Quote of the Week: “It’s going to be difficult, but that’s no surprise. The story of human intimacy is one of constantly allowing ourselves to see those we love most deeply in a new, more fractured light. Look hard. Risk that.”— Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. I’m currently reading and loving this collection of her Dear Sugar advice columns.
The operative words in this quote are “fractured” and “risk” for their allusion to love’s imperfection. Surrendering to messiness and unpredictability and loss of control has been my biggest challenge in relationships. I’ve long held people to standards of perfection I wouldn’t want to be held to myself, and I realize how little that serves me, how important it is to leave room for error. I also think this is sound advice for people on the dating scene: you’d be surprised how much an obsession with the idea of what we want blinds us to the beauty of real people. We’ve fostered such profound disgust in early stage dating that we literally have a term for it, the ick. Be more forgiving now. You’re gonna need to be later, anyway.
Drinking: Lemon ginger tea with honey. It’s 5 AM and I can’t sleep because I woke up with daggers in my throat. My partner’s had a cold the past few days, so it was only a matter of time before I got hit. Let’s pause for a moment’s reflection on the maternal experience of caring for a sick man. It’s the funniest mix of frustration and tenderness. I’m starting to love their dramatics, though, because they validate my own under-the-weather performance. Not to mention, pre-C*VID, Americans did way too much with a cold, like work and exercise, just spreading and prolonging the thing; if we took a page from the Sick Men book, staying home and acting like an adult baby might be normalized. New precedent!
Just Made: A huge crockpot of beef & veggie soup, which I shared to my Instagram story. I have mixed feelings about being back in the office, mainly because I forgot how annoying it is to keep yourself alive there. Aka I’m historically terrible at eating more than one meal (dinner) a day, and find myself surviving work off coffee, dark chocolate, and the occasional ration of peanut butter. I’m trying to be better about that. Having something easy and nourishing like soup on deck simplifies things. I also just got my mom’s recipe for this incredible soup with kale, sweet potato, and Italian sausage, so prepare for full migration to a soup account. *insert George Costanza soup mode meme*
Feeling: Socially energized after this past weekend. On Friday night, I got drinks with my friends Konnor and Sara who live in my neighborhood. I’ve only known them a few months, but catching up for a couple hours over wine and fries was lovely. They’re both in their early 20s and bring such fresh perspectives to conversations; it really helps bridge a mental gap for me with Gen Z, from whom I often feel disconnected. Then Saturday night, my roommate had a big show as direct support for the legendary British DJ, Rusko. His family and friends came in and I tagged along with them. We made fast friends and had the best time. I was actually heartbroken when his sister flew back to Cleveland. It’s hard to find people whose energy invites warmth and openness from the jump, but every time I do, I feel inspired.
A notable point about this weekend was that altogether, I had three alcoholic beverages. I swear I’m not converting into an annoying sober person who makes everyone feel like shit for drinking. I’m just getting a lot better about not moving through life one hangover to the next, which helps me hold these memories in a clearer light. This shift was motivated by a scarring hangover I experienced in August—you know, one of those hellish days that bleeds into the week and makes you rethink every decision you’ve ever made. Of course, party girls are gonna party. That is one fact I hold incontrovertibly true. But I’m slowly learning to pick my battles and prioritize feeling good and getting sleep, which only makes the long nights when you watch the sun rise with blurred vision that much sweeter.
Excited for: Some girlfriends and I are *hopefully* planning a trip to Mexico for February. I’m not typically an all-inclusive gal. Most of the traveling I’ve done has been in hostels or Airbnbs, some even on the dingy and dangerous side. But I can’t tell you the last time I took a true vacation. There is a stark difference between vacation and travel, and lord I would give a limb for the former. I want to Relax with a capital R! I want to age my skin like a vintage Birkin in the Mexican sun! I want to eat mediocre meals, avoid the tap water, and work out in a resort gym with no schedule! I want to take a nap! I can’t even nap!
Just Watched: Arrival (so good), which leads me to…
Loving: Sci-fi and futuristic motifs. I’m actually working on a longer piece about this, as there’s a lot to unpack. But basically I’ve been watching alien movies, listening exclusively to computer noises and the vocal stylings of Claire Boucher, and looking for portals to transcend the everyday. I think many of us are so overwhelmed by the current state of the world that we’re seeking more escapism than usual from arts and entertainment. We want to feel a visceral sense of elsewhere. To dress like time travelers from the year 2170 in utility pants and Yeezy boots. To feel less alone among the legion of stars.
Recent Stuff: Last week I published a piece exploring my Call Her Daddy fandom. Some folks seemed offended, which was definitely not my intention, but a natural byproduct of writing about anything provocative. You can read it here. It’s all in good fun!