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Cruel Compendium #53 🌕
It's me and the moon, she says
I remember distinctly the first time I heard this band, in 2015. I was in the Bronx, lying in a man’s bed (any moment when this man was not working as a waiter he was either drinking or lying in bed or both), when he showed me Future Island’s performance on Letterman. Frontman Samuel T. Herring’s energy jumps off the screen, Letterman can’t get enough! This one video grew into a yearslong love affair with this band for me, and an emotional, parasocial relationship with Herring as a beloved artist figure, high up on a pedestal. I’m so thankful to Bronx boy for bringing him into my life.
Last week, I wrote about respecting your own ideas, and how to make space for YOUR art in the world. I’m already halfway through Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and loving it!
On to the links!
What I’m reading
Reflect on the things that offer clarity in your life. Make a habit out of celebrating the small moments in healing, gratitude, and growth. I am committed to celebrating how far I've come—celebrating the often overlooked things. Becoming clearer about my worth, with or without support, has shifted my narrative. The practice of self-celebration is a radical act of acceptance and self-love. When we mess up or misstep on our path to self-validation, it's easy to dwell there and forget that we've reached a moment of success just by being able to cheer ourselves on. Let's lean into those small and celebratory moments more often. Remember that there is a lesson in each stumble. Every heartbreak and disappointment offers us a chance to be gracious to ourselves.
How to actually grow up by Holly Whitaker. How some of the worst years of her life, even the “mistakes,” brought her to the good stuff, plus excellent reading recs. Devouring everything she writes lately.
Men are lonely. But women are being attacked. By Lyz Lenz. I thought about this piece a lot after I was talked at by a middle-aged man making my deli sandwich recently. I asked him what the sides were and he went on a ten-minute—I am not exaggerating—tirade, about the pandemic and how he works 80 hours a week and how no one wants to work anymore and why everyone is acting badly at airports, during which I said not a single word. It felt unhinged, but also aggressive. At the end he said, “Now, what did you ask me?” I did not smile as I replied: “What the sides are.” I had just donated blood before, and he talked at me for so long that I actually felt faint and had to go sit down on a bench outside. There are a lot of angry, lonely men out there who expect so much from the women in their lives—even a total stranger who just ordered a sandwich.
So it’s not just “people” expecting too much of their “partners.” Let’s be clear: It’s very specifically cis men expecting too much of cis women.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that moment at the bar. Specifically because of the man noting that he’d been going to therapy. I am trying, he seemed to be saying. Which is good! And I am glad. I wish him the best. I am just tired. Tired of being expected to give everything. Being offered nothing.
The quickest way to heartbreak by Kara Cutruzulla
The quickest way to heartbreak
is to look at your stats dashboard.
Or your page views
Or your Amazon ranking
Or your @ replies.
I’m listening to:
This poignant episode of Catherine Andrews’ The Sunday Soother, which explains how all real change in her life took at least two years to come to fruition. This lines up perfectly with the real, meaningful changes in my life and was like a lightbulb moment for me. Change happens slow as hell most of the time and it’s so much better to accept that and set realistic standards for myself!
Lots of episodes of the podcast Elizabeth Gilbert made when Big Magic came out in 2016!
Questionable self-care advice
📘 My comedian friend Zach Zimmerman’s first book, Is It Hot in Here (or Am I Suffering for All Eternity for the Sins I Committed on Earth)?, came out last week! It’s hilarious and heartfelt and if you buy your copy now you can help him get on the bestseller list!!! 10/10 recommend.
🖊️ I’m playing with AudioPen, which uses AI to take your verbal thoughts and turn them into succinct text.
🪜 I enjoy participating in SURJ’s monthly Abolition Action Hour. They create an atmosphere where you can show up (digitally), take action, and make a difference in an hour. You can sign up for the next one on May 18 at 3pm ET now.
🗑️ I love doing trash cleanups all over Austin—it’s an easy, enjoyable way to volunteer, walk with friends, and spend time outside. And I always meet cool people (and sometimes get a free paddleboard rental in exchange). If you’re in Austin, join @GarbageHumansofATX on their next cleanup! If you’re not, search for a Meetup near you!