It’s Not Me, It’s the Narrative

How do I say this…

My whole life I thought I’d be married one day. It’s just what you did. You grew up and you got married, everyone knows that!! Hello!!

So, imagine my surprise when that didn’t just naturally happen to me. I wasn’t given my government issued husband at the appropriate age of 24. Not too spinster…not too young.

I woke up in my 30’s, still single and without a single viable prospect in sight. At least from where I was standing in New York City at the time.

But hey, it wasn’t for the lack of effort. Since I was in college, and probably before that, I had been TRY-ING, capital letters, bold font!!!

“Hey Clint, do you like me back? Here’s my whole heart.” *chucks heart directly at target, doesn’t stick*

“Hey Scott, is it possible you might wanna like me, maybe?” *has learned to throw heart like a throwing star, still no direct hit*

“Hey Andy, CATCH!” *heart is now loaded into a bow and arrow type situation, to ensure precision accuracy…target not acquired*

“Hey JOSH!!!! You want this old thing? Please, for the love of God, take it!” *loads heart into a gun, spins the chamber…shoots…shoots…shoots*

Even on dates with new people, my entire personality was tailored like a personalized resume. What will make this person like me, let’s show them those things and ONLY those things. And like a Price is Right showcase, I’d wheel it out with the flashing lights and fancy price tags. In the hopes that someone, FOR THE SAKE OF PETE, would just win already. Like when the lotto gets so high that we’re all inspired to buy a ticket just in case. Just like that!! Exactly like that.

It may come as a surprise to you, that these strategies didn’t work.

And soon…the ole ticker was bruised and instead of hurling it at the closest whoever, I didn’t even take it out of it’s cast anymore. Too damaged. No 1-ups left in the game.

AND

I

FELT

LIKE

A

FAILURE.

I had one job. To give this ole beating thump-thump away. Hopefully whoever got it would give me their thump-thump and I’d fulfill my life’s purpose. Then I’d get to move to the “be fruitful and multiply” portion of the test. And God would be happy with me. (Ooof…this one cuts deep, ya’ll.)

That was the narrative for years and years and years. Until like…yesterday, when I had a thought!

See, every member of my family (the ones I’m closest to and who are of age, at least) is married, all of them. I’m the outlier. The square peg. And if I’m being honest, back when I was trying to play the Game of Life and load my little red car up with blue husband peg, pink child peg, blue child peg, pink child peg, blue child peg…it felt inauthentic. It didn’t feel right. But it’s just what you did, so I did it.

Growing up in the church, there just wasn’t a place for single people. Even the single’s groups were really breeding grounds for dating and finding “the one.” The married’s took it as their personal missions in life to see everyone happily paired. And the older singles in the church were viewed through a sad lens. “Poor Sally, couldn’t find herself a nice man to settle down with. Now she’s 40 and her life is basically over. At least God loves her.”

All of that felt incorrect to me. I just couldn’t put my finger on why. Cause plenty of people seemed to be getting married and being happy about it. But what I was doing was trying to fulfill an expectation sent down to me through generations of societal standards and biblical #lifegoals. But they weren’t really me.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I thought out loud, “Thank God for MY journey. Thank GOD it never worked.”

Let’s keep being honest here, I was never in love with any of the men that I tried t-shirt canon-ing my heart to. Not a single one. That doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt when time after time it turned out they just weren’t that into me.

But let’s give credit where credit is due. If any of my little strategies had worked, what would they have been falling for, exactly? What kind of snake oil salesman was I back then? In 3, 5, 15 years, we both would have woken up to the very harsh reality that we’d built a life on shifting sand.

Who I am today is so far from who I thought I’d be. And what I want out of life now is a multi-verse away from what I wanted then.

So I didn’t fail.

I protected myself without even knowing it. 28 year old Lizzie was RIDE OR DIE for me. 31 year old Lizzie was playing the long game. 35 year old Lizzie knew it was time to pack it up and today…38 (almost 39) year old Lizzie…she’s free.

Free to be what I want. And who I want. And go where I want. And maybe fall in love and maybe not. But if so…it’s with arms wide open. With hearts, stars and horseshoes all printed on the box!! There are marshmallows in this cereal!!! If you don’t want marshmallows, pick another cereal.

We had a team meeting and the marketing department is finally showing what’s inside the box. And what’s inside is so good!! There’s a theme song and merch. Cause the team has finally learned the value of the product.

Are we still making mistakes? Sure, even Taco Bell tried selling a waffle taco once. No one gets it right 100% of the time.

