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things you think when eating fruit
Being a functional person is not the vibe.
I am happy to report that I’ve garnered some pretty bad habits lately. It isn’t that these bad habits are necessarily new, it’s that I’ve regressed back to some old ones that I thought I’d left in the dust years ago. What is it that folks like to say? ‘Old habits die hard’? Yeah, well I thought I killed these bitches a long time ago.
But alas. Here we are.
To illustrate an image: there was a point in a time, one I don’t much harken back to (it’s a rule for myself not to look back at the past, good or bad, because it makes me nostalgic, and nostalgia and I are a bad match), where the first I did in the morning was to sit in stillness. I sit up, close my eyes, and listen to whatever sounds surround me, whether it be birds chirping (can you believe!? Yes, urban cities still have natural sounds if you know how to find them, i.e. keeping your windows open to hear it, which is what I used to do), or tree branches grazing against each other as they bend back to the breeze (one of my favorite sounds). I sit there for moments, and on my journal (Moleskine 5x8.25 in Earth Brown, but I fux with an A5 Leuchtturm1917 too) I list out what I’m grateful for (it can go from something low-scale like sunshine and rest to big things like creative opportunities and growth), what would make today great (from making my bed [a formidable feat if you ask me] to seeing a friend), and daily affirmations (I’ll keep those to myself). Then I get up and make myself a cup of hot lemon water.
Anyway. Yeah. You get the point. I had that morning routine down pat. My whole day depended on it. Every night as I go to sleep, I can’t wait to wake up and do it all over again. It was the highlight of my day, and no one could tell me otherwise.
But then my schedule started filling up, things started happening, Accept was being clicked in response to Google invites, and bad habits started saying hi again.
And I said hi back.
The thing is that old habits are like toxic exes. They suck, they’re unhealthy, there’s an entire catalogue of reasons why they shouldn’t be in your life anymore, and you know that whenever they’re in it, nothing but bedlam would ensue.
And ensue bedlam did.
Let’s illustrate another image: I wake. And what’s the first thing I grab? My phone. That alone is cause to call the emergency line. (
I replaced my perfectly fine phone with a new one just so I could look at something prettier whenever I woke up. Let this be the telling gauge on just how not okay I am.) I go on it and immediately doom scroll on whatever app I choose, whether that be Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, or Reddit. As a chronic, non-discriminatory consumer of all media, this isn’t—at least to me—necessarily the end of the world. The end of the world is that I do this for far too long, holding my morning pee (I keep myself very hydrated and my bladder is incredibly tiny) while I’m at it. So not only am I corrupting my (already repidly declining) brain first thing in the morning, I’m also in physical pain and risking getting a UTI. (I am holding my pee as I type these words. Seriously.) (Alright, let me go to the bathroom. Brb.) (I’ve returned. Where were we?). When I finally feel disgusted with myself for being on my phone too long, I get up, finally piss, and make myself a fruit bowl.
Now this fruit bowl I hold very dear to heart. I could gatekeep what’s in it but I won’t. The base is a non-dairy yogurt (I love the Forager cashew milk one), and atop is sliced bananas, blueberries, sliced mangos if I have it, and coconut flakes (this is the clitoris of this dish I tell ‘ya), and goji berries and cinnamon on top. Never forget the cinnamon. To do so would be a felony. You can really do whatever you want with this fruit bowl; substitute one thing for another, whatever. It’s what makes it the most perfect thing in the world.
And that would be the peak of my day. Everything else is downhill—expeditiously. As soon as I finish my fruit bowl—my only source of happiness and joy—I am bogged down by some unfun thoughts along the lines of “what am I doing with my life?” “Does anything I do even matter?” “Is what I’m doing now going to propel me into the life I want to live in the coming years?” It ranges from existential, defeatist remarks like that to nihilistic words such as “Who even cares? Nothing I do matters. Nothing anyone matters. We’re all doing our best to be the best for what? We’re all going to die one day. And one day could be today. So what’s the point?” These are not the sort of thoughts you relish to have after you’ve just had a fit dose of serotonin from your majestic fruit bowl of happiness.
