Taking a breath
I’ve had a knot in my throat for the past week that’s just beginning to loosen. It’s not that I think we’re turning a corner, but instead that some part of me is getting used to this upside-down topsy turvy new normal as humans have a remarkable ability to do. I hope that you all are exhaling as well, at least enough to step back from reading scary tweets and try to do some of the things that make you feel better. Here’s what’s helping me this week:
If you’re able, watch the sunset. Here’s the view from the steps of the Utah capitol building.
Make a collaborative Spotify playlist with a pal to discover and share some new music.
Listen to this very excellent episode of the podcast Reply All, where PJ Vogt tries to track down the origin of a song that seems to have vanished from the internet.
Watch some gentle, low stakes reality TV in the mode of The Great British Baking Show and The Repair Shop on Netflix. I’ve also got a weakness for America’s Next Top Model.
Read a comforting book. I really love Tim Kreider’s funny and brutally honest essay collection We Learn Nothing and Cheryl Strayed’s book of advice columns Tiny Beautiful Things.
Watch this video by video blogger Hank Green about the “sudden obliteration of expectations.” It helped me in trying to reckon with the uncertainty and not-so-great job market on the other side of my fast approaching graduation date.
If you’re in Salt Lake, follow City Councilwoman Shireen Ghorbani on Twitter. She’s got great suggestions for ways to help and/or donate in our community.
I just finished reading Esme Weijun Wang’s essay collection The Collected Schizophrenias, in which Wang describes the challenges of living with a constellation of physical and mental illnesses, some of which defy diagnosis. This stuck with me:
Hung on my bedroom wall is the quote attributed to Joan of Arc: “I am not afraid. I was born to do this.” However my life unfolds, goes my thinking, is how I am meant to live it; however my life unspools itself, I was created to bear it.
I don’t think you have to be religious to take comfort in that kind of mantra. Shoot me an email if you have recommendations of your own or if you just want to talk; I’ll be happy to hear from you. Back to regularly scheduled computer-y content soon.