And 39 year old Lizzie will make mistakes too. But all the stuff that came before is being viewed through a new lens. It wasn’t me who failed. It was the narrative that failed me.

I’m just not normal like that. (What is normal, I ask you.) I’m a mother fucking unicorn! And now is my time to ride! I thank God for what came before. Because I wouldn’t be this awesome if it had played out any differently.

What’s a narrative that has failed you? Cause I’m here to tell you, it’s time to flip the script!!

Legacy

Tell me you’re a grandchild of The Great Depression without telling me you’re a grandchild of The Great Depression. I’ll go first:

“Use is up, Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without.”

Otherwise known as my Granny’s favorite mantra. Chanted time and time again throughout the corners of my mind. When someone wanted something new, she’d refer back to this faithful proverb. When there were ants in the sugar…guess what she said.

Is it any wonder when my deodorant melted last week, I whispered in my secret mind these very words and soldiered on with a crumbling block of antiperspirant clutched in my hands. After all, I had JUST bought it. And once it congealed back together in some semblance of a personal care product, I could use it again, right? RIGHT?

I did. I have been. I couldn’t help myself. It’s in my blood!

Except that it isn’t…in my blood! It’s learned behavior. It is not our nature to cling to the scraps of what we have before us. It is our nature to hunt, gather, pivot, adapt. I’m not saying that thrift isn’t wise. If you know me, you’ll know me to be thrifty. You’ll know me to not be wasteful. You’ll know me to make use of what I have. And not just because of the dreaded mantra!

Look! I come down hard on this mantra because to me it spins a legacy much deeper than just words. But in truth, it is not a bad mantra to adopt. If you’re looking for one, you can try it on for size. I just know this mantra is not for me. (Not even if a beloved family member has tea towels made with this saying on it for all of us to have. No… not even then!)

I guess I thought, growing up and still sometimes to this day, that if I didn’t live this way, I was doing something wrong. I mean…to be very, very fair…if you didn’t live this way in The Great Depression you could have died. (Or you were a Rockefeller, but you get my meaning.) So the mantra had it’s place in my Granny’s life for a really good reason. And when The Great Depression went away, what was she supposed to do? Give up a life saving principle?

I think many of us are faced with similar decisions and personal mantras today, going through our own life changing, world shifting event. I think about her mantra a lot these days, while still not taking it on as my own!! (I eventually bought new deodorant!!) That’s important to remember!

I bet she never uttered these words before the Great Depression. I bet she never thought she’d be the kind of woman to say, we CAN’T waste that sugar…so just sieve the ants out!!!

How many things have we had to do during the last year and half that we never thought we’d ever do? How many sentences uttered make no sense out of this pandemic life? Bet you never thought Zoom would be a daily word that would conjure a weird feeling of obligation and also somehow existential dread!

I wonder what our mantra will be. What will we say to our children, our nieces, our nephews, our godkids about this time? What will we be unable or unwilling to let go of? For good or for bad, we will have mantras of our own. We’ll say them over and over again. And to the generations that come after us…the words won’t make a whole lot of sense. They won’t mean to them what they mean to us.

Like it or not, we’re still in unprecedented times. Just like my Granny was when she endured The Great Depression. And something like that…it stays with you. It leaves a legacy. Whether we want it to or not.

I doubt she thought that silly little saying would cause me the mental turmoil that it sometimes has. You don’t always get to choose the legacy you leave behind. You don’t always get to choose how you’re shaped by the world. But for a brief and shining moment, you do your best. I imagine that’s what she did.

I imagine that’s what we’re all trying to do!

DAMN, I Miss Writing!

That’s it…that’s the post!

51 Ways to Live a Better Life

Paid Partnership with Jax Historic Realty

Lately, I have felt a bit off kilter. After eating so well and losing weight and working out regularly, I feel the difference more acutely when I don’t do the best things for my body. I feel it in my bones and I don’t like the feeling.

The strangest things can take a toll on us. Things we don’t attribute to health issues. But the mind and the body are so closely linked! And if we don’t take care of our minds, our bodies can often feel the result acutely. It swear! It’s a real thing and sometimes it’s not easy to track how something like that will affect you.

Sometimes things come along that DO effect us overtly. The big and little hurricanes of life hit us and all thoughts of routine go right out the window. No eating healthy, no going for a run. Because there is work to be done! And people to help and my little routine seems incredibly luxurious in light of larger than life situations like the fires in Australia.

