"I'm not ready" but it's happening anyways
I’m someone who likes to prepare. A best case scenario and also a backup scenario and a backup-backup scenario. Which means less deer-in-headlights when something goes awry, but it also means living in a perpetual state of constant fight or flight.
I know what I’ll do if I leave. What I’ll do if I stay. It’s hard to come to terms with the reality that not all things are predictable or knowable. Who will enter your life; which opportunities will grace you; what ideas, concepts, places will take root. It seems to me now momentum is irrevocable — nothing is predictable or regular or fixed. Momentum carries you so far from shore it’s hard to ever go back. Wonderland beckons from the rabbit hole. You meet people in a whirlwind and doors slide, revolve, and open.
Life recently: I got a new mini heater which is saving my cold limbs on rainy nights. I’ve been cooking a lot: warm stews chock full of lentils, garbanzo, sweet potato, coconut milk. Reading a lot of Ted Chiang. Walking down Pierce street after the rain and staring at the green fixtures, hyacinths, white fences. Simple things are worth worship too, yet we always forget this.
more essays on human behavior & introspection here. I also hope to write more about culture and biographies soon:
The opposite of Readiness is why some people just can’t take feedback or advice (which makes you want to tear your hair out) — on life, on love. You probably know that one person who deals with the same problem over and over again in similar permutations. The unhealthy attraction to destruction. They’re just not ready to change. Everyone changes on their own internal timeline. As much as you crave or deeply desire someone to change their thinking patterns, it’s out of your control. People can’t change you either. No one can tell you who to fall for, who to respect, what pulls your attention. I said before: momentum is inevitable.
How do we become ready? Sometimes readiness is confrontational: I want to become ready: peruse all the books, pay attention, write things down carefully. Other times it’s the slow accumulation of overall maturation: more things, more experiences. It’s like reading a book as a kid and re-reading it as an adult. The renewal of understanding. So many themes, nuances become available when you can contextualize them. E.g., you can’t possibly understand reading or hearing about grief or heartbreak fully until you’ve had that individual experience. A lot of human, relational, learning feels like this too: you couldn’t ask the right questions, couldn’t communicate your feelings — but over time complex ideas unknot themselves and become coherent, easier.
All this talk, but I often don’t feel ready for the things in my life. Perhaps the learning is that I never will. But I can be open: to momentum, to change.
Almost 2 years in San Francisco now. One year of heartbreak, one year of repair. Parties and ballets and lyft bikes and warm arepas from Pica Pica. I used to walk to Dolores every time I felt overwhelmed. So many times I thought to myself how on earth am I going to do this but then I somehow did. By design, the portals we’re terrified of passing through are what make us who we are.
I wasn’t decisive before and now I am. I felt out of place and now I feel increasingly at home. Some things feel deeply personal and sacred: dinners by myself and smearing acrylic paint across a canvas, being embarrassingly earnest, and wanting badly for things to sail smoothly. This life feels durable, weightless at times and then indescribably heavy in other moments. That’s what it takes to be deeply involved with life. To relish both moments where you feel steadfast, stable. And persist past moments where you feel unmoored, lost.
So I guess that’s the balance: being willing to take things in, to deepen context. And also bear witness to the world that refuses to be predictable. I don’t think that’s the death of innocence, but the acknowledgment of vast horizons. Of beauty peeled, and beauty tumbling out. The collective future can’t be forecasted or pacified. So we stand here, silently, holding each other. Simultaneously the readiest we’ll ever be, yet wholly unprepared for what comes next.
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What I’m reading/Listening to
I’m working on re-starting my business blog (which I wrote for a year) or perhaps just infusing my online presence with more consumer behavior stuff (which is what I professionally focus on)
Feeling reinvigorated to read biographies and write about them. I like inventors and artists. More on this soon.
This essay on living near your friends gave me a lot to think about: