View in browser

Issue #33: Normalizing the Dark & Twisty 🌀 

via @brenebrown

From Melia: 

Today is Day 30 of The Evolving 40, my daily reflection project during the 40 days leading up to my 40th birthday. Some days the writing has been earlier and more joyful than others, but overall it’s been doing what I’d hoped: helping me move into the next phase of my life with awareness of how I’ve evolved and how I’m evolving. 

(P.S. If any of you have subscribed to an Evolving Perfectionist newsletter, thank you -- and know that I haven’t gotten it together to send anything out yet. 😬 I can’t even keep up with posting to the blog!)

One of my hopes for the project is to normalize being open, real, and human: feeling the full range of emotions, and managing mental health proactively. I’ve been glad to see the ways that therapy is becoming normalized in mainstream media. Many of my favorite podcasters, from Conan O’Brien to Brené Brown, have talked about the life-changing benefits of therapy.

Glennon Doyle is unabashed about needing medication to maintain a baseline of mental health, as I do; she sings “Jesus loves me, this I know, for he gave me Lexapro” with gratitude when she visits the pharmacy.  😄There is no more shame in taking meds for anxiety and depression than there is for taking them for a congenital heart condition.

A few of the Evolving 40 posts where I've had to dig deep are Jealousy, Value, and most recently, Healing. When I go to these vulnerable places, it’s clear from people's comments that I’m not alone, and I feel less shame and more connection. As Brené Brown says, it’s important for parents to demystify and normalize these complex emotions with our children, too. The more we can talk openly about the dark and twisty places inside all of us, especially during uncertain times, the more we can be there to help each other navigate them.

We are taking a short season break from new episodes. If you have any feedback on what you like and what we can do better, email us at or DM us on Instagram @semitogether. We love hearing from you.

In the meantime, check out previous episodes you may have missed.


Minisode: Music as Therapy 🎙

We’re all looking for solace and meaning during these stressful times, and music is something that we are both using intentionally. We discuss the mental and physical health benefits of music and ways to use music as therapy.

Listen to the episode.

👉 Steal This Tip: Create some stress-busting playlists in advance.

Make a few playlists that let you feel your feelings — music that resonates with sadness and grief, if that’s what you need, or music that gives you a happiness or energy boost. Research generally finds that “relaxing music” with a slower tempo is better for calming the nervous system, decreasing blood pressure, and settling breathing and heart rate.

😄 Things We Text Each Other

From Gill: I usually love reading The Strategist’s roundups of product recommendations, but this one on the best shapeless housedresses for your budget (from $27 to $569 – on sale!) was just too much.

😍 Stuff We Love Right Now

On the Interwebs  🖥

From Melia: 

  • Need That Noam Time 
    One of my favorite Onion articles of all time is Exhausted Noam Chomsky Just Going to Try and Enjoy the Day for Once. I think of it when I grow weary of my tendency to go full throttle and suck the marrow out of life, and also when I take a long, leisurely sip of my morning coffee as I look at the headlines. Even anarcho-syndicalist academics like Noam need a break sometimes: “The systems of control designed to manufacture consent among a largely ignorant public will still be there for me to worry about tomorrow. Today, I'm just going to kick back and enjoy some much-needed Noam Time."

From Gill: 

  • Country House Dreamin'
    A dear friend who shares my love of travel and aspirational real estate introduced me to escapist_to_the_country, an Instagram account full of beautiful country homes I want to move into immediately. This 19th-century wine trader’s estate near Paris has a winery and stables! This off-the-grid bungalow on an island in Croatia is right on the beach! It’s so soothing to scroll through photos of idyllic settings and imagine all the possibilities.

On Our Screens & In Our Ears  📺  🎧

From Melia: 

  • Life on Loop

    I love how romantic comedies are making a comeback, but with setups and characters that diverge from the norm (e.g. Always Be My Maybe and Set It Up on Netflix). The Hulu original Palm Springs is a spin on Groundhog Day, with two self-centered but charming 30-somethings stuck together on a day that keeps repeating. Andy Samberg costars, and his comedy collective, The Lonely Island produces. It’s nerdy and hilarious and fitting for quarantine, when we’re trying to find meaning within our limitations.

From Gill: 

  • Rise Up

    Did I spend Fourth of July weekend watching Hamilton multiple times and singcrylaughing at the top of my lungs? Yes and yes. I was already a fan, but seeing the incredible performances of the original cast just blew me away – and felt especially poignant in this moment of reckoning around racial injustice. I’m obsessed with them all over again and have been consuming everything I can find related to Lin-Manuel Miranda, Phillipa Soo, Leslie Odom, Jr., Renée Elise Goldsberry, Daveed Diggs, and Anthony Ramos.

On Our Plates   🍽 

From Gill: 

  • Summer Salads
    We’ve officially reached the part of the summer where I don’t want to heat anything indoors. Unless it can be grilled or prepared at room temperature, I’m not interested. I’ve been stocking up on mix-and-match salad ingredients that stave off hunger and boredom: greens, tomatoes, tuna, corn, red peppers, peaches, nuts, cheese, rotisserie chicken. My current favorite combo is: lettuce, chicken, peaches, and walnuts (bonus points for blue cheese).

From Melia:

  • Biscuits Are Everything

    Since we got an air fryer (totally worth the investment!), we’ve been keeping a tube of Annie’s Organic Flaky Biscuits in the fridge and using them for various last-minute deliciousness. We’ve made donuts in a few minutes (you can do these in the oven, too), used them for strawberry shortcakes, and had PB&J on biscuits for lunch when we ran out of bread. Of course, you can just eat them with butter and honey for a comforting brunch or anytime treat.

If you like the Semi-Together podcast, why not share the pod with a friend who would enjoy it? You can also become a patron here.  

Until next time! 


Melia & Gill 😘😘

Enjoyed this newsletter? Forward it to a friend!

If you are that lucky friend, subscribe here.


3000 Old Canton Rd. Ste. 455, Jackson, MS 39216
United States

You received this email because you're a subscriber. We're glad you're here!