May 3, 2019_Friday

I had a tough week this past week.

Every day was like carrying a big rock on my back and my chest [emotionally and mentally].

And I couldn’t seem to pinpoint the why.

I had an eventful and fun week, yes and done connected with people I like, and did the things I was supposed to do, but that doesn’t mean I was mentally or emotionally well through and through.

Sometimes, you’ve built good systems and processes and they prevent and protect you from breaking down on a foundational level, but you can still have soul-turmoil at any point in life.

I’m grateful for the friends and the schedule that distracted me from it during the days and into the nights.

Without it, I, human as I am would have gotten sucked down by the gravity of my feelings.

I know now it is the worst to keep myself to myself when I’m heavy in heart or in mind. It’s like encouraging soul-suicide.

It warps everything else. Because the things going inside.. whether the duration is temporary or long term begin to squeeze and alter everything else around– kind of like a cancerous tumor… and they dim you, change you.

But you’ve got to bring in others and keep a community very close (I cannot emphasize this enough) to you that are not occupied with such thoughts. They will, whether you recognize it or not immediately, shed a beam of fulle light into you, when everything else inside is squeezing down and closing in.

Think of community as your armor against an unhealthy, disoriented, frame of reference-stuck mindset.

Think of community as the things that help you breathe.

Give your mind and heart the space to loosen some of the tangles going on. Sometimes, you need to time to let the unconscious process what your conscious mind cannot. (ps, if you want to learn more about this, you can get into neuroscience, and you’ll find your way with the understanding part :))

You can accelerate the loosening of the tangles with help, such as getting personal counsel, looking to friends, and also starting to journal to see how you’re actually processing things.

Or sometimes you’re stuck, and you need to give yourself a day, or two. Maybe you need to let that breathe on its own too before telling it to go and putting an end to it. And that’s okay.

But, put an end to it you must.


 

In fact, I know what’s been hurting me.

I’ve just been afraid to call it out by name.

 

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On Generational Tension & Millenials

I’ve been participating in thought leadership discussions these days and they’ve been immensely productive and awesome, and there are many amazing, visionary, and progressive people I get to meet on a regular basis, but I’ve also observed that there’s been a regular sub- current present in conversations that takes the form of  low-key shitting on of millennials; there are founders, CEOs, and other leaders that appear to want to discuss everything from Generation Millenial’s lack of work ethic to their overly aspirational or vulnerable selves, and this mainly from Gen Xers and Baby Boomers (1. Surprisingly from Gen X people compared to Baby Boomers, and 2. I see less of a shitting on of Gen Z; perhaps it’s because the manifestation of said generation’s values there are so separate and unrecognizable from former generations’ values that it’s easier to reconcile the difference the older people? Sais pas)

All valid comments and concerns for sure, but I’d strongly argue that such publicly voiced generalizations, and in very negative tones (which is what I have an issue with) to describe or discuss the behavior or mannerisms of the next generation [or any future generation for that matter] is conducive, generative [or really even accurate] in any way.

Lack of work ethic isn’t a generational  problem, it’s an individual problem. So is being unhealthily aspirational.

It’s important be cognizant of the words you say, because you are making generalizations about a population that is 73 million strong. And we’re looking for cross-generational collaboration and the continuation of good legacy here, not regressive tribe-ness.

Instead of criticizing, maybe it’s best to ask constructive questions on how to DAHNCE with conflicting behaviors/actions of other generations– you know, first put an effort in trying to understand the difference in generational demographics and the trends and conversations causing such a so called schism in values and views of the world.

Just a thought.

We’re not going to go away.

 

