temporal

If minutes were sixty-one seconds long, and hours were sixty-one minutes long, and days were twenty-five hours long, and weeks were eight days long, and months were five weeks long, and years were thirteen months long, would there still be enough time; to do what we wish to do; to say what we wish to say; to see what we wish to see; to hear what we wish to hear; to taste what we wish to taste; to smell what we wish to smell; to touch what we wish to touch; to end a sentence needing ending…

 

Thanks for reading.

-j

top tunes: 2017

Music is a huge part of my life. I have my parents to thank for this. Some of the best memories of my childhood include music–like the time I pretended I knew the lyrics to Steve Winwood’s Back In The High Life Again, while my mom sat there on the couch pretending I did, too, as Mr. Winwood and I sang to her. They had a great record collection–they still do, albeit the same one–and they used it to show us all the “good stuff.” My parents are the type of people who don’t want to pay exorbitant prices to see The Rolling Stones today, because they saw them multiple times for a fraction of the cost in their younger years. I learned the piano, then the sax, and in the process gained an appreciation for big band, classical, and jazz. As I grew, music (re)shaped my hair, my jewelry, my thinking, my mood(s), my views, my bank account–my life. It still does.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, recent “writing sessions” have been accompanied with music. (With the exception of this post) I often pick a song to set the vibe I’m going for, and then let it choose a path of its own as I write; the “songs listened to while writing [a] post” is curated as I go along. Music is my catalyst; I suppose one could even call it my muse. The(se) thoughts are always there, but it’s as if the music pulls them out and puts them here only when the music is going. It’s to that end that I’m virtually incapable of attending any concert without losing myself in thought at some point or another, or entirely, and having the impulse to codify it.

Since it’s that time of year when the “best of” posts are going around the Interwebs, I thought I would sit down and take a moment to document those songs that resonated the most with me this year. Sure, I didn’t listen to everything–music is a passion; not my job. But I listened to my fair share: approximately 17k+ minutes on my Spotify, too many concerts to count, and another few hundred-ish on my brother’s vinyl collection for good measure. I think the following are all really good songs, and while it certainly isn’t the most extensive list you’ll find out there, they’re the best I’ve heard. That said, whether you’re revisiting a great tune, or seeking to play something new which is worthy of your time, I hope you derive use from this list of my favorite 15 songs of 2017:

  • Pain, The War On Drugs – I’ve always been a fan of The War On Drugs, but this past summer I heard an interview with the band’s front man, Adam Granduciel, about his struggle with anxiety. Not only does it lend depth to both the song and album (one of the best of the year, I might add), but to hear him open up about his struggles with mental health resonated with me. In Pain, what essentially amounts to the title track of the album (as “a deeper understanding” is a lyric within the song), Granduciel couldn’t write about it any better.
  • Slomo, Slowdive – The beautiful opening track off another of 2017’s best albums. I’m a big fan of dream pop, although I suppose technically these guys and gal are “shoegaze.” But I can’t keep up with all the musical genres these days. It’s hard not to get caught up in, well, daydreaming while listening to this song, and it’s ambient sound is exemplary of who Slowdive is.
  • Third of May / Ōdaigahara, Fleet Foxes – Arguably my favorite band, it’d been six years since they released an album, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a song of theirs in my favorites of the year. The first single off the album; it regards the relationship between the group’s founders, Robin Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset, and epitomizes what makes Fleet Foxes so great: Pecknold’s pipes, wonderful harmonies, brilliant songwriting, and dramatic changes in meter and tune.
  • Total Entertainment Forever, Father John MistyThe Fleet Foxes’ former drummer, Josh Tillman, can also write a lyric, and he proves it here: He intelligently blends irony with acoustics, piano, and reed instruments. You could make an argument it’s not as good as the album’s title track, Pure Comedy, but some good sax is always going to break a tie for me.
  • Truth, Kamasi Washington – Speaking of sax; Kamasi is the man. To pigeon hole Washington and his band as strictly “jazz” would be selling him short. However, if you want a “soft” introduction into jazz, look no further. An epic song, simultaneously simple and complex, that allows you to lose yourself, instead of getting lost.
  • No Reason, Bonobo feat. Nick Murphy – Spotify informs me that Bonobo was my most listened to artist of 2017, and this my most listened to song.  The former should tell you what I think about the album itself, while the latter explains why it’s on this list. Bonobo, or Simon Green, is one of the most talented DJ/producers around, and one of the many things he does so well is collaborate with other musicians. In this instance, it’s the inimitable artist formerly known as “Chet Faker” who lays down the vocals.
  • Corridors, DJ Shadow – The greatest living DJ/producer in this writer’s humble opinion. He’ll forever be linked to his seminal–and finest–work, “Entroducing…..”, but Josh Davis can still bring it. However, instead of “diggin’ in the crates” herein, he goes down a different corridor and offers up an entirely “original” work; one which he curates by, well, diggin’ in his brilliantly beatronic brain. The finish out to the track is reminiscent of an old 16-bit video game, and probably my favorite ninety seconds of any song I’ve heard this year.
  • On Hold, The xx – Another crew that spanned a few years between albums, and, boy, was the wait worth it. A genuinely phenomenal work; it’s really difficult for me to isolate a single song on “I See You,” as I’d argue a few could be included in this conversation. I choose On Hold because I think it best exemplifies what makes this trio who they are: the vocal interplay of Romy Madly Croft and Oliver Sim set atop Jamie xx’s top-shelf production.
  • Pineapple Skies, Miguel – Goodness gracious did Miguel do a thing. “War & Leisure” is upper echelon stuff as far as albums of the year are concerned. Yet, unlike with The xx’s “I See You,” I think it’s pretty clear that this is the joint off Miguel’s album. If the track doesn’t make you feel good and want to groove then I don’t even know you.
  • Love, Lana Del Rey – Who said I don’t do mainstream? I was in love this year, and so of course a song regarding it will be listed here. A hauntingly beautiful song, off an excellently produced album–one of which I spent more time listening to than any of her preceding work combined.
  • LOVE., Kendrick Lamar feat. Zacari – (We’ve now entered the “love” section of this posting.) This strictly isn’t the most sound track off the album (DAMN.), but provided it’s widely considered one of the best–if not the best–albums of the year that shouldn’t be taken as a slight. I include this song because in this day and age of widespread misogyny, especially in hip-hop, we have the best rapper on the planet writing a song about his high school sweetheart, and “homey for life.” It’s a refreshingly good song.
  • Big Fish, Vince Staples – Staples has gotten his due and been elevated into more mainstream recognition with this year’s album, “Big Fish Theory.” He deserves it, because he’s one of the best at his craft. To that end, in Big Fish, Staples talks about how his life’s changed with stardom, which, ironically, doesn’t consist of “balling out.” After all, he doesn’t drink, and prefers to give back to the kids of Long Beach, which is where Staples hails from. Oh, and he also had the best commercial of 2017.
  • Nobody Else Will Be There, The National – This was another tough one for me, as the album’s fourth track, The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness, is also very deserving, but NPR already did a review of that tune, and I actually think the lyrics and overall structure on Nobody Else Will Be There are better. Imagine having something difficult to talk about, and pondering over it. This is that in song.
  • Ran, Future Islands – Another of this year’s most listened to bands via my Spotify account. I love the energy and passion that comes through their songs, and it really shows here. What’s more, to see it in person, as I was fortunate to do this past September, really gave me a new appreciation of both the band and the song itself.
  • oh baby, LCD Soundsystem – James Murphy is back! But did you really believe he was gone? The album, “american dream,” is a great comeback, as if fans have come to expect anything different from the band. Ironically, the album is about endings. If the titular track american dream speaks of the end of the American dream; oh baby signifies the end of relationships, in a very accessible way.

I hope you enjoy the music as much as I do.

Thanks for reading.

Best,

-j

Songs listened to while writing this post (full playlist):

  • The above. Duh.

that’s (me)ntal [pt. 2]: writing the wrongs

People change.

You know, but some people never do.

You know, when people change

They gain a peace, but they lose one too.

Future Islands. “Seasons (Waiting On You).” Singles, 4AD, 2014, Spotify, open.spotify.com/track/41X9To0bQ4fpoSRri4NHiI.

 

I’ve changed. And so have you. We all change. Better; worse; we change nevertheless. Therefore, on its own, declaring that I’ve changed is hardly profound. How I’ve changed, and what things I can or cannot change is what’s notable. Indeed, as Future Islands argue above, “some people never do,” but how–i.e., of which quality–have they remained unchanged? As surely they’ve changed in one capacity or another.