All that to say, I finding it difficult get my groove back. (Not for lack or trying!!) So I’m trying a new challenge that I found on Pinterest (I’ll give full credit when I can find the source!) Who knows if it will end in a better life or a new improved Lizzie, but I know that when I have something to focus on, something fun or challenging or inspiring, I find myself to be a better person just from the trying. The simple act of showing up for myself usually does the trick.

If you want to try this yourself, here’s the list:

  1. Start fresh every single day.
  2. Check credit card, statements, bank accounts and pay stubs regularly.
  3. Adopt a “meatless Monday” mentality or the like.
  4. Put down your phone when you’re with people.
  5. Try the 2/30 rule: 2 hours of TV = 30 minutes of exercise.
  6. Understand that exercise doesn’t have to be a big time commitment.
  7. Cut back on EVIL sugars.
  8. Drink plenty of water.
  9. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses, you’ll lose.
  10. Wear sunscreen.
  11. Ask HR about benefits you probably aren’t using.
  12. Safe sex, always!
  13. Never grocery shop on an empty stomach.
  14. Start biking.
  15. Keep healthy snacks at home, at work, in purse, etc.
  16. Stop beating yourself up.
  17. NEVER DO DRUGS, it’s that simple.
  18. Also never smoke.
  19. Take care of your clothes.
  20. Eat whole foods as much as possible.
  21. Consolidate and pay off debts ASAP!
  22. Don’t skip doctors appointments.
  23. Don’t overdo the booze.
  24. Don’t snack if you’re not hungry.
  25. Use SPF and wear a hat.
  26. Don’t rely on pills to help you sleep.
  27. Don’t rely on caffeine to keep you awake.
  28. Drink at least 8oz of fluids a day.
  29. Make your home a place you want to be.
  30. Don’t buy things you’ll only wear once.
  31. Use YouTube for free exercise videos.
  32. Google/Pinterest how to make your own cleaning supplies.
  33. Drop loose change into the same had daily.
  34. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF.
  35. Avoid tanning beds like the plague.
  36. Take medication seriously.
  37. Listen to your body.
  38. Don’t skimp on sleep.
  39. Do mental health checks.
  40. Read labels on everything from food to makeup.
  41. Prioritize stress management.
  42. Optimize your fertility – if you plan to have kids.
  43. Consider drinking liquid chlorophyll.
  44. Always wear a seatbelt, even in Taxis and Uber.
  45. Wash hands often.
  46. Floss after every brushing.
  47. Sneeze into your arm, not your palm.
  48. For every 20 minutes on the computer, look away for 20 seconds.
  49. Count to 10 when you’re angry.
  50. Learn to take constructive criticism.
  51. Never Google your health condition.

Some of these may be easy to accomplish. Others more challenging. But all are good things to consider. At the end of the day, it’s about learning how to love yourself and love where you are in life. When you don’t love something, figure out how to make the change.

For example, if you do not love where you live, change it.

Although buying and/or selling your home may seem like an impossibly stressful task, there are people who will help you along during the process, such as Erin E. King with Jax Historic Realty.

Photo from Jax Historic Realty

He says, “This website has been built with you in mind. From the highest quality property images to the most informative guides and blogs, he is here to make your home buying or selling experience smooth and stress-free.”

Erin is a Best of Zillow agent and has tons of experience with all things related to home buying and selling, so he can walk you through the process and make it easy, especially when it comes to homes for sale in Murray Hills, or other locations throughout the Jacksonville area.

If you want to join in, maybe pick one or two things that you’d like to try this month. As my friend Renita always says #babystepstogreatness

If you want to jump in head first, come along for the ride!!

Photo from LiveLifeHappy.com

Resources

2019 is approaching and with it a time for goal setting, dream making and vision casting. But resolutions and big ideas are no good without a plan. By February, these goals we make tend to fall by the wayside.

This year, don’t let them go! Whether you’re a blogger, vlogger, podcaster, small business owner, entrepreneur, etc. this is the year to make that stuff you’ve dreamed of happen!!

Sometimes with the social media juggernaut chugging along, it feels like other forms of communication don’t stand a chance of reaching people. But email is still strong with the Force.

10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts - Infographic by Campaign Monitor

Source: Campaign Monitor

One of my favorite Disney influencers, Serena from Living by Disney, utilizes email in a creative and informative way to bring her talents to the masses.

