Why don’t you rearrange your rooms, give them a Spartan tidy, and then pretend to be in an AirBNB for the weekend? I deep cleaned, belatedly for too many reasons, for the first time in too long, and I suddenly feel like I’m on vacation. The rooms have genuine purpose now! They’re not just a mess while I redo everything! Dreamy. I need to figure out what’s wrong with me, why I can’t accomplish simple things when the sun doesn’t shine. Even a single cloudy day can make me despondent. This used to be just a little flirtation with seasonal affective disorder in the depths of winter, but now it holds me up by the throat for even an hour of drizzle. That can’t be normal. But anyway, clean your kitchen. It’s wild. 


Why don’t you create a dossier of images of yourself looking stunning to remind yourself of the past and what a fool you were to ever think you were anything less than a supermodel? This could be a singularly specific suggestion, I realize; not everybody allows Tyra Banks to profoundly impact their mental health. Anyway…why didn’t anybody tell me in 2013 to 1) actually do an arm workout, and 2) oh my god you look like a real hot person? I did. It’s crazy. I wonder if I could be a hot person again? I think thirty-year-old’s can probably look hot from a reasonable distance. I hope anyway. Or just plastic surgery. Definitely more Botox. 


Why don’t you start breathing through your nose more? I don’t mean for a meditation or as a stress management tool. You can do all that if you want to but if I’ve learned anything over the past year of being a mediocre singer, singing while breathing through your nose is absolutely transformative. You sound better. You’re louder. The tone of your voice is easier to manipulate. I’m not going to act like I’m incredibly knowledgeable about singing, I’m not, but all I know from my experimentation is that my performance of Aretha Franklin’s “The Weight” is getting good enough for it to be my signature karaoke song if I ever find myself in the position. Also you get a little giddy with all that extra oxygen which is wild. Let’s take a musical interlude:


Why don’t you plan a trip to Turkey as soon as the pandemic is globally behind us? Y’all surely remember my splurging on fitness equipment and weirdly enjoying it? Well, some of my favorite walking and biking series have been in Turkey. I’ve never really been all that interested in visiting, but now I feel like maybe I had a past life there. It all feels so familiar to me, which is just dumb, but like I said before, I burst into real sobs on most of the walking tours. Those whirling dervishes fill me with total joy, I just can’t explain it. So I have to go see it all in person. The market, the mosques, the fairy tower hills, the dervishes whirling and whirling and whirling in ecstasy. It seems like an absolutely magical place. I hope it lives up to dreams I’m dreaming.


Why don’t you subscribe to a newspaper and read it every single day? Cover to cover. I’m not going to do a deep dive into politics, but we have entered a very unsettling era. (Honestly, we’re far from entering, we’re entrenched.) There’s a lot going wrong, even though so many others things are going right. We need to be on top of the issues before they overwhelm us. We really don’t need a new cold war, and we certainly are not in need of an international war. And we absolutely cannot survive the civil war brewing in America right now. I never used to think such a thing was credibly possible, but as I watch state governments across the country gleefully restrict voting rights, encounter the millions of people who think that Joe Biden is an illegitimate tyrant and Donald Trump is a legitimate messiah, well I’ve had to unhappily change my mind. This is a frightening moment in American history. Conspiracy theories are cancerous and we are deep into the disease. I’m uncomfortable. Stay educated and support journalism before we lose it. Don’t pretend that you can’t imagine state sponsored news as soon as republicans maneuver themselves back into federal power. This has to end. 

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