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Tiny Revolutions №73: A Little Perspective
the future is happening again 🕶
Last week I asked you to tell me what you were noticing as the world continues to open up, and I got some lovely responses, including this one:
Last spring, I remember saying how I lost my ability to believe that the future would actually happen. Things became so uncertain, and then we just lived with that low hum of uncertainty. And yesterday I booked plane tickets for a wedding in the fall and found myself thinking “but who knows what the world will look like then” and had to say, wait, the future is happening again. I am trying to remember how to trust that the future will happen. Slowly, slowly.
I *love* this line: “the future is happening again!” So it is. We’re officially getting on with it here in California, and the rest of the U.S. as well (I know the scene is very different in other countries).
My sister and I took a leap of faith and moved forward with a last minute trip to Mexico City last weekend. We’d planned to go in 2020 and were (obviously) thwarted, so this was our attempt to make up for lost time. Talk about a change of scenery – holy cow. I hadn’t traveled internationally since 2017, and the last few trips I’d taken had been to other English-speaking countries, so the experience was all the more disorienting. Different language, different people, different way of living. Which was exactly what we were looking for after a year and a half of confinement.
Have you traveled yet or are you planning to? Can I just say that I encourage it if so? Even if you end up eating something that gives you horrible stomach pains? Even if you return on Monday and are so tired you can barely type? ;) The change in perspective alone will be worth it. The world is out there being itself in a million different ways. And it’s a marvel to witness.
On to some things I found worth sharing this week.
We were both conceptual orphans. Perhaps that is the condition of any second generation. […] We had not grown up imbibing stories that implicitly conveyed answers to the basic questions of being: What did it feel like to fall in love in America, to take oneself for granted in America? Starved as we were for clues about how to live, we would grip like mad on to anything that lent a possible way of being.
I just finished reading Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian and highly recommend it. Much of the book (a magical realist page-turner) is set in suburban Atlanta, where I grew up, but is written from the POV of the child of Indian immigrants. A slight change in perspective that I appreciated tremendously — and still completely related to.
We are a society that lives to idolize our heroes but we can’t stand to examine what forges the steel that lies beneath. We love to marvel at how she’s the highest paid athlete but we have no stomach for her possible fallibility; a people primed for consumption without caring about the price.
There’s been a lot written about Naomi Osaka bowing out of the French Open, but I really liked this personal reflection from Avni Patel: There is no beauty without the broken. Avni has written a lot about dealing with depression while building companies (and being a mom!) and I admire her candor and bravery.
“Employers are becoming much more cognizant that yes, it’s about money, but also about quality of life.”
Is everyone else enjoying the signs of the revolt of the American worker as much as I am? Hell yes. Workers Are Gaining Leverage Over Employers Right Before Our Eyes
Combing through a person’s past to change our opinion of the present is, of course, a pillar of the whole important, yet interminable cancel culture discussion. Which is really about the extremely thorny relationship between the passage of time, personal evolution or lack thereof, and group enforced accountability. None of us seem to even have the precise language to talk about all of this, much less agree upon outcomes.
Here’s a thoughtful piece by Charlie Warzel about the shitty way the internet reduces people to “brands” that are easily torn down: The internet is flat.
Are cave paintings proto movies? Here’s a fascinating Twitter thread – and a wonderful example of how wildly things can change based on your perspective.
Btw, this is a beautiful passage posted in the replies that was written by the people who discovered the cave art in Chauvet:
More perspective tricks from the ancients.
100. Million. Stars.
Signing off now but hoping you saw something that gave you a different perspective in this little missive.
p.s. You can help me by sharing this with someone who might appreciate it.