Charline von Heyl, Vandals Without Sandals, 2018
I meet up with a subscriber who has become a friend. We go to Dalva, though he doesn’t drink. We talk about fear. I tell him about my life and he says: you seem to value upside as much you you value downside. Most people are obsessed with potential downside.
There’s a term for it, of course: loss aversion. People tend to value what they might lose as twice as much as what they might gain. I must have read about this somewhere, it’s one of those ubiquitous concepts you can’t escape, but I had never thought about it deeply until that moment.
I am very interested in what is maximally good. I am always looking for the most extreme version of an experience. I never think of it as optimizing, because optimizing suggests that there’s one shared base experience that you might be able to slightly improve upon. Maybe I am unusually dramatic or completely mistaken, but I think that experiences can vary so radically it’s pointless to compare them.
How a room can make you feel. How a person can make you feel. There’s so much variance.
I would say that all my life I’ve been looking for a feeling, a very pure feeling, and there’s been entire afternoons when I’ve been able to swim in it, and I know the feeling comes from me and not the world. But I still live in the world. The meditation teacher said that even if life is a dream, it’s the dream we’re trapped in until we die. So we have to make thoughtful choices.