But What Will You Do With Your Own Life by Brianna Wiest (from Medium)

“There is no universal experience, there is only experience, and what we choose to do with it.”

Strangers on a Phone, Theatrically Speaking by Laura Collins-Hughes (from the New York Times)

“In the lockdown days of early spring, after they’d left New York City for their house in a village upstate, Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone — better known as the experimental theater duo 600 Highwaymen — were as eager as any other drama aficionados to dig into the bounty of archived productions that were suddenly, mercifully online.

It wasn’t as much fun as expected.

“I’m sitting in my living room,” Silverstone recalled by phone recently, “and I’ve got my dog in my lap and I’m watching this Peter Brook show, but something isn’t right about this.”

The not-rightness had nothing to do with Brook, the pioneering stage director, and everything to do with the nagging awareness — familiar to those of us who have struggled to adjust to screened theater — that the audience, so vital to the live dynamic, is superfluous to performances unfolding on camera.

“I don’t feel —” Silverstone broke off.

“Needed,” Browde supplied, because they are the kind of couple that finishes each other’s sentences.”

The Mythology of Karen by Helen Lewis (from The Atlantic)

“You can’t control a word, or an idea, once it’s been released into the wild. Epithets linked to women have a habit of becoming sexist insults; we don’t tend to describe men as bossy, ditzy, or nasty. They’re not called mean girls or prima donnas or drama queens, even when they totally are. And so Karen has followed the trajectory of dozens of words before it, becoming a cloak for casual sexism as well as a method of criticizing the perceived faux vulnerability of white women.”

Your Suffering Is Not a Self-Improvement Exercise by Nora McInerny (from Medium)

“I firmly believe that we are meant to be changed by our life experiences. We are not human time capsules or mosquitoes trapped in amber. But the issue isn’t whether or not we are shaped by our experiences; rather, it’s the pressure we feel to alchemize our traumas into trophies. So much of modern-day self-improvement has roots in toxic positivity and our need to feel that we are Doing It Right. The book asking readers if they want to come out of [insert trauma here] a better person. The Instagram influencer posting that pain can become growth, with the right mindset.

Look, I understand the desire to stop loss from having the final word, but can’t we just let it have a say?”

The Affair I Didn’t Have by Katy Friedmann Miller (from Medium)

“I told her about Brian, and she listened without judging. She was curious about the aspects of him that I admired. I admired what I saw as his boldness, his lack of caring if he pissed people off, his ruthless honesty, and even something in him that felt like rage. She asked me to consider if these weren’t aspects of myself that I either wanted to develop or to stop hiding or know more about. She said, “When you know more about these parts in yourself, the energy of the attraction will dissipate.””

16 Mindset Shifts That Will Make You Unstoppable In Life by Brianna Wiest (from Medium)

“When you approach other people imagining that they at least have a relatively positive view of you, it changes the way you act around them. Instead of acting on the defense, you can simply connect, knowing that they probably already think you’re worthy (because you are).”


““I am entitled to my own idea of myself.”

You are allowed to invent an image of yourself separate from the pieces you put together of what other people have told you about yourself.

That’s how you create your self-esteem as a child, but as an adult, you have to grow out of it.

Instead of just accepting that you’re the sum of how others see you, you are free to create a self-perception that is more accurate to your honest experience of yourself.

A truly healthy self-image includes good and bad (as all people have) and is built outside of simply how you imagine other people see you.”

How Do I Live Like An Artist? by Heather Havrilevsky (from Ask Polly in The Cut)

 7. Pursue joy at all costs. Joy is your guide, your first priority, your best friend, your master, and your servant, all rolled into one. We don’t have that long to feel good. Find a way to feel good. That’s the central commandment of living like an artist. Find your own weird path to joy. Fuck interesting and special. Fuck making something perfect that other people deem impressive or admirable. Just find your version of pumpkin motherfucking spice. If you love how it tastes, that’s all that matters.”

For John Lennon, Isolation Had a Silver Lining by Barbara Graustark (from NYT)

“I had to isolate, using Being Famous as an immense excuse for never facing anything. Because I was Famous, therefore I can’t go to the movies. I can’t go to the theater. But then sitting in this [hotel] room, taking baths, which I noticed Yoko did, every time I got nervous — I must have had about 40 baths — I’m looking out over the Hong Kong Bay, and there’s something ringing a bell. It’s like, what is it? And then I just got very, very relaxed. And it was like a recognition: this is me! This relaxed person is me! I remember this guy from way, way back. I know who I am — it doesn’t rely on any outside agency, or adulation, or achievement, or hit record. It’s absolutely irrelevant whether the teacher loves me, hates me, I’m still me. He knows how to do things, he knows how to get around. Wow! So I called Yoko and I said, “It’s me.””

Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash