New job + old job = tough week. I couldn’t do it, but I care.
(I started a new job this week. It’s co-founder at a startup. I’m still ghostwriting for some people & editing for others. The co-founder role is a full time gig. My former job is still a full time gig. Dear Lord [that’s you, Smidgen], How are we gonna get through this?)
(The ending “I couldn’t do it but I care” is intended as an allusion to the impossibility of stretching oneself until necessity and desire intersect. I’ve done things this week that I couldn’t have done. But must + want => can. So I do.)
I’m not yet the person
I need to be
To have a good partner, because
I’m not yet the person
I need to be
To be a good partner.
On following others:
School is following others. Culture instills following others. Corporations, countries, and organizations require following others. Following others is not for the individual. It’s for the safety of the herd.
On freedom and the individual:
I need the freedom to express. I need the freedom to explore. I need the freedom to create. These are only taught by the world’s best teachers. Learn to learn from yourself or risk living someone else’s version of your life.
In this corner, at five-pound-four and thirty inches long, she’s the fiercest chihuahua you’ve ever met. She defends her food with the courage of a Rottweiler. She’s a fierce mama bear with six gnawed nipples to prove it. She marks giants’ territory as her own and likes her scritches… ruff.
Ladies and Gentlemen…
The one and only…
Want more Smidge? Comment with a request.
Tonight I begin 30 days as a carnivore. I told a bunch of friends today. Before each conversation, I requested no comments or concerns. Chelsea is excited for me. Jackson wants me to blog about it. Michael believes:
- I’m unlikely to cause significant harm
- I should take a multivitamin and get my cholesterol checked.
Classic Michael, prioritizing my health over my requests.
At Whole Foods, I purchased $38.79 of meat:
1.12lbs Pork Belly
1.08lbs Ground Beef
1.24lbs Ribeye Steak
0.37 lbs Pork Chops
Tonight, at 1am, I complete a three-day fast. Then, for at least 30 days, I shall eat:
Salt & pepper
If I want to “cheat”, I shall expand to:
My final rung of falling further:
Huh, these are all the items I tend toward anyway…
Wish me luck.
Want to hear about a specific aspect of this experiment? Send me a message or tack on a comment. It helps me know how to tailor my writing.
You drove for 7 hours. Got gas twice. Called 9 friends. 498 miles down, 34 to go.
Yes, that few. Only 38 mins.
But you’re tired. It’s 11pm. Why rush?
Pull over. Crack the windows. Listen to Neil Young. Sleep a full night.
Enjoy a final stretch. Then, tomorrow, finish it.
1. Compose from my place of emotional vulnerability until satisfied.
2. Edit such that I like it sufficiently. (ideally, I would edit until I like it maximally, but 1. One can only do so much in limited time and 2. It’s better to edit something over multiple days than to avoid editing it altogether because I can’t make it maximally satisfactory in one.)
3. If it’s safe for public consumption, share it.
I asked her out, hoping she’d say no. Well, not hoping beforehand, but I was happier after her rejection than I would have been otherwise.
We were in the grocery store. She inspected a can of Campbell’s soup. She replaced the can it back and grabbed another. I asked, “Good read?”
“Not really,” she said.
I asked what she was looking for.
“Sugar,” she said. “It’s in everything.”
“I gave it up for Lent.”
“Do you always give something up for lent?”
“Yeah, it’s like a second shot at a New Year’s Resolution.”
I asked if she’d enjoy grabbing coffee. She said she has a boyfriend, “but it’s still nice to talk in the grocery store.”
Walking away, I celebrated. I hadn’t asked her out because I wanted to go on a date with her. I had asked her out because I decided to start dating again. Asking someone out is uncomfortable, so you’ve gotta hurdle it at your first opportunity.
Making the self suffer is a cornerstone of many successful philosophies:
I was prompted to consider this strategy by Conan O’Brien on his podcast with Stephen Colbert. Both Catholics, they described intentionally putting themselves through strife. “I did hairshirt behavior,” Colbert says (34:37).
Conan (36:27): “This is pain… where any normal person would tell you, any therapist would say, ‘This suffering is unnecessary. You achieved nothing with this suffering.”… I put myself through a lot of torture. And here’s the crazy thing: what happens when you do that and then magical things start to happen for you? You can’t see me because it’s a podcast, but Stephen just pointed his finger at me as if to say, ‘You nailed it.’”
Stephen, a few lines later: “It works.”
Conan: “What I hate, I hate… I hate thait it fucking works.”
Stephen: “And the magical thinking magically thinks that magical thinking worked.”
Conan: “It’s the biggest fight I’ve had over the last five years with therapists and friends.” … “Therapists have said, ‘You don’t need the suffering.’ and I 80% believe them and I’m 20% like, ‘what the fuck do you know?'”
Is making yourself suffer a strategy for improving? Does it work? Comments greatly appreciated.