pop Culture Reading

Highly recommended reading for your healing journey. This month we read "How We Show Up: Reclaiming, Family, and Community" by Mia Birdsong.

"We are witnessing a shift right now. A stale version of the American Dream is crumbling, breaking apart, and being discarded as a new version emerges. People are widening the narrow roles they've been assigned. Many of us are refusing to feel guilty or shameful for not following convention when it comes to success or building family and community. Many of us are moving through the grief that comes from letting go of the picture we had of what our lives would look like so we can make room for a different, maybe even better, picture. More of us are creating new (to us) and reimagined models." -Mia Birdsong

One of my core takeaways from this book is that there are so many narratives around family and what it means to be in relationship that just aren't serving us anymore. The American Dream and our culture of individualism have made it extremely difficult for us to actually show up for each other in meaningful ways. We've been telling ourselves a story about how the idealized family unit (mom, dad, two kids, maybe a dog) is capable of thriving all on its own, with no outside support. However, when families put pressure on themselves to be self sustaining, they lose out on opportunities to build beautiful community. And it often takes a village.

What I didn't know that I needed were many, many alternate models of what family, friendship, and community can look like. Mia offers us a variety of unique reimaginings of family that exist in her community. Many of these new examples are from single Black moms who reject the negative narratives that are automatically assigned to their experience.

This book gives me hope that I can someday have my own family and still be able to maintain a sense of self. After I finished reading I felt inspired to open myself up to new friendships and a community that I can truly show up for.

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