Slowly stripped of self-awareness (Newsletter No. 12)
It makes me angry when I see gym selfies that are less about “how proud I am of myself” and more of “watch me.” When people post the self-development books they’re reading with clickbait titles, especially the ones that include a cuss word. I know those books, they repeat themselves with cliched slang for 300 pages and got published because people will Instagram their book covers. All that I see is bought and sold souls. Who taught us to self-care? Was it us, doing it without an app or something we bought?
I am working on being less judgmental. What if it’s really just sharing? And not one-upping? What does that say about me that I assume that’s what they’re doing? I had a friend who deleted her Facebook after Hurricane Sandy because she hated how superficial people seemed during this time of crisis, A flood of reality and people were still clamoring for the wifi-hooked cave… but what was worse to her was that she hated her judgement of her friends.
And what’s the solution? It’s not to be a hermit in the forest, at least not for me. Am I gonna just turn off my internet forever? No. Read old books, then what? Go on a retreat, then what? Just because sometimes I’m sitting on top of the canyon with a view of the small whole, looking down doesn’t mean that I have a right to be condescending. Sometimes the womb is nice to float in. Maybe sometimes we’re choking on the wet thickness and don’t know why because we don’t see the dry edges. Sometimes we’re smiling serenely. Sometimes I’d like to pull them up, or be pulled, so that we can sunbathe for a while together. But it’s also important to be able to slip seamlessly between two worlds. In, out, in out.
When I was a kid the coolest adults were the ones who knew the latest young people songs. Not because knowledge was cool, but caring was cool. There’s no good use to being a depressed snob. But also, we must think. Critically.
— Alton Brown abandoning his shopping cart in the middle of the grocery store because he’s too depressed by what everyone is buying.
—It does not make me happy to have my favorite cake in my mouth if I did not consent to it.