interesting enough #1
Interesting Enough is an ongoing series full of things that interest me and might interest you!
Since I started writing newsletters and blog posts, I have subscribed to, received and read a lot of newsletters. I like to have little missives in my inbox to read at my leisure, absorbing the particular alchemy that is translating thoughts and feelings into words and dashing them off to separate corners of the world in hopes that the person on the other end feels a small connection to those words.
Newsletters are just electrical currents in our brains meeting electrical currents in the internet and straight up vibing and creating more electricity in other brains and bodies.
How cool is that?
I started writing my own newsletter in a sincere attempt to let this electricity vibe. To not trap it in my brain. To let it live out in the world in a concrete form that is messy and imperfect and maybe sometimes a little bizarre and rambly. Nothing really dies on the Internet, and I like knowing that different versions of me exist in this sphere. That I am constantly evolving and changing and there is evidence of that.
And sometimes that fact is terrifying. In the past week, I have felt fear creeping in. Fear that I am not good enough and that I will lose the people close to me. Confronting the vulnerability of being alive and sharing yourself with others, exactly as you are in this moment.
Something that I notice a lot of writers doing at the tail end of their newsletters is providing a list of recommendations or things they are interested in or noticing that week. In Marlee Grace’s Monday Monday newsletter, this is called “paying attention to”. Lisa Olivera calls it “Sparks of Interest” in her Human Stuff newsletter. Pandora Sykes entire newsletter Books and Bits is a list of recommendations.
I click on all of these links.
They are all so cool and interesting. Often the linked articles exist behind a paywall, and I really can’t be bothered to pay for articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post and Slate. Sometimes there are links to hour-long podcasts that seem interesting in theory, but I turn them off 5 minutes in.
Then I wonder if I am missing out on some fundamental education or words of wisdom or culture. How might I become the best version of myself - An Interesting Person Who Is Cultured But Still Wildly Cool - if I don’t follow, consume and form opinions on all of the information I can get my hands on?
I don’t know.
I think I don’t want to be that person anymore. I don’t want to be the person striving to be the best. I want to feel secure in myself, interesting enough just as I am. At least, I’m interesting enough for myself. I want to step away from the idea that I need to be Impressive to be valid and valued.
I don't even know that any of those people I just mentioned actually feel that they are very impressive. What if they are just bravely putting themselves out there, offering insight into their inner worlds regardless of how they might be perceived?
Or, what if we are all impressive and interesting in our own ways?
That is the reality I want to live in.
So today, I am going to give you my own list. It is not an impressive list. It is interesting enough. I want to leave room to share the things I am interested in without being regulated by an inner conformity of “what I should be sharing”, measuring myself up to an invisible standard.
Maybe you’ll find this stuff interesting, maybe not. But I do, and I want to allow my interests to matter without forcing myself to become the most Impressive version of myself.
📚 This week I started simultaneously reading The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West and Wow, No Thank You * by Samantha Irby. I love essay collections. And I especially love that Lindy and Samantha are friends in real life. As I’m reading, I’m imagining we are all just hanging out, living in fat feminist joy.
(* update from the future: I actually didn't end up liking Wow, No Thank You, maybe because I haven't read the author's previous work. And gave myself permission to just simply not finish the book. We don't need to be reading books we don't enjoy!)
💅🏼 I painted my nails last week when I was feeling sad. And then later in the week, I discovered that my nail polish matched the play doh in my studio and felt this intense joy that I got to experience some playfulness from sadness.
📓 This weekend I pretended I was a librarian and organized my magazine collection. I have 387 magazines in my studio for collage-making! And now they are all colour-coded and in an organized cupboard that brings me peace just looking at it. Just look at it!
🌿 I rediscovered an old favourite recipe for lemon dill crispy tofu, and paired it with potatoes fried in butter, paprika and honey, creating the loveliest springtime meal.
🎵 As I’m writing, I’m listening to the Flow State podcast. It is full of electronic and low-fi music that I never imagined myself listening to and enjoying. But I … love it? The host Bobby plays 25 minutes of music, reminds you to take a 5 minute break, and then launches into the music again. My friend and I listen while we co-work together, saying “take it away Bobby” before we start our work. The best part is: it’s a podcast, not a playlist, so the songs don’t enter into my usual listening algorithm. It gets to be solely focused on work.
What are you interested in lately?