As a kid, writing stories was one of my favorite things to do in my free time. My preferred genre was fantasy, often with some sort of mythical creature or talking animal involved. I loved dreaming up intricate details about my characters and developing their dialogue, even if my plots could have used some serious work. While I never quite succeeded in becoming a world-renowned, bestselling child author, creative writing was a fun pastime for me—one that I know helped me build a strong foundation of writing skills early on in life.
On April 12, Cape Town, South Africa is on track to become the first major city in the world to run out of water—officials are calling it Day Zero. Cape Town has faced three consecutive years of extreme drought and is now less than three months from its taps and toilets running dry.
In order to slow water consumption, the city has instituted self-imposed caps on household water usage to 13 gallons per person, per day. These limits translate to shorter showers, recycled bathwater, fewer toilet flushes, infrequent usage of dishwashers and washing machines, and no garden watering or car washes. But the self-regulation isn’t really working—Day Zero recently had to be pushed up two weeks from late April because of the city’s daily water usage.
2018 promises to be a big year for digital platforms that facilitate more intimate communication.
Part social network, part messaging app, these channels allow people to send messages to individuals or small groups of friends, as text, images, or video. Snapchat, Instagram Stories, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp are all great examples, and they represent a growing share of consumers’ social media usage.
Note: Spoilers ahead!
I’ll just come right out and say it. I love the Pearsons—Jack, Rebecca, all of them. They have become a second family, and I voluntarily sit on my couch to cry my eyes out with them on NBC’s “This Is Us” every week.
And let’s be honest, the tears are getting to be uncontrollable. We’re officially on the brink of facing Jack’s death unfold. Yes, we knew it was coming. But as of Tuesday night, we have a much better understanding of how it happens (I’m not prepared to watch the Pearson home go up in flames…), why it happens (a terrible combination of funky wiring in a 20-year-old slow cooker, dead batteries in the smoke detector, and a sleeping family…), and when it happens (after the Super Bowl, be sure to set your DVRs for extra time!).
A few months after moving to D.C., I was quickly able to anticipate the first question most new people I met were going to ask me—“What do you do?” And over the last five years, I have had a few different prepared responses—“I’m a middle school Spanish teacher.” or “I work in education communications.”
Lately, though, I have challenged myself to ask not the what, but the why. The why might seem too forward or personal at first, but I have found it leads to more connected conversations. It’s what feeds you when your energy is running low. The core of your passion. It’s not just your job title.