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don't be sorry if you know that i'm lonely

Dress - Bonne Chance Collections|Clutch - Soramugi Shop|Shoes - Adidas
Hello all! Thanksgiving weekend has been super productive for me so far. I have a few projects (video work, interviews, my third book!!) that should be coming out soon and I'm super excited to share them with the world. I wish I could focus on creative projects but with finals coming up, most of my time is devoted to studying.

Luckily, my studies haven't been too boring. My favorite class this year is philosophy. It's just an introductory course, but we haven't read too many canonical works. Although I can definitely see the need for reading well-known works to build a good foundation, because I'd already read The Republic, Either/Or, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, etc, I welcomed the chance to read more obscure texts. 

This week we read Life's Too Short to Pretend You're Not Religious by David Dark. In the past I've been very critical of religion and spirituality, and while I remain very skeptical of organized religion, through works like this, I've been able to accept a broader definition of religion: the routines we have, the inspirations we turn to in times of need. 

Life's Too Short to Pretend You're Not Religious brilliantly articulates on this sentiment and how we can use it to apply to our daily lives. We often forget that our inspirations, our knowledge, etc. is a collaborative process. We got all that from somewhere. And it's our duty to continue to add to the ongoing list of interpretations of and desires for our world and the human experience, which Dark calls "attention collection." He writes, "We live off the generosity of those who pay heed. Will we answer the call to do so ourselves?" Those two lines perfectly describe my outlook on everything, from art to my journalistic philosophy.

Although I was not yet familiar with Dark's work, last year I wrote about this sort of thing a lot in my personal essays for college applications, explaining why I was passionate about journalism and telling people's stories (and my own). I often think that I haven't changed very much over the course of my life, because I honestly look like I did when I was a kid, and my interests have pretty much remained static. But writing those essays last year and reading Dark this week reminded me that I have changed in considerable ways. I used to be quite jaded and protective over my interests. In fact, this blog stemmed from that sort of desire to set myself a part. It should have started because I wanted to share my interests with the world, which would've contributed to the sort of attention collection Dark speaks of, but instead it was much more about marking my turf, saying I was here before anyone else. 

For those same reasons, I went out with guys who said I was "not like most girls," regardless of the fact that they were using that line as a way of isolating me so that they could take advantage of me. I was a self declared feminist, yet I took this phrase, which reinforces the patriarchy in the most dangerous ways, as a compliment. This was, of course, because I feared social rejection, and it was easy to imagine this abstract concept of pumpkin spice latte sipping, yoga pants wearing normies, and to superimpose that over my (in reality much more three dimensional) peers, than it was to actual say hi and form a genuine connection with the people that surrounded me. My plan was to reject them (or the concept I'd created of them that was so easy to reject) before they could reject me.

This, of course, was incredibly stupid for many reasons. Firstly, Dark is right, we get our interests, our passions, our hobbies, our knowledge from other people. I learned about all the indie bands I listened to, artists whose work I slipped in the cover of my binders, movies whose posters were plastered all over my room precisely from other girls. By definition, I am other girls, because I'm a combination of the interests and traits of other girls who I admired. And even by the standard of normal-girls-watch-rom coms-and-go-to-Starbucks, I like rom coms and Starbucks, and I always have! Sue me!

Anyway, reading Dark reminded me of how much I now reject that sort of hipster culture. It also helped to redirect me to practice my definition of religion better. Now I use this blog and my various other platforms to share my interests in a very genuine sense of the word, and contribute what I can to the ongoing conversation and collaboration of sharing influences, inspirations: religious practices (as Dark might say).

I've been much happier and more successful with this approach than I was in the beginning. I am fully aware of the fact that I don't have much of a following -- in fact, any following -- but publishing my work on here is a spiritual act for me. It's allowing my personal life to become accessible. It's making my story part of a much bigger story. I don't care that no one reads it, the point is people can read it. And the few people that have told me my blog, my attention collection, has given them newfound inspiration-- well I'm eternally grateful for that.

I'd like in the future to make my projects, even this blog, a more communal process, more of a dialogue than just me shouting into the void. I suppose that would be one benefit to having more of an audience-- it would be possible to have more of a conversation. But regardless, I always love hearing what inspires you all, so please share in whatever ways you're comfortable.


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