The 7 themes I'm thinking about this week

Hi friend,

I feel like every email I’ve sent you this year has started with an update on where I’ve recently returned from or where I’m about to fly to. As per last week, I am officially sick of airports and it also means I'm writing too few emails about the present moment.

I also once heard it said that the real tragedy of the human condition is that we spend all our time obsessing about the past or stressing about the future, and we don't spend any time in the present moment–which is the only one that actually exists.

Instead of talking about the future and how to get where you're going in this week's dispatch, I wanna keep it a little real and share some present-day musings. Real-time musings.

Here's a smattering what I've been thinking about this week.

Malaria. I am going to Kenya–the last big trip of the year–on Saturday. I've never been to Kenya or any other African nation, and I have no idea what to expect. I way, way, way over-purchased travel-sized toiletries today and I now own 4 different kinds of mosquito repellant. I also just popped my first antimalarial pill, which you're supposed to start 48 hours before you travel, and apparently they give some people terrible nightmares. Please keep your fingers crossed for sweet dreams.

Hair products. I just bought a new one today when I over-purchased travel-sized toiletries, and I absolutely used too much after my shower tonight so I can't tell if I like it or not yet. I turned over the bottle and it said a pea-sized amount and I practically used a brussel-sprout-sized amount. Damn.

Love. I'd really like to be one half of the world's most charming power couple, and I have finally gotten comfortable with telling people that this is what I want. I think I'd do a good job at it. I crave community and companionship more than almost anything, and a partnership is the smallest and most intimate kind of community there is, don't you think? I want to build a life in community. With somebody else. I want to experience awesome, committed, genre-defying, joyful, grownup love. I am also grateful that it doesn't occur to me to be in an unhealthy relationship. It means I am alone, but it also means I am not so scared of being alone that I choose to be mistreated. So that feels good.

Goals. As we all know, I am good at getting the job. The master at it, in fact. I am also very good at teaching you how to get the job. But I am bad at goals. And as my own career grows far beyond entry-level, I have to evolve with it. When you are in your early job-having years, you are just trying to swing to the next branch you can catch. But I have a lot of branches in front of me now. I've swung up from the bottom rungs, and I've gone beyond the need to achieve aimlessly. I mean, I've known this. But knowing it and knowing what to do about it are two different things. So I've been thinking a lot this week about (1) how much money I want to make and (2) how much risk I'm willing to take and (3) which branch I should swing to next to get me there. Also known as goals. Or as my literary agent likes to say: plan the work, work the plan.

Music. I signed up to sing for 10 minutes at this talent show in Kenya next week, but I don't know what I'm going to sing yet. Anyone have a strong opinion?

Books. My own (we have a working title now, hayyy) and the ones I should pack to bring to Kenya. I just bought Neil Gaiman's Art Matters Because Your Imagination Can Change The World and I think I'll also finally read Alain De Botton's How To Think More About Sex and who knows what else.

You. Always. I can't reply to every email, but I read every single one. You're always with me. In my inbox, on Instagram, in my thoughts. For every kind thing you've said to me recently: thank you. I keep sharing because I know you're out there.

Rooting for you. And rooting for me, too.

Big love,