chasing answers newsletter #21
Being REALLY real, The joys of my life
“Death gives meaning to our lives. It gives importance and value to time. Time would become meaningless if there were too much of it.” - Ray Kurzweil
Hello and welcome back! If you're new, thanks for joining, and please, feel free to check out past issues here.
This edition is a little more personal than normal, but it's a couple of topics that were on my mind a lot this week, so I'm rolling with it.
Let's get to it.
Being REALLY real
I'm usually a no-bullshit kind of guy. I hate it when people are fake with me, so I try not to be fake with other people. My wife tells me this can make me seem like an asshole. I think my wife is just too sensitive and that most people appreciate it when someone is truly genuine with them. She says I'm not sensitive enough. I'm not sure who is correct, but I've been this way for a long time, so trying to change now would be a tall order.
My problem is since I began writing and spending time on social media (primarily Twitter), I have noticed myself guarding what I say way more than usual.
I haven't intended for this to happen; it just has.
And I'm not OK with it.
There have been times when I have managed to write or converse on Twitter the same way I would talk were I in a conversation with one of my close friends, but there have also been times when I definitely have not.
I find myself thinking about who will be reading my writing, whether it sounds like something they would share with someone they know, and if it has any attributes that could take it viral.
These are all things I would never do in my real life.
I also find myself trying to fit my writing into frameworks, whether David Perell's POP writing or something else I have read about online.
When I do this, things don't flow as naturally, and I end up with something that doesn't really sound like me. It's as if I'm forcing things to try to fit a specific mold instead of just being myself.
To me, attempting to fit writing into a specific framework like this is akin to telling an artist his art must contain particular colors or geometric shapes. I don't think that's true. Good art is something you know when you see it. Not something that checks off a list of pre-defined required elements. I feel the same about writing.
All of this was on my mind this week as I mulled over what I would write about and how I would write it. I had a few notes about how I was feeling and a few ideas about the direction I may go.
Despite my displeasure with it, I even thought I might just continue down the path I was on.
Then I listened to Lex Fridman's interview with Ray Kurzweil. One of the topics they discussed was the digital afterlife and how, with AI, we can keep people around long after they are gone (start listening at the 1:16:09 mark if you are interested.)
One way to accomplish this is by having AI analyze the person's writing or social media accounts. It can then generate essays, posts, and tweets based on that info, and it's as if the person is still here tweeting and writing.
The thought of someone doing this with me scared the shit out of me. And the reason it did is that not all of my writing or social media posts reflect who I am or even what I care most about.
If someone were to do that with me right now, what they would get would not be anything like the guy my closest friends know.
So, I need to change that.
Moving forward, I'm going to do my best to ensure I am writing what I want to say and not what I think people want to read.
So hang on tight because this train could run off the tracks real quick.
The joys of my life
I don't listen to a ton of music anymore, so when I say I am a big fan of someone, it means I like the music of theirs that I have heard. It doesn't mean I have listened to every song they have ever done or that I waited up until midnight to be one of the first to download their new album.
With that said, I am a big fan of Chris Stapleton. I feel like he could sing any song, and his voice alone would make it better than average. Last week I heard his latest single, "Joy of My Life." I think it was released about six months ago, but I just heard it for the first time. It is a cover of a 1997 John Fogerty song.
Fogerty is fucking awesome, but I think Chris did him a solid by covering his song. The new version is amazing.
Immediately when I heard it, I thought of the joys of my life.
It can be so easy when things don't go well at work, when a piece of writing doesn't turn out well, or when you feel like you phoned it in on your workout to be hard on or even be upset with yourself.
It's easy to let all that "stuff" overwhelm you and make you forget what is going well.
But every day when I return home to my little personal oasis, the joys of my life (my wife, daughter, and fur kids) treat me the same no matter what happened that day. Whether I excelled or failed, to them, I'm the same person, and they love me just the same.
Whatever the joys of your life are, don't forget them when all the other shit is kicking your ass.
That’s all for now.
I hope you all have a great week!
As always, I would love to hear from you.
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