but merely a three point oh-three percent
Time is both simultaneously speeding up and slowing down, and it’s really throwing me for a loop. It’s not even an exclusively 2020 phenomena. I feel like this time every year, blink your eyes and it’s December. It may feel even more pronounced this year, as there haven’t been many indicators of time passing—especially if you’re in your home all day every day. The other day I woke up to my alarm, turned it off (instead of snoozing), and looked at the beautiful sunset then promptly fell back asleep. I remember falling back asleep and thinking how pretty the sky was. I eventually woke up, and sat up in bed and also thought Wow, I’m up so early for a Saturday. Checked the time on the clock to confirm: 8:58 am. Yup! Quickly debated going back to bed. Then, immediately realized: it is Tuesday.
Eunice, you had only worked for one day! The whole week lay ahead of you! And now, we’re on Thursday or Friday and that much closer to the end of the week—this week went by so quickly. Yet so slowly.
But, isn’t the passing of time such a funny thing? I forget who told me this, but it has stuck with me: as we get older, the year feels like it goes so quickly because it it becomes an even smaller fraction of your lived experience. Think about it. When you’re a one year old, and you have no concept of time … one year is 100% of your life lived. When you’re two, one year becomes 50% of your lived life. By the time you’re thirty years old, one year is but 3.33̅% of your life. It’s wild to think how time passes and how we experience it so differently from each other but also from our own experience. I know this year has amplified a lot of things, but maybe this overall feeling of a slowdown (for those who have been able to) has been the thing needed to reframe how we move in the world and through time.
There are food traditions that have never really belonged to me that I’m so drawn to because of who I was surrounded by during childhood—I grew up in a neighbourhood with a significant Jewish population. Of course, I’ve come to learn a lot of my own Korean culture through food and the pains of those childhood othering because of it. But, there was something super lovely about the rituals my friends partook in.
Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, and while ~the Western world~ knows about it as the “Jewish Christmas” … know that it’s not The Most Important Jewish Holiday (I am not here to teach you about it! It is not my place!), but it is definitely a fun one for kids to hear about: eight days of presents!? The lights! Dreidels! The gelt! The fried food! The food.
Jelly filled donuts? Yes, please. Potato latkes!? Drool. Yes. I love potatoes. I love potatoes. Also, this isn’t Hanukkah-specific but challah. Oh, boy. That bread is so. very. good. But, that’s not really what I’m thinking of tonight. Just how there’s a level of appreciation one can have for another culture’s food, but the line between appreciation and appropriation. And, also, the weird balance of not pigeonholing people to only represent their culture.
How does one allow for growth and also folks to represent themselves, and their complex lived experiences? Why does this thread keep coming up? Probably because people in positions of influence continue to prove over and over how they can’t see their actual impact. But, if you even consider for one moment what shapes your choices and how you act impacts those around you (and the network of connections) maybe you can see how much you affect life around you. Instead of how the outside world serves you.
As usual, I’ve been leaning into more stories built for escapism. Still doing a long rewatch of Gilmore Girls (season 2 now!), but recently started to watch Virgin River. It’s been described to me as a cross between a Hallmark movie and a Shondaland soapy network show like Grey’s Anatomy. Not wrong at all. It has the lead character, going off to a small town after tragic circumstances in her life push her to “start fresh” and get away from her past. A Love Interest who is ruggedly handsome and bit on the quiet side, but is Good. The Competition. A Career Obstacle. All the tropes of the predictable genre, but it’s soothing and easy to watch and easy to escape in and for me, I don’t want surprises now.
I’m sure you’re tired of hearing how I love this kind of stuff. But, it’s because I know what I enjoy. I know how my brain works, and how I find space for myself. Feel rooted. Or feel like I have some semblance of control and predictability. The emotional drain of processing the works that make you think? Right now? Nope. I’m thinking all the time. Let me turn my brain off for a little bit. I used to feel the need to defend my choice in lightheartedness, and felt the pressure to watch the shows or read the books that make me look smart or not girly. But, why? Why did I have to feel that way?
I consume a whole lot of information on a daily basis, and I retain a lot, too. Look into why you’re drawn to something. I like things that make me forget. That have happy endings. That showcase the good in humanity. I like being optimistic. Not being blindly positive and relying on toxic positive thinking. I think we should all be forgiving of ourselves, or just plain own it when you enjoy something. Don’t yuck my yum! And don’t yuck your own yum!
Gilmore Girls – Season 2, Netflix
Virgin River – Season 1, Netflix
Chanel Miller on Slowing Down and Creating in Quarantine – Girls’ Night In
My Pandemic Cat Had a Secret – New York Times
What Comfort Food Looks Like to People Around the World – New York Times
Deconstructing The Instagram Aesthetic – SSENSE