Campaign Monitor and My Emma are 2 sites that offer some seriously good resources to help take your email marketing to the next level. And one of the things I want to get better at in 2019 is asking for help in areas that I am lacking. Expanding my skills to be able to be my best!!! And also, sharing what I find for anyone else that might be looking to work on the same things!

Dream Big! Work Hard! Play Harder!!

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish!

Well, everyone, it is time to say So Long and Thanks for All the Fish!!

And by fish…I mean support, love, unending kindness, eyeballs to read my stories, stories to share back at me…the fish have been unending for 8 years. The fish have meant everything to me. The fish have changed my life.

When I started Nerd in the City, little over 8 years ago, I had no idea the journey I was about to embark on. I had no idea at the time that I was secretly a writer. I had no idea that I would meet new friends through here and that this place would become part of my skin.

But…it has and I did and I am changed because of you, little blog. And all of you who have continued reading the weird and wonderful stories I’ve shared.

It is time to start a new chapter. Something bright and different, but still undeniably me. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking of the new direction I wanted to take and what it would mean to leave Nerd in the City in my past.

I have to say, the thought was difficult at first. Nerd in the City is me. I am it. We are one. So where do I start if it ends. But the truth is, friends, I don’t live in The City anymore. And yes…I’m still a nerd (that will never change) but things looks so different for me now. I need a place to represent where I am now. I need a space to share who I have become.

I hope you’ll come along with me on this new journey. I am only here because you have been here along side me, reading my posts, commenting, sharing and making my day brighter!!

So…thank you, reader!

Thank you, blog.

Thank you readers.

Thank you, WordPress for giving my baby a home!!

Here’s to the future!

May it be brighter and better and bolder.

If you want to come along for the next phase of my journey…come on!!

The Wonderful Thing about Lizzie
Come join me at The Wonderful Thing About Lizzie

Paperless Post

*Sponsored Post
 
I have always loved giving and receiving mail. To mark holidays and milestones, to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, or even just to send a note of love or encouragement any old time of the year!
 
But it’s the end of the year that sees an extraordinary number of card sending occasions. For me, Christmas is the biggest card sending holiday on my calendar. Even above individual birthdays, it’s the one time out of the year when I seem to remember to get them out on time and I really try to be intentional about sending love and cheer via snail mail to every person in my address book.
 
Thanksgiving and New Year’s, however, are 2 adjacent holidays when I often think to myself, “Wouldn’t it be nice to send everyone a note of thanks or a new year’s wish?” But every year, I don’t. In all the holiday hubbub, they get forgotten and I end up sticking to only sending out Christmas cards.
 
To be honest, I didn’t know how I was gonna feel about sending e-cards. I”m a tactile person and part of what I love about mail is writing silly little notes, adding hearts around my name and the recipient’s, maybe adding some drawings or a bunch of stickers or some glitter to add flare. It’s designing the details that makes the card sending experience so personal!
But…I’m happy to report that Paperless Post offers some really fun ways to make your cards personal. From font choice, to envelope liner pattern, to color of paper. You can put a customized stamp on it for a little extra mail whimsy. They have even partnered with some great designers like Rifle Paper Company, Anthropologie, Sesame Street, Crane & Co., and Jonathan Adler, to name a few.
Like I said, Christmas is (for now, at least) reserved for physical mail. Mainly cause I love to send glitter!! But I found Paperless Post to be the perfect solution for Thanksgiving and New Year’s! And…
Confession…I am terrible at getting birthday cards out on time. So I took the extra step while I was giving Paperless Post a try and scheduled a bunch of birthday e-cards throughout the year! There’s no harm in doubling up on sending out the love to those I love!

Hunger in Your Belly

I met a dancer once. The fittest person I’ve ever met in my life. Part of her job and livelihood meant staying fit and keeping in the best shape she possibly could. As a basic American girl who has long been exposed to the false narrative that beautiful boils down to skinnier…plain and simple, I wanted to know some of her secrets. And she gave me advice I’ll never forget.

She didn’t tell me what all the diet plans and fitness routines will tell you…move more, eat less. No, instead she told me she goes to bed every night with a hunger in her belly. I think about that advice a lot.

I don’t think she meant “don’t eat before bed” like a lot of fitness gurus will tell you, although it’s good advice. I don’t think she meant “stop eating after a certain time at night” or “no midnight snacks” which is also advice you’ll read about on fitness blogs and in health magazines. So maybe that’s all decent advice for staying fit or losing weight. But that’s not what she meant.

Even though she was talking about a biological need like “hunger” I think she meant something far more emotional and philosophical than the act of eating or not eating. Think about times when you have been well and truly fed. I mean full to the bottom of your heels.

