Weekend Reading
August 13, 2023

A while back I read a quotation from Diego Perez, who goes by the pen name of Yung Pueblo. It said,

Maturity is knowing that when your mood is down you should not trust the way you see yourself.

I happen to be down today. It’s not sadness or melancholy so much as overwhelm and fatigue, which has been an on-and-off-again theme this year.

I’ve been sitting here for the past hour feeling awfully frustrated with myself for a whole catalog of reasons.

In particular, I feel really badly about how inconsistent my writing has been lately, how sporadic my recipes and posts, how difficult it has been to show up fully in this space that I love.

I even feel badly about the overwhelm. Didn’t I say that I was going to do something about the overwhelm months ago? Shouldn’t I have found a solution by now?

As far as this Sunday post goes, my plan was to not write anything or try to write as if nothing was wrong. As if I weren’t in the middle of a solitary, glum, angry bout of self-criticism.

Then I remembered that quote.

If susceptibility to both melancholy and self-loathing have taught me anything, it’s that Yung Pueblo is right. The capacity to understand that a low moment will warp one’s lens is a form of maturity.

Being down, overwhelmed, or exhausted—mentally or physically–alters perception. Especially self-perception.

So instead of spending another hour marinating in this feeling, I’m going to do my best to engage with things that I know to be healthy, for me: Sunday night dinner with my mom, some reading, some fresh air, a little proactive planning for the week ahead.

I’m not going to try to argue with the self-critical inner voices. I’ll just choose not to engage with them for now, trusting that this low moment will pass quickly.

So, too, will the harsh light in which I’m seeing myself today.

I’m grateful to past me for taking notice of words that future me would one day need to hear. That day is today.

Here’s to a new week and to the grace of beginning again.

Happy Sunday, and we’ll chat soon.

xo

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    4 Comments
  1. I really needed that Yung Pueblo quote after a very difficult week. Thank you.

  2. It seems like your posts always mirror something I’m feeling or struggling with in my life. Maybe we are in similar phases of life. Either way your sharing makes me feel like I’m in good company. Thank you.

  3. Well said. I’m continuously impressed with how well you know yourself. And how often I learn from you. Thanks so very much for sharing openly.

You might also like

For the past year, New York City residents, and especially residents of uptown Manhattan, have been captivated by sightings of Flaco, a Eurasian eagle-owl who was at one point held in the Central Park Zoo. In February of 2023, Flaco’s mesh enclosure was slashed, and he escaped into the urban wild. New Yorkers began immediately to spot Flaco, who was known for his bright orange eyes, around town. For nearly twelve months, Flaco found apartment building courtyards to sleep in by day. At…

As you can probably tell from my last post or two, I’ve been working to find a helpful balance of doing and rest. I’ve never valued down time more than I do lately, but I also love my work, and it’s one area of my life that suffered with depression last summer. I’m striving to maintain a reasonable baseline of productivity lately, not because I measure my value by how busy I am, but because creating makes me feel alive. In the past,…

A few weeks ago, one of my readers sent me a link to Steph Davis’ post “Love Dogs.” Ostensibly it’s the story of how Davis lost one companion animal and found another, but it’s more than that. It’s a sweet, moving reflection on the boundlessness of love. Davis’ story begins with a description of the bond she formed with Fletch, the quiet and self-sufficient dog she’d adopted from the brother of a friend. Davis and Fletch were both uprooted when they met, and they…

This week, I came across Clive Thompson’s article in Smithsonian about the history of maps. Thompson does give history, but the article is more than a chronicle. It’s also a meditation on the meaning and importance of maps, the rise of GPS navigation, and the fact that “many of us have stopped paying attention to the world around us because we are too intent on following directions.” I used to get lost in New York all the time. Sure, Manhattan is a grid,…