Magical Nihilism #1 | The life-changing magic of being late for work ✨

Magical Nihilism #1 | The life-changing magic of being late for work ✨

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I came up with the concept of magical nihilism while walking to get breakfast on Friday morning, thinking for the 1000th time about how meaningless most things in life are. There are 168 hours in each week, which means I spend about one-fourth of my one wild and precious life creating value for the large organization I work for. It’s probably the best job I’ve had (other than when I worked at a children’s clothing boutique in college), and yet it still requires me to pretend to care about a lot of things that are unequivocally unimportant.

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How to quit

How to quit

I haven’t signed into my Twitter account since June 4. “I need to be on Twitter” is one of the stories I’m testing out during my #40StoriesProject, a yearlong attempt to learn which of the things I’m telling myself are outdated. The plan for this particular story was to stay off Twitter for three months, but having hit that milestone a few days ago, I don’t see myself going back. I was better informed when I was doomscrolling every day, but about what? If I want to know what’s happening in the world, I get the important stories elsewhere—newspapers, texts from friends, even Instagram. I don’t miss being extremely online, and my reduced exposure to, well, everything has freed up a lot of space and energy, which I’m putting toward personal projects after a lengthy creative drought during the pandemic. Even the alleged value of Twitter for someone interested in a writing career seems largely negated by how bad being on Twitter makes me feel about writers and writing.

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Are you sending rapid-fire emails and calling it a life?

Are you sending rapid-fire emails and calling it a life?

A few years ago I started going to therapy to figure out how to get my boyfriend to stop abusing me. I wasn’t the person in that relationship who most needed therapy, but I still needed it, and I was the person who was willing to go.

Anyway, even though my stated purpose for being in therapy was to deal with this specific situation, I found myself talking about work all the time. Good news for me: All of my issues were intertwined. I was letting a man control me through temper tantrums and gaslighting because I believed that, somewhere along the way, I had lost the right to manage my own life. And I had lost that right because, in my mind, I had become incompetent.

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#40StoriesProject

#40StoriesProject

Ten days from now, on my 39th birthday, I’m launching what I’m calling the #40StoriesProject. During the year leading up to my 40th birthday, I’ll be testing out 40 stories I hold about myself to see whether they’re actually true. 

Some of these experiments will be in service to larger goals. For example, “I hate rejection” will force me to write and submit more. “I’m messy” will help me figure out a sustainable way to keep my apartment clean. Others are smaller ways to force myself out of my comfort zone, e.g., “I can’t dance” and “I don’t like to look foolish.” Some will be minor things, such as “I don’t like red” and “I am a latte drinker” and “I have no interest in the SAW franchise.”

I have a full list ready but I’m sure many will change throughout the year as my priorities do. I’ll be using the #40StoriesProject hashtag to track progress in my Instagram stories and mark goal “completion” (whatever that means) on my feed, as well as on this blog.

How I read so much

How I read so much

I read 165 books last year. In a normal year, this would be embarrassing in the way it reveals how little of a social life I had, but it was 2020 so I guess it’s basically fine that all I did was read. Anyway, a lot of people have asked me how I read so much (I suspect that people often say this to justify a blog post they wanted to write anyway, but in this case I promise it’s really true!), so I decided to write this post in case you’d like to know as well.

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Start here ⬇️

Start here ⬇️

This week, I migrated all the posts from my old blog to this one, and in the process of going through my archives to make sure nothing was amiss, I discovered that, actually, I like a lot of my old writing! So I decided to make a post of posts. It’s like a fund of funds, except I’m not going to come to your Investment Committee meeting and explain what all is in it, I’m just going to share the links below.

Here are a few of my favorite older posts that should give you a sense of whether you’re going to hate-read or love-read this blog:

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The spirit, not the letter

The spirit, not the letter

During the month of January, I did four things every day: studied French, studied Japanese, wrote in my journal, and did one new thing. I rewrote the beginning of a novel I started in 2018 so that I can query agents. I read (and this is embarrassing) 29 books.

I once told a friend who asked me how I get so much done that I spend half my time ripping through my to-do list and the other half drunk in a gutter. It was a joke, or at least more of one than it used to be. But I am nothing if not inconsistent. I don’t do “balance.” I’m either on the treadmill every day or “Exercise? I don’t know her.” I eat a fully vegan diet or one that is exclusively mac and cheese. I love both things and people wildly or not at all. That Carly Rae Jepsen song “Too Much”? Oh yeah, I do know her.

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How to have a nice life in quarantine, part 1

How to have a nice life in quarantine, part 1

Quar is hell. But does it have to be? Not according to my Instagram, which we all know is a perfect facsimile of real life! Joking aside, though, most of us have spent A LOT of time at home for the better part of a year now, and it’s getting kind of old.

My friend, director Ivy Jelisavac, mentioned that she was interested in reading something about how to have a nice life in quarantine, so I decided to use that as a writing prompt. It’s really hard, all of this—and in different ways for different people—so while I don’t have all the answers, I can tell you what’s worked for me. I’m not going to claim I’m thriving in all of this, but I’m not, like, super miserable, which seems like a victory in these times, which are, as well you know, unprecedented.

This is the first part of a ???-part series (I’ll replace those question marks with a number in the next few weeks). Here are a few ideas to start with:

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