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Hi! Welcome to issue #11 of my newsletter - I'm Glad You Asked. This email will be a little different from the previous editions I have sent out.

Previously, I designed this newsletter to provide WordPress news and links and resources, along with some additional stuff from me personally. However my feedback as well as my gut feelings have been telling me to lean more into the latter.

So I'm going to be pivoting this newsletter series a little more toward stuff I want to share and a little less around the WordPress world. If you signed up because you wanted WordPress stuff, I would not blame you at all for unsubscribing.

Moving forward, you can expect links that I think you as an internet-based person may enjoy, updates on my work and projects, rants, and mental/emotional challenges.

If that's what you'd like to read - let's get into it!
philip-defranco

🔗 My Favorite Links


Here are some of my favorite links from the past few weeks. Hopefully there's something cool in here you can use!

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It's been ages since I've sent out a newsletter, so as an apology, please accept this photo of my cat in her Halloween costume.

🔥 Necessary Trouble

Welcome to a new section of my newsletter where I'm going to complain/bitch/explain something that has really been bothering me lately. Think of it as a rant, but with (slightly) less cussing and finger pointing and more trying to get to the bottom of an issue.

I saw a tweet in my feed recently and, for the first time in a long time, I was purely speechless.

The tweet more or less focused on diversity in the WordPress space and beyond. It was disparaging the idea that in order for diversity and inclusion to be achieved, straight white males need to be asked to leave the table, so to speak.

I've had some time to think things over. And honestly, the answer is yes. Yes. Get the fuck out.

This tweet assumes (incorrectly, I'm forced to specify) that all straight white males currently at the table actually deserve to be there. The tweet ignores the centuries of systemic racism, sexism, and classism that rules every corner of our society. This tweet asserts that by giving a straight white man less, everyone suffers.

Not all people at the table currently deserve to be there. Many skirt by on the bare minimum and get away with it because they can. I can't tell you how many mediocre or just plan not-talented straight white men I've worked with (in WordPress and beyond) who only have their jobs because of who they knew or what exclusive events they could afford to go network at. On the flip side, some straight white men have just been in one place too long and, instead of challenging themselves with new positions and opportunities, refuse to get up and let the next generation of people rise up.

It's not about being straight and white and male. It's about being at the wrong table, or at the table for too long. And, for reasons not created by POC and gays and women, many straight white males get by doing these things due to that oh-so-naughty word... privilege.

👩🏾‍💻 Newest From Me

I've been chugging along as usual, trying to keep my head above the waters of depression and imposter syndrome and an unending global pandemic. And so, out of sheer pride of managing to get things done, here are some things I've actually completed recently!

Hysteria - I wrote, directed, and edited a PG-rated horror fiction podcast with a feminist spin. And it actually got finished and released! If you follow me on twitter you've probably heard me talk about it. Even though spooky season is over, it might still be a fun listen!

LinkedIn Learning Course - I am working hard on my second course for LinkedIn Learning which is all about staging sites! I am currently finishing up the final leg and it will be released in the spring of 2022! You can find my first course here if you want!

Kinsta - Kinsta has been an awesome partner of mine this year. I've written a handful of blog posts for them (I'm currently working on one about the WordPress community!) and now I'm getting started on a full-sized course for them!

Things I've been enjoying:
📺 Cowboy Bebop. I've been rewatching the original anime in preparation for the action release and I don't think I can hold my excitement!
📙 Leviathan Wakes. My mother in law loves The Expanse and so I'm reading the first book in the series the show is based on. So far, it's Game of Thrones in space and I am LIVING.
🎶 Montero by Lil Nas X. Rarely do you come across a perfect album where every song is different, yet amazing. Lil Nas X has my heart.

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💌 A Challenge

So this is the part of the newsletter where I provide a mindset challenge for you to focus on.

I've been reading The Satanic Bible by Aton LaVey. (Don't worry, your goats are safe.) This book is actually an interesting look into the counter-culture of organized religion. While some of his ideas are extreme, at their base is a core philosophy that I connect with hard: do what you want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.

Now you might be thinking... what possible challenge are you going to propose from The Satanic Bible?

One concept LaVey discusses at length is the difference between indulgence and compulsion. Without getting too far into the religious weeds, he argues that many systems in our life force us into abstaining from things unnecessarily, punishing ourselves for basic needs and desires and basic enjoyment of lie. But he's very adamant that indulgence (guiltlessly and openly taking part in what makes you happy) does not mean compulsion (thoughtlessly giving in to vices and addictions).

So. My challenge for you this week is to try to think of what you've been abstaining from. Maybe it's sweets or reality TV or something more personal. Consider how you can indulge, without being compulsory about it.

For example, I've been playing a lot of video games recently and I realized I've been doing it as a compulsion in order to procrastinate. Instead of throwing my PS4 out of the window, I'm going to set specific gaming times throughout the week where I can indulge without letting that indulgence take over my life.

So that's your challenge! I'm glad you asked!
xoxo Allie

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