Anxieties of a Beginner

James Titchener / @mistertitchener

I’ve committed to posting on this blog every Friday in 2020, and it’s starting to feel like homework without the grades. My process so far has been to start writing something over the weekend, decide that it’s shit by Wednesday, then word vomit something out on Friday morning. This would be a hell of a lot easier if I hadn’t promised to stop running my mouth on topics I’m mostly ignorant about. It’d also be a lot easier if I had more than a surface level understanding of (really) anything. 

Which leaves me with two options (assuming I don’t bail on this project altogether):

The first strikes me as a move that would not only make for better writing but also improve my thinking and capacity to contribute. There’s only so much time in the day. As much as my ADD brain wants to become a modern renaissance man, I should probably establish my thinking and skills within one or two domains before signing up for calligraphy classes or some shit. So, like it or not, I’ll be focusing my writing on work, meditation (and the related philosophy) and their intersection. Mostly on their intersection I think. It’s a topic that covered sparingly and one that I hope I’ll be able to contribute to. 

Here’s the problem though… I hate talking about my work. I inherited my business from my late father in 2016, and as much as I wish there wasn’t, there’s some baggage that lingers. I’ve got half a post written I want to share about the super fun ride this has been, so I’ll just say that I’ve got some emotional hurdle to get over here. It’s gonna hurt, but it’s a bandaid that needs to be ripped off asap. Especially in San Francisco where talking about anything but work is tantamount to speaking Cantonese. 

And frankly, I’ve avoided writing about my experiences. I’ve shared tastes here and there, but nothing in its full, embarrassing and painful transparency. I’m lucky that I can’t be fired over the ideas I explore, the stories I tell and the (mostly) insensitive jokes I make. In my mind, failing to take advantage of this privilege would be a waste. Life is fucking messy. It’d be swell if life was like the Big Bang Theory, but it’s just not. My favorite work captures this truth in uncomfortable detail. It’s the uncomfortable moments and stories that force us to reconsider our status quo. That’s been my experience at least, and that’s what I want to share. Maybe that’s not what most people want to read (most people don’t read period), but hopefully a few of you will tag along.

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