I didn’t realize my life was set up for me to succeed until really leaning into the history of our country’s systems. I always thought, “I’m not racist! I love everybody. How is it even possible to be racist?” So, I recently tried to pinpoint moments where perhaps, inadvertently, I was contributing to racism through my ignorance. This is what I’ve found:

“There’s no such thing as not racist.Ibram X. Kendi’s words helped me realize, that even when I don’t feel like I’m saying or doing anything racist myself, there are aspects of my everyday life where racism —…


We pretty much have 4 ways to communicate with each other now-a-days. You can (in order of effort) type a message, make a phone call, video chat, and the real thing: talk in person. While it’s obvious that technology has made it easier for us to communicate, it’s my belief that it’s become so easy to communicate — that we don’t do it effectively.

I didn’t know this was a phrase until recently, but since hearing about “option paralysis,” I’ve begun to take more of a notice into just how many choices we have, with everything. As far as my…


Wake up. Commute to work. Type, type, type. Click, click, click. Sit inside a building all day until it’s dark out. Commute home. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

As the workday comes to an end, time seems to be working against you. “Is it 5 yet?” The clock reads 4:30. You check it again every 2 minutes. Finally, the clock strikes DONE, so you order your Uber home because you can’t be bothered to take public transportation. You arrive by 6. Blink once. Now it’s 10:45. Netflix is asking “you still there?” At least someone is checking up on you. You try…


Hey Paul,

Happy almost birthday. I wanted to write this early because I want tomorrow to be a happy day for me. I’ll be 28. You would have been 75. A TRUE old fart. A lot’s happened in the last 2 years. I think you’d be proud.

January makes me think back to the story of how you met my mom.

Paul Jr. was shopping for a birthday card for you in Cabo. My mom standing right next to him in the grocery aisle looking for a birthday card to send me back in California. They laughed about how you…


Imagine this…

The score is 19 to 20. You’re coaching a Thai high school varsity volleyball team in a town called, Wang Chan, that’s currently in the lead for the National Title. All 750 students are watching. Sweating with fear. Nobody speaks English. You can’t speak Thai.

I had no idea what to expect when I signed up for this whole ‘teach English abroad’ thing. All I knew was born into an upper-middle-class, predominantly white, very small, town — and if I wanted to grow up, I had to experience life on the other side. I needed to see some…


If you’re like me, from a young age, other people have told you what the blueprint for success looks like. A social guideline on how to be an accepted, functioning adult.

It goes something like this:

Step 1: Go to school and get good grades

Step 2: Graduate from a good college so you can get a good job

Step 3: Get a good job

Step 4: Don’t get fired

Sound familiar? It should.

What comes next is a bit less black and white: Get a promotion. Go to grad school. Get married. Buy a house. Go on some vacations…

Clay Steel

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