Love,

Soo

Measuring Myself Today

Health:
Physically, I’m in pretty good shape. I’ve been trying to work out almost every other day, and it really helps me wash out the negativity and the mind wormholes I get into pretty often as someone with a head that has trouble not thinking. While being in shape is important, the need to exercise for me I feel comes mostly from the endorphins and relaxation (rewards!) I feel from getting an engaging workout in and having it demand all my physical and mental attention. It quiets my thoughts, and I really love that.
Food wise, I haven’t been eating healthily and I need to change that. I’m pretty tired from work most of the time, so I need to make sure I’m not eating foods that support lethargy or a weakening of the immune system.
I’m also struggling a lot with memory. Short term and some long term memories are really joggy and it’s getting concerning. At first I thought it was because I’m all over the place, and I’m just someone who needs to implement check lists, plan and such in very concrete, written ways. But I’m beginning to think it’s not just that. I keep forgetting things at an alarming frequency. Something to address and commit to going to a doctor for before it gets worse.
Physically also, I’ve been exploiting my youth by running on a bad foot for a while. The fractures keep recurring, the pain never goes away, and yet I’m still running. A conversation with a physical therapist last weekend really woke me up because she warned me that while my body is giving me all it’s got now, it won’t ever do that as I age, and that this could quadruple into a really serious issue if I’m not proactive and don’t make the decision to stop running as I’ve avoided so now. It hurts my young self: my passion and love for the rush of BREEZE I feel when running, experiencing nature at that kind of speed, and my pride as a 26 year old woman, but I need to work on being okay with stopping.
Work:
Work is pretty intense. I’m realizing more and more in hindsight that there were and are parts that are more intense and hard for me, as I’m still struggling a bit with resisting the unbalance that comes with being entrepreneurial. I kept fighting it. and I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that I’m supposed to be sitting alongside the minion that is crazy startup life and embracing it. Not all of it, but some of it. And that my understanding and personal definition of what it means to be “balanced” is a little rigid and maybe open to revision. It’s crazy hilarious and exasperating just how much I’m resisting the startup life. It’s perhaps very foolish of me. A developing thought, and not a belief yet, but sharing nonetheless. Business this early stage is also not going well at any point in time, and as a small company it’s hard to take the gains and losses of the company at arm’s length. Everything hits me.
I need to mentally be there, in that everything I am doing is understood [by me] that it was the best I could do at every given moment, with the best interests in mind and that I need to be better at bouncing back, being more openminded, and adapting even more so when the variables and circumstance change around me.
In terms of network and and professional life, things are going really great. I’m coming into my own as a professional and as an individual who is really curious, has a lot of things to say and craves deep connection. I’m continuously building upon and defining this multi-faceted, yet-to-be-determined creature that is my public self. I’ve been freelance modeling, started lecturing as a guest lecturer at NYU, consulted a few consumer brands, and advocating for mental health & my main work, ATEM. Life is very good on that front, and it’s amazing being part of a new tribe that’s full of many beautiful, bright, and well-meaning people, and thick in with the entrepreneurial, founder, business-women & men community.
Love:
The love is great. Not without some bumps and minefields thrown onto the plane I live in, but man is it great:
My love for God is amazing right now and rising.
My family, as colorful as our dynamics are, is trending up in the most beautiful, and wholesome ways I’ve never seen!
My romantic experiences, while colorful [in part to my overthinking myself], have been wonderful in their own ways, and I’m growing and learning more about myself: exploring the good sides, examining the needing improvement sides, and am interfacing and growing to know, see and share in the promise of love with someone that I believe and am grateful I have such a natural connection to.
Friendships are great. I’ve really seen this arena defining itself in the past 2 years and friendships are sifting and solidifying in their places as I feel they should be. There is the constant influx of new and old characters of course, and navigating that and my changing feelings and our changing positions is sometimes verging on the disorienting (hello people pleaser Susan, but short on time and life Susan), but this sphere’s developed into something that’s very much a solid ecosystem of peoples that are very loving and awesome and just solid, solid, lovable, trustworthy friends.
Play:
Play for me from experience (and I only have twenty-some years of this thing, experience) is doing or seeing something very creative or emotionally provocative.
That usually means for me seeing art, going to see an opera, being in some very high-nature habitat, maybe going horse riding? (it’s on my bucket list, I’ve never done it!!).
Reading is for certain for pleasure, but most recently I’ve been reading a lot to learn with the intention of helping myself develop as a professional and in more public facing contexts, and I’ve not honestly been allowing myself to pick up much reading for sheer “valueless” (whatever that means) pleasure . Learning though is a direct pleasure channel for me, so this is a little murky. I love to read to learn. But I suppose the topics I would be reading on would slightly change if I was only reading this past season for sheer pleasure. I would be less focused [by my nature] in my choice of subject matter, and would be reading anything from surfing, to horseriding, to vinoculture, to wines in Paso Robles, to the history of an art I have my eyes newly fixed on, to reading on photography, to reading on sculpture making, to reading all the books I have in my personal reading to do list, and rereading Jane Austen on replay over, and over, and over again.
As Bill Burnett and Dave Evans define it in Designing Your Life, play eliminates any and all consideration of “work” that is colored even with a drop of something that is not pure joy:
“Play is all about joy. If you observe children at play, you will see the type of play we are talking about. Play is any activity that brings you joy when you do it. It can certainly include organized activity or competition or productive endeavors, but when those things are done, “for the joy of it” they are play. When an activity is done to win, to advance, to achieve– even if it’s fun to do so– it’s not play. It may be a wonderful thing, but it’s still not play. The question here is what brings you joy purely in the doing.”
While work has required me to pull down on the play, I’ve managed to stay really committed to a really concentrated number of “play” activities I consider my top most priorities and most consistent sources for sheer Susan joy: reading, nature, and art 🙂
In an ideal world, I’d like to have even more leisure to explore more and see if other play activities would actually bring me more pleasure, but unfortunately exploration does require new commitment and more time allocated to things that are uncertain and at best to be determined in their joy-value adds in my life.  At least for now 🙂 And that’s okay.