If the blue genie from Aladdin were to pop into my life and offer to grant me three wishes, I would only wish for one thing: the ability to switch my mind off as I see prudent. I realize that sounds melancholic AF, but it’s also true AF.
(Okay, so it’s not that I want to be brain dead, but you can’t lie and tell me that being able to snap your fingers and instantly rid your mind of any and all thoughts wouldn’t be a rollicking good time. I won’t bare all of my ugly thoughts (yet) to you all, but yeah, that’s where I am.)
There’s a book I’m reading. It’s titled I Left My Homework In The Hamptons by learning specialist Blythe Glossberg. It’s a fascinating memoir about her experience tutoring the children of Manhattan’s 0.1 percent. It’s quite the compelling read, and I’m learning a lot about the college admissions & secondary school cultures of those who live on Fifth Avenue, but what I didn’t expect was to learn about myself, too, seeing as I am neither (1.) based in Manhattan, nor (2.) elite (
unless you count being a Leo as elite, which I often do, but let’s not focus on that today.)
Kids need to turn off their computers, if they hope to be productive during other points of the day. They need downtime to consolidate their thoughts and to let their mind come up with other solutions. The mind works during these turned-off times; it’s the reason that the best thoughts come to you in the shower or when you’re doing the dishes. Your brain is relaxed, at rest, and your free-flowing association network is more active. If children’s lives are constantly structured, they don’t know how to cope with boredom or being alone. Their minds are primed for constant feedback from others or from electronics, and the moments in which they can come to know themselves, their dreams, their flash points, and their epiphanies have been stolen from them, never to return.
All of this called me out, but one that basically @mentioned me was the bit about ideas coming to us when we’re in the shower or doing the dishes. I can’t tell you the last time a good idea popped into my head while applying Kristin Ess on my three-day hair or scrubbing remnants of ragu off my plate. And in that floats the pickle: whenever I’m in the shower or doing chores, I’m not letting my brain run free and think or not-think; instead I worry more about my life and where it is and where it’s headed, and then I get bummed out and reach for the wine on top of the fridge.
What else that called me is the part that said, “their minds are primed for constant feedback from others or from electronics…and the moments in which they can come to know themselves…have been stolen from them.”
If that were an iMessage I would emphasize the shit out of it. And if it were an Instagram post, it would be on the FasTrak to my story. It’s no one’s fault that I—or rather “we”—grew up using gadgets and social media and we were conditioned to be stimulated at all times, hence me not knowing what to do with myself whenever I have idle time, ergo me using that time to worry about shit I shouldn’t. I’m not placing blame on any for the environs in which we were raised, but I do wish someone, in the middle of all the innovation and advancement and information-sharing, thought to do an impact report on the long-haul brunts and impressions of said innovation and advancement and information-sharing the way they do a new bench at a park.
sh*t I like
LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask: this thing is virtually a cult favourite at this point, and when it first came to fame in 2019 I was so obsessed I started getting grossed out by it (hope there isn’t anything psychological about that), so I dropped it. It’s 2022 and I’m here to say it’s just as good if not better. I love when skincare brands don’t change up their formulas. I love the Original, but I mess with the Vanilla one, too.
Dickies 574 Pant: I’d never been in love with a pant—I am a shorts guy thru and thru—and then came this pant. I’m not lying when I say these are the only pair of bottoms that have actually elevated how I look, so much so that I have it in four colours (brown (!!!!!), hunter green, black, and marine blue.) I first found them cropped on Urban Outfitters, but when I saw the $69 price tag I was like hell nah. So just like any other expert online shopper I trekked onto the Dickies website found them for $29. So do as I did and get them from Dickies and crop them yourself.
J. Kenji López-Alt: Kenji’s YouTube channel came up on my homepage featuring his recipe of Garlic Noodles. I clicked on it because the noodles looked good, and I don’t know, I think I like the way he films his videos in POV mode, and he doesn’t sound rehearsed or staged or scripted. It’s literally just him talking and cooking in his house. Not to mention the Garlic Noodles looked yum. Rest assured I subscribed so quick.
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See you in two weeks! xx J|A