Allegra's thought mixtape
Seven tracks on my mind.
When I tell people I'm a writer for a living—or, even less accurately, a journalist, or a reporter—I feel a strong sense of regret. Because, if you ask Andru how long it took me to write more than a sentence of this post, or any post over the last 4,000 months, you'd know that writing is a modicum of my life.
I love writing; I think I'm good at it; I've always thought I was good at it. It was the only way I knew how to express myself as a socially awkward, deeply shy kid-preteen-teen-young adult. I'd write poems, stories, essays, all for fun and just for me. Landing a job where I had to write for a public audience multiple times a day was at once amazing and galling: Paid! To do the only thing I felt confident about! But also, people had to read it for me to sustain this career and also they could leave internet comments oh god oh no do not comment on my work ever please. As happy as I was to continue to write on a daily basis, I was no longer just doing it for myself, and that placed a huge strain on my relationship to my favorite thing.
Same goes for reading. Same goes for watching movies or TV, or listening to music, or playing video games, or anything that either comes up in my job on a regular basis or corresponds to my job. When the thing you love for yourself because the thing you—unfortunately, admittedly—hate for other people, it is ... well, it's no longer the thing you love.
I can't even blog, is the point. I'm always judging myself against my self-image of Very Good Professional Writer. This is why I became an editor, alongside the fact that that's the only way you can actually progress in this industry unless you're an attractive white person who went to a pricy private school with minimal student debt and/or have really really good connections. I'm still a socially awkward, deeply shy adult; I'm just way better at hiding it for my personal and professional sakes. That social awkwardness and disinterest in playing the game, or discover any self-confidence, or blah blah blah blah blah, made me fearful that I'd never progress to a point in my writing career where I'd be afforded the level of carte blanche opportunities that many of my colleagues enjoy.
Or not! I don't really know if I care this much about what other people do or whatever. But clearly I care to some degree—it's just that these feelings about other people's successes relative to my own should matter less to my own success; I understand this rationally but we are not rational people. Anyway, who cares. Moving on:
These are all excuses to justify why I can't write anything anymore that is not justifying my salary. It's sad! And it also honestly can mostly be chalked up to laziness and depression and other things that are unrelated to all of these said excuses.
I've decided to try something else that might make it easier for me to actually produce something for ... this blog? Which is still not for me? But like, I'm not paid to do this and I am not forced to do this (not yet; not yet), so it's different. Andru suggested that I call this a "thought mixtape," which is cute and on theme with this blog. The premise of this post is just a thought-dump: just a bunch of little musings I've had lately that I couldn't be arsed to actually sit down and write out somewhere when I actually had them.
Here goes I guess:
- I feel like I mostly just complain a lot and I'm very self-conscious about this but I'm also very self-aware of this and yet, here we are. Still complaining a lot.
- I've been playing a lot of Dr. Mario lately on the Nintendo 64 virtual console on Switch. That game is insufferably hard! People who are good at that game are liars! But also, they should teach me how to play better because I can't stop playing. Andru is really good at the original one but this ... this is different.
- My mom always impressed cardigans upon my sister and me when we were younger, so I always wore a lot of cardigans as opposed to sweaters when it was cold. But now I never really wear cardigans! By habit, I always have a cardigan waiting for me near my jackets, but I rarely find them preferable over an actual sweater. And I wonder if that's an intentionally increasing sense of disinterest, like, I'm owning my own personal style by rejecting the things that remind me of what my mother encouraged me to wear or dressed me in when she had the authority to do so. See also: flare jeans. (JK I just think those would look bad on me cuz my legs are too skinny but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
- I've had a lot of bad luck with books lately, and I'm very open to recommendations. Here are my most recent reads: On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (rudderless; self-satisfied; the only part I was interested in was the sex part and that says as much about me as it does the book); The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris (one of those books that publishers masquerade it as a hyper-literary novel when it's really just a weak thriller with a garbage ending and an insufferable set of characters); A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (I ate this book up and I absolutely despised almost every moment of it! Was rooting for everyone to die quickly!). Right now I'm reading Mating by Norman Rush and I'm really enjoying it but should I be enjoying a book about a white woman in Botswana who refuses to date African men written by a white man from the US? It's really funny and knows that it's up its own butthole, which I appreciate, so, I dunno. Next I'm reading Kindred for the book club at work and I'm hoping I really like it, because I've heard only good things and baby needs a win.
- I got in a bad accident at the beginning of October; a dude mowed me down on a motorbike in Prospect Park. And now I have some serious anxiety around motorbikes. Do not drive down the sidewalk! It's for walking! Please do not do this. (I'm fine now.)
- I've had her for two months now but I haven't written for this blog in even longer so: I have a very cute sweet chatty wacky 1-year-old cat now named Maggie!!!!! I love her v much and she's good for my depression because she forces me to get out of bed at a reasonable time to feed her and play with her and clean her poop. But also, sometimes she is very understanding that I need to sleep until 11:30 a.m. on a Tuesday and doesn't bug me for food, even though she probably should because it's 11:30 a.m. on a Tuesday. I'll share some pics of her being an adorable baby model/menace in a separate post.
- Okay that's it really! Here's a song I like rn: