Yesterday I was on the phone with my best friend, Carmen when she asked if I’d been following the news about Simone Biles. I said I had, sort of. I knew that the U.S. gymnastics virtuoso had just withdrawn from the Olympic finals, citing her mental health. And I knew that the public response was largely supportive, save for some minor and predictable backlash from a handful of inconsequential clowns.
A few months ago, I found myself with a crisis of motivation. I’d just left a job and was in no rush to find another. I had a little bit of money to hold me over for a few months. For the first time in my adult life — and possibly the last — I found myself with nothing to do. And there was nothing I wanted to do, either.
It was nice for about two weeks. Then it became weird. I remembered how much I once enjoyed getting things done, my little projects and adventures. Who even was that…
Earlier this summer, I’d just wrapped up a reporting trip and other things too dull to mention, when I wrote an op-ed that went low-key viral. Low-key as in, I showed up in like seven more LinkedIn searches than I might otherwise (so like, nine total) and my inbox ‘SPLODED with people asking me to do things for free.
Wanna go on TV? On this one podcast? To write this thing for that blog? They were sliding into my Twitter DMs, my Instagram messages, and all three of my (theoretically) active email inboxes. So much attention! So in demand!
I’ll start with the point.
A few days ago, I had a terrible fight with my partner of more than six years. I’m talking, BAD. The cause? We were thirsty.
No, seriously. That’s it. We were on a southwestern hiking trip and had gotten worrisomely dehydrated, thus reduced to a set of middle-aged preschoolers.
Fortunately, we figured out this cause-and-effect before things got further out of hand. But I should have known better from the start. Science foretold this catastrophe. And I knew the signs.
Chaos is fine for some people. Zen people. Freewheelers. People we describe as “kooky” or “quirky,” mostly with fondness, because they’re so unbothered by their bubbles of existential disarray that it’s kind of charming. You have to admire a person who owns their chaos.
You know the type. Maybe you are the type: Everything you do, you want to do really well. But you can’t…
The wildest thing happened this past weekend.
Wait for it…
As in, I attended some. Plural.
It was my first real weekend of Hot Vax Summer, and my first proper going-out in 18 months. And somewhere amid all that rusty social interaction, I realized something. Well, two things. One: I know a lot of Geminis. Second, and the reason we’re all here: that the only kind of ‘networking’ I ever want to do is going to parties where I can be my damn self and enjoy the people around me. I know, what a concept.
I cannot tell you…
In the month since I stopped working full-time to focus on freelance projects and aimless walks, I’ve gotten pretty into trees.
On my first handful of springtime hikes in New York’s Hudson Valley, I lugged around a copy of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees. I’d pause every few dozen trees to cross-reference bark ridge patterns and last autumn’s leaf litter, puzzling over the distinction between fissures and furrows, the chroma of browns. Last weekend, I downloaded an app that can identify most trees, plants, and even fungi from a single photograph, which feels a little…
If 2020 was the worst year ever, 2021 is on track to be the weirdest. Not bad, per se — or at least, not as bad as what we’ve all survived to date. More like, a year that’s shaping up to be more than a little bit… off.
As I write this, most U.S. states have freshly expanded Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults over the age of 18. Yet, at the very same time, states across the country are seeing an alarming surge in cases. The same is happening across Europe and in Canada. In Brazil, the pandemic is…
In the wake of January’s Trump-incited mob breach of the U.S. Capitol, versions of the same grim question began to emerge: Would the police have been so haphazard if the rioters had been Black instead of white?
The question was not purely speculative. Last summer, in cities across the nation, protesters took to the streets to denounce the systemic police brutalization of Black people. Many of these protesters were met with physical intimidation and, in some instances, brute force — not by lone vigilantes, but by the same law enforcement officers purportedly trained to “serve and protect” them.
Email is a thief disguised as convenience — and its sneaky energy-sucking threatens to ruin our work lives.
Replying to emails and company message threads never feels like it should count as “real” work. After all, have you ever seen a job posting that lists “quick with tonally appropriate Slack emojis” or “a whiz at inbox zero” among a candidate’s ideal skills? Yet, most of us spend upward of a third of our workdays feeding what the author and Georgetown professor Cal Newport calls “the hyperactive hive mind workflow.” …
Currently: Writer, editor, author at-large | Recently: Senior Books Editor @ Forge