yours, tiramisu

few places in this world are more dangerous than home

My friend wrote this John Muir quote on a postcard she sent me from Mount Rainier:

"Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action."

Today I received a futureme letter from myself three years ago. In the email, college Misu urges me not to forget my dreams to live abroad and reminds me to apply to Fulbright and the Peace Corps. Reading the email broke my heart, because where did my past self find the youthful optimism to think that I could muster up the courage to cast aside a (relatively) comfortable career to do these things? Or, a more likely explanation is that I wasn't actually optimistic, but instead that the email was just my past self's desperate Hail Mary attempt to prevent future me from setting out on a mediocre lifelong career I'd later regret. I left the email unread in my inbox so I would keep seeing it. I highly doubt I'll find the bravery to take back control of my life, but it's always nice to be aware of the possibilities, I guess.

After a summer spent in New York with my own personal A/C unit I've grown unaccustomed to the sweltering heat here at home. This week the daily highs climbed into the nineties, with high humidity pushing the "feels like" temperature to 105 degrees. We use A/C very sparingly at home for financial and environmental reasons. These are causes I can get behind, but the tradeoff is that I have to get used to temperatures climbing to the high seventies and even low eighties in my room when I work. This means I sweat continuously from eleven in the morning to midnight even with barely legal levels of clothing, and that I cannot resist melting into long naps in the early afternoon heat.

Even though I'm back in the comfort of my own room with my fancy ergonomic keyboard, monitor, headphones, speakers, standing desk, cushy chair, and just about everything I could want in a workstation, I've noticed that my productivity has taken a hit since I got back. I think, like the Muir quote alludes to, that the comfort of my bedroom is working against me. It's so comfortable for me to be on my computer or hop into bed that I find myself wasting time at work. My tiny table and hard chair in New York did not feel great to work in, but that discomfort pushed me to get my work done faster. I don't know how I should make use of this information—while I could definitely use a boost in productivity, I'm hesitant to intentionally impair the working space I worked so hard to build.

While I've enjoyed reacquainting myself with all my aforementioned devices, I realize I didn't miss them all that much in New York. I think the summer move helped me realize just how little I truly need—outside of the essentials, all I really want is something to read, and then after that maybe my piano. I don't need my longboard, soccer ball, slackline, or any of the other myriad toys occupying space in my garage. Of course, I miss some of these items more than others, but it's a healthy reminder that my happiness isn't dependent on material things.

There's a Naval Ravikant quote that goes, "desire is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want." I make this contract all the time without even realizing it, pinning my happiness on the next pen, watch, new toy, or even lost love. But now that I've spent time away from all of my possessions, I realize that the only things that matter in life are good friends and having the time to spend with them. That's what I had healthy amounts of in New York, and boy did they make me feel better.

I've had a hard time finding time to write at home. I don't have the easy go-to things like all the interesting things I did in New York bursting out of my head anymore. I used to write when I was bored at work, but now that I'm on the chopping block I'm too afraid and busy at work to write anymore. I only sat down to write now at 9 PM on a weekday because there were too many thoughts swirling about in my noggin and the pressure of them all bottled up in there grew uncomfortable. Most of the time sitting in front of the computer and pulling words out of my brain is the last thing I want to do after a long day at work.

Now that I'm not writing as regularly anymore, I feel myself slipping back into old habits, like trying to think my writing, rather than write my thinking. I preach this all the time: you have to be writing for inspiration to strike. You have to get all of the gunk out of the faucet for the good stuff to come out. It's a simple fix: I just need to make the time to write. It's not like I don't have anything to write about—I have a long list of ideas for blog posts I've accumulated all summer. I just need to sit down, set a timer for one hour, and write about one of them. The words will flow once I get started; this post is proof of that.


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#english #home #life #writing