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two things to read today.

THING ONE

this droppage of wisdom by Elizabeth Gilbert has been coming up in too many real-life conversations with my friends over the past year not link it here. I keep forgetting.

almost every woman my age is facing some existential “I am not good enough I should be doing More Of All The Things” crisis or other. the ones not having kids are freaking that they may be missing out, the ones having kids are freaking that they may be missing out, the ones choosing to stay in traditional couple-relationships look at me and and neil and think I must have figured something cosmic by having an open marriage, the friends I have in open marriages are bungling shit left and right, the artists feel guilty for choosing the selfish path of making art, the ones who went to work six-figure corporate jobs think we artists must be having the time of our lives…and yes, everybody feels like they should lose ten pounds before they can truly claim peace for themselves. I do not see men struggling existentially QUITE as much – *especially* around the kid/not-kid question, and it seems that every woman I watch claw her way through her thirties is at loose ends. I’ve talked to so many women about this in cafes and restaurants, especially over the past two or three years, and this talk of Liz’s, especially the point about how we are on the vanguard of a whole new way of being for women, is a touchstone.

should we be surprised that we are all FREAKING OUT when we are basically the first generation in thousands of years to actually HAVE all of these choices between careers, marriage, kids, art, and so forth, instead of just towing the party line?

add our parents expectations on top (who can blame them, many were raised in a mono-culture of nuclear-family-or-be-rendered-outcast) and it’s enough to drive you to drink. it could explain why I drink so much.

anyway, thank you Liz for Saying The Thing so beautifully.

when I first saw liz speak to this online (in video form…somewhere) about two years ago I Was like AGHHH SHE SAID THE THING !!! which is how I felt in at least three moments while reading “eat, pray, love”, her truly not-overrated memoir about coming to terms with being imperfect and human. I recommend it. yes, I know it’s sold 66,000,000 copies. I still recommend it. her follow up “committed” is also excellent, especially if you (like me) have struggled with the idea of getting married when marriage is obviously such a stupid and outmoded concept.

….
if you are anyone, and recognize this in yourself, your friends, your daughters….

share it.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/11/elizabeth-gilbert-on-failure_n_6608164.html

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THING TWO

“Can you name an everyday action that makes the world a better place, yet is underrated?”

AFP: “Yes. Smiling unthreateningly at people in the street. For sure, it’s easier to do if you’re a woman – men can really be misinterpreted, and that’s always such a shame. But the small act of smiling at someone when you walk past them on the sidewalk – man, it can create unfathomable ripples of joy….”

oh and

“….[ people forget] with all the TED-talking and book-writing that I’m actually a musician, songwriter and performer above all. And sometimes the only way to remind people that you Do a Thing is to simply Do The Thing. So I think it’s time to book some venues and go back to Doing The Thing.”

damn right. also part of the reason i’m about to announce a small US tour in april in small-to-medium sized venues (as usual, mailing list gets first crack at tickets: http://amandapalmer.net/emaillist/)

and also why i’m about to put tickets on sale for two teeny tiny shows in somerville, MA at Cuisine en Locale tickets will hopefully vanish tomorrow when they go on sale at NOON. i just want to play for a small group of freaks. i miss it. (if you want to try to grab some, links will be live very soon from the blog: http://blog.amandapalmer.net/20150211/)

and this….

is…. a great new interview with One Percent Collective in new zealand, they’re a non-profit org that supports small to medium-sized charities based in New Zealand, doing pretty wonderful stuff. go read the interview and then consider donating.
love mofos

http://t.co/iqiwAyRDlo

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  • veeee

    Is it normal to not being in my thirties yet and still have the I am not good enough I should be doing More Of All The Things crisis? Just asking.

    • JustifiedBagel

      Absolutely. I felt it even more in my 20s, in a lot of ways. (I’m 38 now.)

      • veeee

        Does it get better? Maybe once we actually make a choice and stick to it? arghhh this human being life thing is so confusing sometimes.

        • JustifiedBagel

          It’s gotten better for me, after a lot of trial and error and self-work. So I’d say it certainly *can* get better, but I haven’t really figured out how. The advice in the Gilbert article seems a good start. :)

    • Morena Varrá Aguilera

      I’m on my 20s and I think that I’m on the I should be doing More Of All The Things crisis since I can remember. The worst part is that I’m actually doing things (working, going to college, blabla), but it feels like nothing’s enough.

      • veeee

        This exactly Morena! I guess this blog and article are made for us…:)

  • JustifiedBagel

    I think it’s very telling that my first thought after the first paragraph of that first article, was “well, sure, those women you mention *are* doing meaningful things; *I’m* just a half-assed stay-at-home-parent.” I’m going through a difficult couple of weeks and it’s extra important that I be gentle with myself but, of course, these are the times when that’s most difficult! I’m better these days at reminding myself that “I am enough” but man, it is never simple.

  • http://www.emilyrowanmusic.co.uk Emily Rowan

    Hi Amanda, I miss seeing you perform. I miss performing myself too. I’m currently on a gig hiatus as I’m halfway through writing a musical, the last part of my MA in Music Composition, and while I feel I should be writing music ALL THE TIME to get it done (rehearsals have started and I’ve only written a fraction of the music), I also feel like I should be writing songs for me to perform. And recording the ones I’ve written. And generally just DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW. I’m turning 30 later this year and I’ve never been so reluctant about heading towards a birthday. But it’s nice to hear you’re still out there, making music and connecting. I’m sure I’ll see you next time you’re in the UK–Leeds maybe? Yorkshire always seems to get frogleaped ;)

  • Liza Davis

    For me, getting older has been a gift. Once upon a time, I thought I could do everything, and the thought that I wasn’t doing everything was so frustrating. But this is over-zealous aspiration is the greedstinct of the Wealthy westerners … we are hooked into the mythos that MORE experience is necessarily better … we grab at life like starved children, but really what is starving is our souls … souls ignored and neglected … and all it takes is a tender smile directed inward. Getting older is a blessing, because it forces me to be grateful for the life I have every fucking moment – and acknowledge that HELL yeah I am blessed, even if I didn’t have children, even if I am single, even if I didn’t have the career of the century, even if I didn’t realize all my high-falootin- dreams … I have done a lot and I can still much more … but the doing more isn’t what makes me happy … it is the being more … in the smallest of moments and extracting every bit of their essence into my present state of consciousness … because this may be it. Shit, this may be it.