Happy birthday! In German, any double number like this is called a “Schnapps Zahl”. An excuse for more shots?
Thanks @boris. I tend to avoid shots but in this case I’d go for it
Happy Birthday! This was such a lovely read Rosano. I really appreciate you sharing this.
I hope this was a nice surprise for you. Today was pretty sunny, so I’m reflecting some rays your way.
It really was! And I absolutely love this theme: “there’s plenty of joy around me here today, so here’s some for you in case you need it”. What a way to close out this reflection.
every year I notice a feeling of being ‘at the edge of myself’
This was really interesting to me, because it’s NOT something I’ve felt every year. To me, in the last few years, it’s been something requiring a lot of conscious effort. It’s inspiring to hear what this means to you and you’re continuing to push forward.
One thread is a feeling of more openness to people and possibilities.
I love this and it’s so nice to see how this is paying off with new meaningful connections & opportunities!
a societal pressure that tends to view people as ‘walking brains’
it makes my body feel more accessible, less ethereal.
This feels very relatable. My version of this this year has been pushing my body to see what’s capable of, or to just spend more time kind of being with it & listening to it. For me this has been regularly running, biking, swimming, bouldering. And recently climbing a mountain for the first time, a professional massage, bikram yoga, and learning to drive. Driving has been a surprising joy. I felt so in tune with my car that I caught myself once flicking my left hand up while going for a walk in the rain and my glasses had water on them (that was me instinctively trying to activate the windshield wiper to clear my vision).
I think an epiphany here was acknowledging and reminding myself how often my thoughts & insights about the world are influenced by the state my physical body is in. It reminds me of what I read recently in The Anthropocene Reviewed in a chapter about "the yips:
This complicated interplay between the so-called physical and the socalled
psychological reminds us that the mind/body dichotomy isn’t overly
simplistic; it’s complete bullshit. The body is always deciding what the brain
will think about, and the brain is all the time deciding what the body will do
and feel. Our brains are made out of meat, and our bodies experience
it’s through documenting my thoughts that I understand what I think
I feel this very strongly! That’s so interesting to me that using writing this way is a new thing for you this year. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t heavily rely on writing/journaling to reflect.
I was thinking about this recently, about how I feel I am my “truest self” in writing. Which maybe feels counterintuitive: you’d think the unfiltered “you” that communicates in conversation is more “you”, and the you in writing is more who you want to be, who you choose to broadcast, through the editing process.
But I see it more like this: I know what my true thoughts & feelings are. I try to speak them, and the way they come out, it’s not quite right. It doesn’t really match exactly the concepts I want to communicate. As I write, I can see this discrepancy very clearly, and I have a chance to rewrite & refine until I close that gap. So in writing it really does reveal my truest self.
I’ve always avoided writing on a set schedule for fear of drafting something superficially
I feel this too. I wonder if committing to writing but NOT publishing would help. It just feels dissatisfying to declare something finished when I know I can do better, so it has helped to allow myself to “finish a draft” and revisit/rewrite that in my set schedule instead of committing to writing something new every time in this schedule. But I’ve rarely set such a schedule.
It was hard to imagine myself breaking out of individualist patterns
I’ve been thinking about this too, about the benefits of collaborating, and how much I’ve done work I’m really proud of in the past because of collaborations. Nowadays I still feel a need to cling to my individual freedom (working on my own schedule, pursuing ideas that interest me most, pursuing my own standard of quality etc). So it’s inspiring to hear your experience of transitioning beyond that and how that’s going.
The horror game I made this year was an example of this. I don’t like horror games, but my collaborator really wanted to do it, and it was hard to have faith in the vision but I’m kind of obsessed with how well it turned out and how many players genuinely found it scary, and the process that creates such an emotion that I had always avoided. And learning about who is drawn to this type of experience & why.
I think it would be interesting to collectively spread out these musings over the course of a year to ‘balance the load’
I really love this as a birthday ritual! I’ve never really done new year’s resolutions, I tend to set weekly/monthly goals instead. But last year I tried something similar with a small group of friends, where I reflected on the past year and thought about where I would like to be by that time next year. It’s been particularly valuable to revisit this doc every month or so, to see my progress or adjust goals. So I like the idea that these conversations can happen more regularly throughout the year.
I read your reflection while listening to Lord Huron - Auld Lang Syne - YouTube. I’ve always liked this song, but had no idea what any of it really meant. I recently learned about the history & significance of it while reading The Anthropocene Reviewed, and it felt appropriate to hear that today. It created such a joyful, hopeful, and melancholic atmosphere while reading it.
I appreciate your thoughtful reflections @omarshehata, shukran
For me it’s mostly long walks, breathing, stretching, occasional dancing. I respect how much you’ve invested in this and although it’s physically possible for me to do many of those more active activities, it’s hard to motivate myself to get started. I think someday I will try one of those activities in a group.
What a moment to be captured in text! 100 points for you
I think I have been journaling since high school but what I call ‘writing’ now is something I’m recently appropriating and owning for myself. In university I had written one or two things that I liked and which resonated with other people, but I took some feedback from a mentor somewhat too seriously and left it, thinking it compromised what I ‘should’ have been doing at the time (i.e. music). But it’s back in full force now and I even call myself a writer before musician.
Fascinating. I wonder if it’s because of the language choice: like if English wasn’t your mother tongue, or regardless of that, if you would feel more expressive by not using English. I feel more precise in writing, but more sincere while speaking.
This fits well with my preference for input goals over outcome goals. I could totally have a set schedule for writing because it’s not inspiration-based in any way—more like moving parts around—but I tend to give other things priority, like making apps, or more recently, organizing events.
In university a friend and I did this four-hands piano improvisation podcast with guest musicians and around that time I was also collaborating with a software developer to create my first iPhone app. It’s funny how after that I basically did everything solo for over a decade, feeling attached to my own visions. More recently it has become clear that because of the quantity of projects I work on, I literally can’t even—my process will collapse unless I learn to involve other people. It has been a process for me to let go of my own interests, but I like how I’m starting to make space for others in most contexts, with the exception of apps, where I’m clutching onto the code feeling hesitant to let someone ‘miss’ aspects like testing, accessibility, simplicity, code consistency. I know it’s necessary for others to see themselves in the work though, so I’m going to keep working on this. The trust you placed in your collaborator and the collective process is what enabled that kind of result for the game, and it reminds me how sometimes things can actually go even better than imagined.