Interesting things from the past few weeks:
I really appreciate this release from The 1975, a fun but shallow band I pretty much associated with drunken white-boy pretentiousness prior to this. I think it’s important that they’re using their platform to encourage their (fairly large) fanbase to think about global climate issues (media coverage has called this move “political”, but I want to continue to argue that environmental action really should not be political—these are issues that will affect every single human on earth regardless of your political stance). On this track, they worked off a speech from 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who speaks powerfully. Worth a listen:
compassionate vs passionate love
I skimmed The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt a few weeks ago, which is essentially an exploration of psychological theory through time. Having read a decent amount of pop psychology/behavioral economics over the years, I didn’t find a lot of new information in the text. I did, however, appreciate his thoughts on companionate (also known as compassionate) vs. passionate love in romantic relationships. He writes:
True love exists, I believe, but it is not—cannot be—passion that lasts forever. True love, the love that undergirds strong marriages, is simply strong companionate love, with some added passion, between two people who are firmly committed to each other. Companionate love looks weak in the graph above because it can never attain the intensity of passionate love. But if we change the time scale from six months to sixty years, as in the next figure, it is passionate love that seems trivial—a flash in the pan—while companionate love can last a lifetime.
events in hong kong
I’ve been trying to follow the despairing news from Hong Kong’s battle for their legal rights and greater democracy. My good friend, Natalie, who is based in Hong Kong, has been documenting the unrest here. I really appreciate her perspective and thoughtfulness in talking about the current issues, and I really recommend taking a poke around her photoessay if you want a unique and personal glimpse into what’s happening over there.
This has been a common thread of thought for me over the last year. Choosing to write and share an incredibly personal piece of writing last October about my father’s death was a major step in learning how to talk about the parts of my life that have largely shaped who I am today. The heartfelt responses I received in sharing that piece shifted my perspective on writing and showed me how vulnerability (while terrifying) can enable the most meaningful of human bonds. I’ve been working on more intimate forms of vulnerability, choosing to share not only to a faceless audiences over the internet, but directly to people closest to me in my daily life. On a physical level, the desire to confront specific fears has led me to swimming pools and ocean waves. I have a pretty strong aversion to water stemming from multiple near-drowning experiences, but I can confirm that exposure therapy with people I trust and love has been effective in fighting both emotional and physical fears.
film shots from roadtrip to san francisco
other misc updates
Headed to Boston for a few days this week! Curious to see what it will be like to return as a tourist rather than a resident.
Saw The Farewell (not at the premiere thanks to horrendous planning by Sundance) — emotionally wrecked me a little but so grateful to see these Asian-American stories being told on-screen. Found it difficult to watch at times because I have a really close relationship with my grandma and the thought of life without her is devastatingly sad.
Enjoyed this 99 Percent Invisible episode on sand, a resource that is critical to human civilization but one which we generally give very little thought. During that episode, they talk about an emerging building material called mass timber (okay, so it’s wood, and that’s not really new), and this was a really interesting interview regarding fire-resistance of mass timber buildings.
Reflection questions for you :)
What prompts you to self-reflect?
What was the first time you felt romantic love and how did you recognize what you were feeling? What was the first time you expressed romantic love to someone? How did you do it?
When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?