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am I doing this right?
And other things I ask myself.
Lately, the idea of dropping out of design school and living under a bridge and asking passersby riddles has been a substantial consideration in my life. Spend one day in my brain and you’ll know why. It truly is getting to be quite the viable next step in my life. But let’s not get negative just yet—it’s a new me (allegedly) after all, so to bombard you with non-niceties would be on brand, yes, but also just not the vibe I’m going for. So let’s digress from the nugatory narrative of life lately and focus on—gasp!—the good.
When first I started being an adult doing adult things thinking adult thoughts and making adult decisions, I was enthralled. Look at me, I’m an adult! It’s everything I ever wanted. I could lead my own life, open the doors I wanted to walk through, and get the drinks I wanted to.
But what no one tells you about the magic and the whimsy of being an adult is that there’s a massive tradeoff: you have to do adult things, you have to think adult thoughts, and most grimly, you have to make adult decisions. And I’ve been doing this whole adult thing for a bit of time now, and I’m here to tell you that every day I am inundated by the question: am I doing this right?
See, the thing of it is that my parents never told me what to do. Not in a way bigger than, say, bring my own reusable bags to the grocery store or what vitamins to take to avoid the flu, at least. They always let me just do whatever I wanted. Instead of being quintessential Asian-American parents and pushing me towards the medicine field or law school, they didn’t even blink when I said I wanted to major in design. As opposed to telling me not to be out too late when I was in high school, they told me to call if I needed a ride. This beget an immovable axiom in me that I could do whatever I wanted, and that come hell and high water, I would be just fine.
So why is it that I keep doubting every move I’ve ever made in life to date? I’ve never had to; I’ve always had the agency to be free. Is it just that I’m in that point in my early twenties where nothing makes sense and all that I’ve done will amount to nothing, or is it because, looking back, I seem to have made more bad decisions than good?
I question every little thing. What the hell did I say last night? Am I friends with the right people? Am I kissing the right man? Should I be calling my mom more often? Have all my decisions in life necessarily placed me in a spot where my life in the long run makes sense? Will I regret this? Is there dairy in this? These are questions that contribute to the preponderant catechism of: am I doing this right?
And then there’s another part of me, the a little less cynical one, the more idealistic one with the six-step skincare routine and drinks an oat milk cortado out of a double-walled glass every morning, that shoos these doubts away and say: “Stop f***ing worrying.”
So maybe I do worry too much. Too much about things I shouldn’t be worrying about. Because, and we’ve seen this time and again, more often than not, it’s the things that we worry about that never go left, but things that we pay no mind to that do.
And so it may be most optimal that I do whatever I want, and let go of the habit of inwardly questioning my every step and every word, because the amount of fucks I give about things don’t match their importance in my life in the long run.
sh*t I like
Country music: before you unsubscribe, let it be known that I am and have always been a country music stan. But lately I’ve been getting back into it in a way that I never have before. Blame it on living on the farmland, or blame it on the chemical imbalance in my brain—I don’t care, I’m shaking my ass to Dierks Bentley and Kelsea Ballerini all the live long day.
Samuel Elkins: is a photographer based in LA who makes, categorically, the most stunning and calming videos of his travels and photography all over the country. Do yourself a favour and watch a video of his.
Double-Walled Cortado Glasses: AH! A true and certified elevation in my morning espresso experience. Get you a pair immediately. (Also, it may be time to pivot from lattes to cortado. Join me on this revolution.)
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