011: You got some tomato on ur face
It’s only Tuesday and I’ve already failed. And by ‘failed’ I mean I’ve experienced some relatively benign moments as a result of being a person in the world, and am — naturally — mortified and disappointed in myself.
This newsletter was originally intended to be profound and inspiring! I’ve had a lovely August: I did sunrise yoga on a cottage dock! I went to London and met a brand new baby, and hung out with my brother, and reunited with a bunch of my New York friends! I spent a weekend with my grandparents! But as I’m now realizing, moments of clarity are really just a way of passing time. 🤔
I’m being slightly facetious here, because while I’ve experienced a lot of growth and written about some of my personal ‘progress’ over the last year — I don’t want to attach value to it. Or, maybe it makes more sense to say that I don’t want to suggest there is an endpoint. That’s how you end up tweeting about the adrenaline rush of mortification at 5:30am (that, and jet lag).
Okay, time to stop beating around the bush! Clearly I’m feeling sorry for myself. I walked away from some work that wasn’t coming together and had started to feel painful to push through. And a recent conversation with a friend left me feeling very alone. These are hardly reasons to mope for hundreds of strangers in a public letter, but here we are. Sometimes these things happen, and there’s a fog of self-pity around any clarity you’ve cultivated. It’s so foggy you forget about what you know is part of living, working, and loving: things like baby steps and working with what you’ve got.
Yesterday on Instagram, Jessica Dore posted about how unsettling the “liminal space” of change can be — “after things got really bad & you’ve managed to collect yourself but then you sort of plateau & could go in either direction.” I think I’m in that in-between, which is more beautiful and optimistic than the Upside Down…. but also, um, not fictionalized and definitely more permanent. “The old life is going through a kind of dying, but you’re not ready to let go….. when you go back everything’s changed, it doesn’t feel the way it did. What you’ve seen you can’t unsee.”
I’m not sure I can unsee, or unfeel, what it’s like to wake up clear-headed, well-rested, and energized, unburdened of emotional regret, and filled with purpose. I’ve had a few glimpses at that recently, and yet life stays lobbing tomatoes!!!! What matters, or what I’m trying to tell myself matters, is accepting these random encounters with self-pity as part of the experience. Or, when life throws tomatoes, make pasta. (Again!)
More soon. Lots of love,
- New episodes of Burn Out, the podcast, will be arriving this fall. I’m very excited about the new guests! Please subscribe via your fav podcasting service if you haven’t already, and the episodes will pop up in your feed when they’re ready.
- Last month, I wrote about Sean Paul’s Dutty Rock for Pitchfork’s Sunday Review, and a colour I’m calling Regulation Red for SSENSE.
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