your poetry's bad and you blame the news

The other day I wrote in my journal about how I get insecure about being the person who gets their book recommendations and style inspiration from Instagram instead of discovering things for myself through active search. This got me thinking a lot about sharing the things that I consume, culturally, online. That is a large basis of this blog, and I have Highlights on Instagram dedicated to it. I’ve been thinking a lot about the curated nature of it all, and how each time I experience a book that is considered culturally acceptable or I have seen a “critically acclaimed” film I feel like I must share it with whatever digital audience will observe me. The problem is not the sharing—though it might be—but of what I share. I don’t give the same platform to the Liane Moriarty book I tore through that I give to the Zadie Smith novel I didn’t much care for. And I’m not sure if I’ll change and stop posting Instagram posts of the books and movies that I’m into but I still want to think about why I feel the need to post any of it at all.  I’m reading Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror right now, and if there’s one thing I’ve got from it is that we should always question why we engage in the things we do—posting on Instagram, going to barre classes, eating kale caesar salads with pride—rather than just accepting the “order” of things. So, that’s the big question of the day: why do I feel so validated by the idea that people on the internet know I read a George Eliot novel this summer? Why was I desperate to let people know that I too am reading the hottest essay collection of the year? I haven’t figured it out yet. Stay tuned.

In other news, I’m back at university, and the first few days I felt so disconnected and purposeless. But today was a good day and I’m excited for the semester. I’ve begun to notice the way my brain automatically begins to panic when profs discuss assignments. Without a pause, I become convinced that I won’t be able to do what their asking and that I’ll fail. I give up before I’ve even tried. It’s a feeling that I’ve had since the first year of university, and even now, with three years of relative success behind me, I have not gotten better at tamping it down. I’m often annoyed by the people in my classes that raise their hands with confidence and say empty things with a tone of great importance. But I’m also envious of their ability to push past their self-consciousness and just say what’s on their mind. I want to strike somewhere in between being overly bold and overly cautious.

I’m really hoping to stay consistent on here as the semester goes on—even though I’m not very consistent now anyway—so if anyone is out there reading this and has articles/books/podcasts (especially audiobooks and podcasts) that you think I should check out and think about, let me know. And maybe I’ll talk about some of the stuff I’m learning in class as well.

consumption report (lmao)

“As everything around us heats up (from the summer sun to the climate at large), we are drawn to impracticality and sensuality, and ultimately, back to our own bodies.” (ssense)

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino (duh!). The “Pure Heroines” essay was a dream to read. All the books are on my list now.

All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks. My first bell hooks and I don’t love it yet, but the chapter on love and greed is fantastic. And she quotes Marianne Williamson.

NORMAN FUCKING ROCKWELL!!!!!! I listen at least twice a day.

“Blocking a Million Bad Men” (The Cut on Tuesdays). You will gasp.