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.

January Favourites

READING

Naomi Shimada is one of the most inspiring people I follow on Instagram and I was even more inspired after reading  this feature on Refinery29 UK , where she talks about her favourite books and her relationship with learning 

Naomi Shimada is one of the most inspiring people I follow on Instagram and I was even more inspired after reading this feature on Refinery29 UK, where she talks about her favourite books and her relationship with learning 

Each time I pull my turtleneck’s tight tube of fabric over my head, I’m reminded of its essential appeal: its ability to protect, both metaphorically and materially.
— Kelsey Mckinney

Kelsey Mckinney wrote about the history of turtlenecks, their association with power and creativity, and their comfort as security

Durga Chew Bose wrote beautifully and elegantly about Call Me By Your Name and I read the whole thing with a stupid grin on my face

I've always been a big fan of Nora Ephron, but after watching Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally for the first time this holiday season, my adoration grew. Her interview in 2012 with Believer just proves why her influence is everlasting. 

RookieMag's Editor's Letter: Utopia. IF YOU READ ANYTHING THIS WEEK, THIS MONTH, THIS YEAR, LET IT BE THIS. 

WATCHING

Mindhunter on Netflix. I'm not really a big fan of murder crime mystery kind of things, but I watched this (relatively) new show in about a week. It provides an intriguing look into how the FBI came to understand serial killers as we know them now, and profiles a few (dare I say) iconic serial killers of our time. Jonathan Groff is amazing in it and I can't wait for the second season.

grown-ish. I never did watch black-ish but I love Yara Shahidi and her Instagram always gives me a laugh, so I thought I would check grown-ish out. I love it. I anticipate every episode, which is the perfect blend of hilarious and relatable. Also there are SO MANY attractive men. Like so many. 

LISTENING

The New Yorker Radio Hour: “Deportation in America”. It's disappointing that immigrants constantly have to prove that they are worthy of living in the countries they immigrate to. Unfortunately that's the world we live in. This episode of TNYRH was a really powerful listen and demonstrates the resilience, the bravery and the power of the people that are often dehumanized. 

This is: Angel Olsen. I definitely associate Angel Olsen with being creative and so I've been playing her a lot, especially when I'm writing in my journal in the mornings.

WEARING: Le Labo’s Vanille 44

Vanille.jpg

I got this as a birthday gift when I was in Paris and I've worn it everyday since. The smell is the perfect blend of sweet vanilla and crushed black pepper, and it always reminds me of Paris.