Edition 63: Laying all your cards down

These are more album notes than an actual essay or resources, but a couple things that need to be said.

All the therapy notes

This story is the latest among other similar ones on burnout and etc that have hit my inbox lately. I am not going to talk about burnout in specific (I’ll explain why in a minute), but I want to say one specific thing.

We need to normalize discussions of mental health on our teams.

HR-wise, it’s not advisable to ask someone to go to a therapist or what-have-you, but I talk about my therapist all the time. I talk about my grief all the time. When I take a mental health day, I do not lie, I tell my team I am taking a mental health day.

Burnout is not exclusive to reporters and front-line workers. The pain rises.

Here’s some actual topics that I have discussed with my therapist and/or friends lately, to give you an idea of the pain and to lay all my cards on the table:

  • Why is this person, who comes from a privileged background, taking my joy and using it to lift up their issue, instead of shining a light on me?
  • I am existentially tired. How can I keep going like this?
  • How can I help a team member who is burning out, outside of more time off?
  • Is this person a high-functioning burnout person?
  • How can I celebrate a win without seeming glib?
  • Am I the man?
  • Why can I not go one day without having to deal with the consequences of racism that happened before me?
  • Why does no one understand I am doing my best and that change takes time?
  • There are more bolts to unscrew to dismantle the system than I anticipated.

I’m putting these thoughts out there in hopes that you read it and say, oh me too, it’s OK to say those out loud. And it’s OK to tell me team I am struggling, so that they tell me they are struggling and we can help each other.

My writing is gonna live somewhere else soon!

Last week, my good friend Emma Carew Grovum announced that we are starting a column in OpenNews’ Source called Sincerely, Leaders of Color.

This is a natural outgrowth of this newsletter, which will continue to exist. I wanted a space to put my thoughts about diversity and inclusion work. It is for anyone who wants journalism to be a better place for journalists of color.

That means not much to you, dear reader. The Middles will still be sent out whenever I have something to say or share, and will still focus on emerging leadership and middle management for all creative and technology-related fields. I specifically write this not just for journalists, but anyone in analagous fields, like tech, humans rights, social justice, etc. For me, The Middles is a state of being, not a job position.

If you are interested in the state of DEI in journalism, check SLOC out and submit ideas to our suggestion box.


Reading // Trying // Drinking //Listening //


Just Work is by the same woman who wrote Radical Candor (you know, the book we all cite, but few have finished?). This is a good framework for DEI work, though I’m only a couple of chapters in.


Obe, that weird very, very millennial workout app that so many people have told me about. The biggest appeal is that each workout in 28 minutes, which seems so much better than 30 min for some reason. Get two weeks here (that’s a referral link that gives me money to use in the app)


Favorite morning drink: Cold brew + oat milk + peanut butter powder + vanilla protein powder. You’ll thank me.


A very sleepy podcast to help me sleep. Literally called “Nothing Much Happens” because…well…nothing much happens.