On Anxiety

Much of what ruins the present is sheer anxiety. The present always contains an enormous number of possibilities, some hugely gruesome, which we are constantly aware of in the background. Anything could theoretically happen, an earthquake, an aneurysm, a rejection – which gives rise to the non-specific anxiety that trails most of us around all the time; the simple dread at the unknownness of what is to come.

The Difficulty of Being in the Present

Anxiety has a way of paralyzing you, invading every aspect of your life. I started going to therapy this year. I’m learning to work through the anxiety and all of the trauma and pain of the past and the present and the uncertainty of the future.

On Burnout

Millennials are a nice punching bag for the Boomers, and even Gen Xers, blaming us for low home ownership rates, blaming us for ruining X industry because we don’t own can openers, telling us how to spend our money by buying less avocado toast. But we’re living in a world that Boomers created, one that sets us up for failure right out of the gate. We’re told to work hard, and to work often, because that will get you ahead. Never mind that Millennials earn less than the Boomers and Gen Xers did, that we have crippling student debt, that everything is just…more expensive.

Today is my birthday. All I want to do today is nothing. Absolutely nothing. No work. No decisions. I just want to do nothing. I’m burned out. I’m burned out from working, I’m burned out from not working. I’m just burned out. “How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation” speaks to me because it is my life. I’m burned the fuck out.

But the more I tried to figure out my errand paralysis, the more the actual parameters of burnout began to reveal themselves. Burnout and the behaviors and weight that accompany it aren’t, in fact, something we can cure by going on vacation. It’s not limited to workers in acutely high-stress environments. And it’s not a temporary affliction: It’s the millennial condition. It’s our base temperature. It’s our background music. It’s the way things are. It’s our lives.
That realization recast my recent struggles: Why can’t I get this mundane stuff done? Because I’m burned out. Why am I burned out? Because I’ve internalized the idea that I should be working all the time. Why have I internalized that idea? Because everything and everyone in my life has reinforced it — explicitly and implicitly — since I was young. Life has always been hard, but many millennials are unequipped to deal with the particular ways in which it’s become hard for us.

How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation

August 2018 Media Diet

Star Trek: Enterprise – 3/5 so far. Still watching this. Still skipping the intro.

Nailed It! – 4/5. This was hilarious. We binged the entire series while my sister and her family were visiting.

National Treasure – 5/5. Of course we had to re-watch this after showing my sister and her family around town (we live in DC).

Disenchantment – 3.5/5. I mean, it’s witty and somewhat funny.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – 4/5. I loved this one.

Life of the Party – 3/5. Some of it was funny. It was not McCarthy’s best movie but it was still entertaining.

Breaking In – 4/5. Gabrielle Union basically kicks butt.

Deadpool 2 – 4/5. There was room for improvement but I laughed throughout the movie.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – 4/5. This is the first in a series of books that take place aboard a space ship in deep space. This was a great introduction and I’m looking forward to reading the remaining books in the series.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie – 4/5. I am a huge fan of the Poirot tv series so I decided to read the entire series that its based on.

When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri – 4/5. This was an interesting read and I devoured it quickly.

Meg by Steve Alten – 3/5. I wanted to read the book that the movie is based on. It was entertaining.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters – 4/5. This was full of twists and turns. It kept me entertained.

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann – 5/5. I had hoped to read this one a lot sooner but never got around to it. I ended up reading Killers of the Flower Moon by Grann before this one and loved it so much that I made reading this one a priority. I was not disappointed. I really love how Grann weaves the story together.

July 2018 Media Diet

These are all the things that I consumed media wise in July.

The World Cup – 5/5. There were so many great games. So many upsets.

Star Trek: Voyager – 4/5. We started in April and finally finished. I haven’t connected with the characters as well as I did in TNG and DS9 but it’s still a great show.

Star Trek: Enterprise – 3/5 so far. Just started season 2. Definitely watch on Netflix so you can skip that horrible Rod Stewart intro.

Deception – 4/5. This show was cancelled by ABC and while it was a bit campy and definitely quirky I thought it would have made a decent show. The first season is available on iTunes if you want to check out something new.

I’ve finally finished Killing Eve. 5/5.

I’ve also finally started The Americans. I have no idea why I didn’t watch this before it ended but here we are. 4/5

Snatched – 1.5/5. I watched it because I love Goldie Hawn. She couldn’t save this.

Set It Up – 3.5/5. One of Netflix’s original movies, this rom com is cute and bad for all the right reasons.

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta – 4/5. This was a beautiful novel. It tells the story of Ijeoma as she navigates a civil war in Nigeria and discovering that she is a lesbian. “I thought once more about the way that life so often takes us the long way around. But perhaps it didn’t matter, long or short, as long as we eventually found our way to where we needed to be.”

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Books 1-3 – 5/5. This is a such a great series.

Small Country by Gaël Faye – 5/5. Emotionally complex, beautifully written, heartbreaking. One of the best books I’ve read so far this year.

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera – 4/5. “People are complicated puzzles, always trying to piece together a complete picture, but sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes we’re left unfinished. Sometimes that’s for the best. Some pieces can’t be forced into a puzzle, or at least they shouldn’t be, because they won’t make sense.”

Season 2 of In The Dark – 5/5. The first season of In The Dark was great but the second season has blown me away. It’s very informative and highlights so many problems with the Criminal Justice system.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway – 5/5. Hemingway writes broken people really well. If you’re looking for a story that describes war in detail, this isn’t it. However, it captures the loneliness and sadness and anxiety and worry of war really well.

Still Lives by Maria Hummel – 3/5. This book was good but I didn’t find anything particularly great about it. It held my interest and followed the familiar mystery/thriller pattern.

How It Ends – 4/5. This isn’t an Oscar movie. It’s a really great end of the world action movie. It was suspenseful enough and crazy enough to keep my interest.

America, Vol. 1: The Life and Times of America Chavez by Gabby Rivera – 5/5. This was a great comic. Bonus because it has so many queer characters.

America, Vol. 2: Fast and Fuertona by Gabby Rivera – 5/5. See above.

Paper Girls, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan – 5/5. There’s so many things going on here that I love. Time travel, the 80s, Aliens (?).

The Kissing Booth – 4/5. This was a great rom-com and I liked how it wasn’t a typical teen movie.