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being 25 is like: im dying. im living my best life. im a failure. my life hasnt started. everything interesting has already happened to me. im achieving my dreams. im cutting my hair with kitchen scissors. im starting a skincare routine. im a corporate professional. im a sellout. im out of groceries. i have too many groceries. i am never going to be successful. i am going to win a hugo award before im 30. im crazy. im boring. i need to finish this essay. i need to finish this story. i need to start a newsletter.i need to ghost all my friends. i need to tell my friends i love them. i need to find a new apartment. i need to take out the trash. i am the trash that needs to be taken out.
“the arrival fallacy” — the illusion that “reaching some future destination will bring lasting happiness.”
I think with the grown-ups what I’m trying to do is encourage a full shame-ectomy. Embarrassment is a learned disease that begins to manifest itself in early adolescence. By adulthood, it can have ossified your entire spirit. A saving grace of having kids is that for the first time—in maybe a very long time—there’s permission to be silly. I encourage that.
If you claim that being creative—by writing, drawing, or singing songs—is important, then you have to do those things. Otherwise, you’re lying and kids smell a lie. A lot of my work over the last couple years has been trying to create situations that allow the grown-ups in kids’ lives to be sillier by doodling, drawing, and demonstrating the joy in the creative process. If I’m doing a drawing demonstration, it’s for everyone, because drawing is a physicalized form of empathy—and who can’t use a bit more of that?
"How do you know how the world works?
"The world is telling us how it works all the time, speaking to us in ways we hear and overhear. Some of its messages blare, some whisper; some reach us in languages we don’t recognize as languages, a current of air on our skin, a green taste in our mouth, a dead nestling on the pavement. The world tells us lies and truths about what we can and can’t control, about how alone we are or how continuous with others, about where our attention should go, about what we should fight or accept. Writing imaginatively is a way to sort those out. Whether we’re writing, reading, or just living, it’s a mistake for think that the only thing that needs grounding, questioning and explaining is the version of the world that we’re making different. Asking why and how about the world as it is can offer us another door into imagining how it could be, what we might make it and what it might make us, however drastically different from now the places where it might burn or bloom. Thicket of stories, running along the dendrites—the trees—of your nerves. Piercing your heart."