Picture a Thanksgiving day…maybe it’s the evening and you’ve just had all the things at the holiday buffet. The turkey, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, the brussels sprouts, the salad, the bread, the cranberry sauce, the pie…all of it. You know the feeling I’m coming to next…it’s not just being content. It’s being absolutely stuffed. You feel lethargic. You feel lazy. Maybe you lie around for the rest of the night in a state of light coma with the rest of your clan.

We’ve all been there. And it’s not even a bad experience on occasions like Thanksgiving. Holidays are meant to be treated with a little looser fist, giving yourself more grace and allowing yourself an extra helping of Granny’s apple pie, after all Granny may not be around to make it much longer. So eat that pie!

But still, it’s not even the physical act of being hungry that she was talking about. When you’re hungry, truly hungry, you have something to fight for. There is a primal instinct inside of us when we have a basic need like hunger that comes out. Some cave person imperative that we didn’t even know we had. And this is what she meant.

When this dancer friend told me she goes to bed with a hunger in her belly every night, she meant that she keeps that instinct alive. She doesn’t kill it off with complacency and comfort and a full Thanksgiving stomach. She doesn’t appease the dragon inside of her giving it what it wants till it goes to sleep and stops breathing fire. No, she keeps the dragon hungry so the dragon has something to fight for. Something to live for.

Dragon Fire Health and Fitness blog

I believe this is the best health advice I’ve ever gotten in my life. And there have been seasons in my life when I’ve followed this advice to the letter. I’ve never been as fit or as healthy as I was during the times when I actively went to bed with a hunger in my belly every single night. I had a poorly fed dragon in my belly and that was motivation to get out for a run every single morning. It was motivation to pursue dreams like starting my own blog or a side hustle or a web series. Those are times in my life that I can look back on and see that the hunger was there in my belly and it made me better.

I wish I could tap into that every single day for ever and ever. There are people who do a good job of going to bed with a hunger in their belly more nights than they go to bed with a well fed dragon in there. There are people who are paid to keep the hunger in their belly and that is a powerful motivator, for sure. There are people, like my dancer friend, who have taught themselves that there is no other way to live than to have the hunger in their belly.

This doesn’t mean that the people with a hunger in their belly are all skinny and perfectly fit and walking around with the flawless bodies on the planet or the most perfect lives. Not even my dancer friend is free of flaws. We are all human. And we all have to be ok with that!

But, for my dancer friend, her hunger translated into fitness and physical movement, which led to a very physically fit body. For others that can translate into health and fitness of a different kind. Healthy careers, healthy parenting, healthy relationships, healthy whatever. There are all kinds of ways the hungry dragon in your belly can motivate you and make you want to get up and fight for something bigger every single day.

Lately, my dragon has been overfed…he’s fat and he’s lazy and he sits around all day dreaming of things he’ll never actually do unless something changes.

Well, dragon…little buddy…I feel a change in the wind, says I and I think it’s time to stop feeding you so many times a day.

That 5 Talent Life

A couple weeks ago, I heard the story of the talents, from the Bible. A story I’ve heard countless times in the past. But for some reason, this time…it hit me differently than it had before. Perhaps you’ve heard this story…

talentspic.jpg
Graphic from TremendousLifeBooks.com

A master gives each of his 3 servants a number of talents. The first man is given 5 talents. The second man is given 2 talents and the third man is given 1 talent. They each take them and later on the master comes back to get an accounting from the 3 men…he comes to settle debts. The first man returns with the 5 original talents given and has doubled his talents. He took what was given and used it to the fullest. Full stop! This is where it hit me.

Every other time I’ve heard this parable, I’ve focused on the 1 talent man who brought back only the 1 talent he was originally given. He’d buried it out of fear and therefore had nothing to show for the master’s investment, but the initial 1 talent. The parable is about faith over fear. The parable is about living out the best life you can with the talents you’ve been given! But for some reason it’s this five talent man that got me trippin’. The speaker asked if we’d ever known a 5 talent person. He asked if we felt we were a 5 talent person. And I had to answer…no. I’m not a 5 talent person. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have many talents, maybe even 5 talents to speak of. It means that I often choose to watch 3 episodes of Seinfeld over pursuing my dreams. It means that I may put something in my calendar that I really want to do, but when the day comes to do it, sometimes I chicken out.

