notes on serendipity
+ weekly recs
Jan Asselin, The Breach of the Saint Anthony's Dike near Amsterdam, 1651
Still love the Feynman line: “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”
I don’t think I’ve ever applied to a job, which is not the same thing as never asking for a job. I’ve cold emailed plenty of people, but I don’t think I’ve ever submitted a job application. Generally I’m against applying to things.
I had two best friends in high school, and two best friends in college. But San Francisco was the first time I’d ever made a lot of friends at once. In those early years it felt like there were a couple hundred people around my age who had dropped out of college or were on a gap year or were interning and we just ran into each other constantly. It’s so important to find an environment where you’re just constantly bumping into people you like, versus people you’re indifferent to.
I met S when we moved into the same group house together. Our friend K was the one who invited me to move in. Everyone I’ve ever dated, I’ve met through a mutual friend. For a while this felt like a curse. Now it feels like a blessing. I don’t know if I’ve ever so much as been on a boring first date (I’ve certainly been on questionable ones, though).
The past three years, since I’ve been traveling so much, I’ve met almost everyone I’ve become close to online through Twitter. (My friend J was the one who made me join: It’ll be good for your career, he said, citing two of his ex-girlfriends.)
It’s deeply worthwhile to find a group of people who you deeply trust, online and offline, and meet all of their friends. It’s good to work with your friends, and work on things that are in conversation with what they’re working on. It’s good to become friends with people whose projects resonate with yours. I think that’s the best way, perhaps the only way, to create serendipity.
I don’t think there is any point to befriending people because you want something from them. I’m not even entirely sure how that would work. I think you should hang out with people who are really cool and warm and smart and spend as much time with them as you can.