A retraction of every “live your dreams” screed I ever wrote
Confession time! I used to write some of those “Quit your job! Follow your dreams!” articles. You won’t find any of them in my Medium history now, though, because I deleted them all months ago.
Looking back on my smugness now feels like looking back on my goth phase in high school: I’m not exactly ashamed of it, because I can understand the motivation behind it; the need to craft a public identity that would validate my perspective on the world— but it still makes me cringe a little,
Because I wasn’t nearly as cool as I thought I was.
The story of a man, a city, and a piece of truth.
The estate where we live is not in the slums. It’s a nice middle-class neighborhood — about ten acres with a big stone wall around them, and a whole community of small shops and apartments and houses and cow-grazing patches inside, all connected by winding dirt trails that run through the scrub.
The long low buildings are communal houses where Swahili people live. The little shacks with signs outside are stores — butcher shops, beauty salons, convenience stores, phone top-up stands. Everything you want, you can find within the estate, sold by your neighbors.
I’m snowed in, deep in the heart of Texas.
Snowpocalypse Now. Snowmageddon. Eldritch snowclopean architecture, turning Lubbock Texas into a silent white field.
This probably looks like nothing to those of you from snowy places. You are probably laughing at me right now. You have every right to. Just know that in Lubbock, the Last Days have come.
Life has thrown me a curveball.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to do next.
My plan had been to live in Florence, my favorite city in the world. I rented a very charming, rustically decorated flat there. The flat is right in the center of Santa Croce, in an old stone building that the Medici family probably built, where the roof beams in the bathroom still have their original decorative paint from the 1600s. I was there until midway through December, writing all day and going out for aperitivo and wine every night.
Then I found out something I probably should have looked into before.
Elle Kay, you say, “90% of my time is spent in the wrong place with the wrong people doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons.”
At the moment you see this bottom line, you’ve unlocked unlimited freedom, whether you’ve acted on it or not.
I’ve had a phobia of heights for as long as I can remember. Not just a nervousness, but a muscle-clenching, gut-freezing full-body paralysis that stopped me as firmly as a brick wall any time I stepped near the edge of a canyon or a twentieth-floor balcony.
And today, I went cliff-diving for the first time in my life. And I loved it.