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ten things i'm thinking about
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I’m in my Marinating Era. I’m on my book tour, the season is changing, and I’m just trying to practice noticing and listening. So, instead of forcing an essay out, I’m going to share some thoughts I’ve been having that may turn into essays, but for now, they are just things I’m marinating on. It’s okay if we don’t have full thoughts or conclusions! It’s fine that things aren’t nuanced at first glace! Nuance comes with time, reflection, and perspective! The messy middle is not a bad place to be!
Ten things I’m thinking about:
Content note for disordered eating: I find it easy to be dragged back into the cult of wellness. My FYP is full of videos about intuitive eating, eating more protein, and adding collagen to everything. I spent a couple of days obsessing over if I was eating enough protein. Then I read this essay and thought, “OH YEAH, the cult of wellness is all around us.” Anyway. Is it wellness or is it orthorexia? LET’S THINK ABOUT IT.
I’m thinking about taking November off of Instagram. I took a month-long social media sabbatical last year, which completely shifted my relationship with it. I must admit, I’ve been stuck at the same follower count for months, which messes with me. But then I have to remember I am no longer playing “the game.” I’m not posting reels daily, keeping up with every trend, and certainly am not thinking about the “value” every post brings. Sometimes I just want to use my account as a journal for myself. That’s okay. I have to remind myself that’s okay. But also maybe I just need to physically journal? But also I have a book to promote? Will taking a sabbatical impact my ability to sell future books?! What about my internet friends?! The cult of social media! We are in it! It is scary!
I went viral on TikTok. Like, 5.4 million views viral. If you asked your partner about the Roman Empire, that was probably my fault. Sorry about that. The video was no longer mine after the comments reached over a thousand. The discourse was out of my control. A woman replied to my video and said that men have so much brain space to think about the Roman Empire because they aren’t carrying the mental load of the household. Like? There were so many wild ways this discourse went. Some absolutely valid and interesting. But if your husband is thinking of the Roman Empire and not helping with the mental load of your family unit, a bigger issue may be at play. Hank Green posted this video about it all that is exactly how I feel. I dunno. All I do know is that my husband put on Gladiator, and I watched it out of curiosity, and I can’t believe it’s literally a movie about men killing each other for sport? What the hell. Men aren’t okay.
The best book review I have received so far was from my father-in-law via my husband. Apparently, he said, “I didn’t know [they] hated their mother that much. But I’ll pump the breaks on the baby talk. I get it now.” Dave, I don’t “hate” my mom… mostly. And thank you for finally getting it. Love ya.
It’s Bisexual Awareness Week, and I have nothing monumental to say right now other than what I know about queerness is that it’s a framework that impacts everything I do and every relationship I’m in. It really is a worldview. This post is exactly how I feel, and I also have more thoughts, but I’m marinating on those and will share them later.
I keep thinking about this TikTok I saw about how, most of the time, when people say trauma dumping, people are just opening up. I can’t help but think about how people are so vulnerability-averse. We have mental health awareness-ed so close to the sun that we’ve almost gone completely backward. It’s not enough to just be aware of people’s mental health. We have to be able to connect, hear people, and understand that relationship-building often means hearing about difficult and painful things. It’s not trauma dumping to be honest about your life experience. We wonder why people feel so alone!!! People will accuse them of trauma dumping when they just talk about themselves!!! If you ask me about my family, sorry, it’s gonna be fucking sad!
On a similar note, when people are opening up, I think we should really ask people, “Are you in a solution or action-item mindset, or do you just want to be heard?” Sometimes we don’t need to jump to solutions right away. We have to learn to sit in the discomfort of things.
I am thinking about this question that my friend Bri asked so lovingly during my show in Austin. “Can you take us on a tour of your book as if it were your home? Give us the AD rundown.” I talked about how when you start the book, the rooms are dingy, dark, and smell like cigarette smoke. There are boxes of Hamberger Helper, Rice-a-Roni, and cans of Beefaroni lying around–which are is a not a bad thing, is just a different thing. As you continue to walk through, you start getting glimpses of open blinds and fresh air–maybe a window is just barely cracked. You continue and find rooms that are freshly painted and a fridge filled with herbs and produce. There are curtains that let the light in. But just because you’ve found the rooms with the light doesn’t mean the darker rooms don’t exist. Writing this book has meant understanding that both parts of the house are there and learning to co-exist in the realities of each kind of room is the landscape of the book. I just love the idea of books as houses we are touring. I hope you read the book and find a room we can sit in together or a room that feels like a moment of reprieve.
I’m thinking about how we are all doing life for the first time! We are all practicing things and are new at things, and many of us are trying to rewire our pathways and leave behind generations of harm and trauma! That shit takes practice, and practice should not equal punishment. Don’t punish people for practicing something new. Don’t punish people for messing up. If you cause harm, remain curious and take action toward making different decisions and choices–AND–I think people who approach relationships in punitive ways are weird. I’m thinking about the nuance of this.
I feel such a deep connection to every place I’ve called home. Honestly, I feel such a deep connection to place and environment and how my body feels in a place. I’ve always been this way. I’ve always had such a visceral reaction to the rooms I walk into, the places I sleep, and the states I’ve lived in. St. Louis is the most I’ve felt at home in a long time, but I grieve what I hoped Austin could have been. Had the pandemic not happened, or had I moved to Austin 6 months earlier than I did, I wonder what things would have been like. I probably would have moved anyway because the heat is NOT IT. Anyway. Connection to place–that’s something I’m really thinking about.
What are you thinking about lately? Reply or comment. I’d love to hear it!
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