For a very sad example: One time I went to a party in New York. There were going to be “people” there. Important “people”…”people” that I could meet and network with. That party had the potential to be a banner moment. I got dressed up…took a cab to the location…paid the cab driver…walked to the door of the restaurant…looked inside at the all the “people” and turned around and went home. Hating myself every minute I didn’t turn back around and use those talents to the fullest. This is one example, but there are countless times when I’ve buried my talents.

I want to be a 5 talent person. The speaker who was telling this whole story talked about meeting Billy Graham, a 5 talent man. No matter what you think of Billy Graham…the man used what was given to him. He spent his life using his talents. And when the speaker met Billy Graham, he knew he was in the presence of a 5 talent man. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t days when Billy Graham walked to the window of the party, looked inside and turned around. Every single one of us have days like that, no matter how many talents we have or how successful we are at using them to the fullest.

But the days you let fear win cannot outweigh the days you kick fear’s ass to the curb.

I want to be a 5 talent person. I want someone to meet me one day and say…”Damn, she’s 5 talent!”

So…how do I do that? How can I become a 5 talent person?

Continue reading “That 5 Talent Life”

How Marvel Has Evolved

How Marvel Has Evolved - Nerd in the City

How Marvel Has Evolved

As we embark on Infinity Gauntlet Fitness and inch ever closer to the release of Avengers: Infinity War (April 27th, you guys!) it feels like as good a time as any to reflect on the journey Marvel’s taken us on in the last decade. Particularly in the last two or three years, as the MCU has expanded and Marvel has gained more pop culture influence than even company executives (likely) ever dreamed of, it feels like there’s been a great deal of evolution. Once I got to thinking about this, I realized the extent of it is actually pretty great, so I decided to write it all up. 

Side Arcs Have Drifted Away
This isn’t true in all cases. For instance the Captain America series is more or less directly in line with the core Avengers/Infinity War collaborative films. But elsewhere, a lot of the MCU side arcs seem a little bit more separate from the Avengers saga than they once did. Thor films have completely taken on their own flavor; the Guardians movies and Ant-Man series exist largely for MCU comic relief; and Black Panther certainly seems poised to launch almost its own world within the MCU. At this point it feels more like Marvel is in charge of several interconnected series, rather than one big one with a lot of separate chapters. 

The Netflix Experiment Got Huge
Once upon a time the introduction of a Daredevil series on Netflix seemed almost quaint. It was exciting, to be sure, and as it turned out Netflix and Marvel did a wonderful job with it. But it seemed very small compared to the sheer magnitude of the MCU. But even though blueprints were released pretty early as to the plans to expand the Netflix concept, it feels like a surprise just how big it all got, and how quickly. We’ve now seen multiple seasons for multiple heroes, as well as The Defenders, and it’s only been a few years. Oh, and for what it’s worth, the newly released second season of Jessica Jones is as good as any of it! The show is ahead of its time and thoroughly entertaining. 

The Gaming Priorities Shifted 

Aside from streaming and TV, gaming is probably the biggest side branch of the Marvel empire, and it’s actually changed quite a bit. Two years ago most of what Marvel had to offer in this arena existed via mobile app or online casino. Now the landscape is quite different. Playtech, the online developer responsible for the casino games, flushed out all of its Marvel content. And the apps, while still running strong, are taking a backseat as the company looks to develop more high quality console games. A few of these are just around the corner, and should elevate Marvel gaming to new heights. 

Diversity Became A Priority 
To put it bluntly, all of Marvel’s leading heroes for many years were straight, white men. To some degree this was to be expected, since that’s the case with many of the most prominent heroes in the comic books. But the studio took far too long to figure out ways to emphasize non-white, female, or LGBT characters (and we’re mostly still waiting on that last one). But credit where credit’s due, diversity has become a clearer priority in the last couple of years. Black Panther just became one of the biggest hits in the MCU and is a terrific celebration of black culture (with a few fantastic, strong female characters as well). And there are some female-led films coming down the pipe. Things are moving in the right direction, and in a beautiful way the MCU feels different for it. 

There May Be Award Talk
Here we’re looking into the crystal ball a little bit, but why not? There’s a chance that another year from now, when we’ve already witnessed the Infinity War, Deadpool has given us a stash of new quotable lines, and Infinity Gauntlet has whipped you into shape, we’ll be talking about how Black Panther performed at the Oscars. None other than Christopher Nolan has predicted a nomination, and he certainly isn’t alone. Award talk for a Marvel movie would definitely represent an exciting evolution in the MCU.

This is a contributed article from Henry Johns.

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