buckle up, we're accelerating
Richard Diebenkorn, Lemons and Jar, 1958
As a little girl, I longed for things to be definitive. I wanted to know what my future life would look like, I prayed that it would be exciting and significant, but most of all I yearned for safety. This desire for reassurance, for the guarantee that I would be okay, informed a lot of my earliest choices: being extremely studious, wanting to go to a good university, searching for a high-paying job. My need for reassurance came from my extreme anxiety.
This Substack has in part been an exploration of how I moved on from that anxiety. Lots of things have helped me become less anxious: reading, making friends, leaving school, dealing with extreme uncertainty vis-à-vis visa issues, psychedelics, therapy, simply getting older. But beyond the methods themselves, I’ve also come to realize that there simply is no such thing as the reassurance I looked for when I was younger. It does not exist. No choice I can make will guarantee that I’ll be okay. No job, no house, no partner that can provide ultimate safety. In fact, I’ve learned that optimizing for safety can be the worst kind of trap—you think you’ve found security, but instead you’ve just made yourself unhappy.