I have many flaws: if you know me; you know them well. If you don’t, you may gain insight by simply gleaning some of my confessions via this blog. In other words, you (likely) know (some of) my wrongs, of which I have my fair share. No one particularly enjoys speaking on these blemishes, as we wish to show off our best selves, not our worst. But insofar as personal growth is concerned, it’s necessary.  Perhaps not in public, but at the very least in private, within the confidence of those closest to us. Today, I shall endeavor to do the former—not because I wish to paint myself in a poor light (I mean, I am still human), but instead because, firstly, it’s the second part of my “that’s (me)ntal” (self-)exploration “series,” and secondly, because transparency is required if we’re to have healthy discourse over such topics of vulnerability.

Prior to further exploration, I would like to thank everyone who reached out with comments, support, questions, and–you know–for reading the first part of this series. I was overwhelmed, and certainly didn’t expect it. Additionally, I’d like to apologize for taking so long to write in its regard, again. Frankly, I should be apologizing to myself, since I enjoy this. With so many thoughts constantly swirling around in my head I should rush to codify them. I will improve in that capacity; both for you and me. Furthermore, I didn’t really know which direction to go after “[pt. 1].” It was more like directions (plural). Until now…

Very recently, someone close to me remarked that I’m moody, temperamental, and ‘express anger [in certain ways].’ I trust this person, and hold their opinion in esteem, so I must take what they said to heart. So, let’s talk about it.

As I cited in “[pt. 1]”:

I had a terrible temper from kindergarten through high school. And when I speak of this in the past tense I don’t mean it’s gone; I mean I didn’t yet possess the awareness or ability to control it.

My temper has never been gone; I merely work hard to control it. I’m sure the rolling years might soften me a bit (as they already have), but our chemical make-up is the essence of who we are. Note: this isn’t an excuse for who we are, but instead a piece of valuable knowledge which we may wield against those things which afflict us. In the words of G.I. Joe, “knowing is half the battle.” Knowledge is truly power when it comes to working through our personal issues. I wouldn’t be where I am today–mentally, and perhaps even physically–if not for such knowledge. Possessing an awareness of our worst self allows us to be our best self; monitor, improve, and shore up the weaknesses, while honing the strengths. No one is ever a “finished product,” and if they declare they are then they’re untrustworthy. We will continue to work on ourselves until they day we “peace out.” And so I continue to persevere, but even I fail from time to time, and so do you, but it’s imperative that we continue to drag ourselves up and push on. If I’ve been moody, temperamental, and ‘express[ed] anger,’ I must take a look under the hood.

Alas, unlike a car, we can’t pull ourselves into a garage and cease using ourselves until we’re repaired. We don’t live in a vacuum (and if you do, that’s gross, and you’re probably really dirty); we have to deal with things on the fly. However, what we can do is search for the source of the stressor(s) that compelled us to such (in)action, assess it, and consider how we might remove or augment it. Granted, there are certain stressors which we can’t simply remove–e.g., children, work, money, etc.–but there are many others with which we can. What’s more, even those stressors that aren’t going away can be improved, and much of it is entirely within ourselves.

Consequently, I must consider what might have lead me to come across in such a negative way to my close friend, and address it. The hardest part of this process is hearing that I’ve behaved this way in the first place. Ironically, that is the knowledge–I now possess the weapon with which to slay such detrimental behavior (and, yes, I just used slay as a metaphor, but I like the fantasy realm, so deal with it). It’s now incumbent upon me to use it.

Three months ago, I was asked to leave the region of a company I’ve called home for the past seventeen years. Seventeen years ago I couldn’t legally drink, and seventeen years from now I can legally get a senior discount at Denny’s. To say it was a long time is a massive understatement. I grew up, and became a man. Now, I both love the company, and everyone I’ve crossed paths with, so if you’re hoping to find some sort of diatribe regarding what might’ve occurred you’ve come to the wrong place. Contrarily, losing a job–especially one of such tenure–is one of the most stressful life events, and I’d be remiss to not consider such a major incident when assessing my stress level.

It’s been a great period of growth for me, but if you know me, you know that I like to be busy. I’m a thinker–cough–I mean, an over-thinker. I sincerely enjoy thinking, but left to my own devices it can take me down paths I wish not explore. And such is me without a full-time job. Oh, I’ve worked–I haven’t taught so much tennis in my life, and I’ve begun grad school preparations, and I’m taking continuing education courses, and I’ve run, and run, and run, and run, and run…and run. In fact, I feel like I should be running presently. I seriously considered returning to grad school full time, but–see–I like to make/save money (another of life’s greatest stressors), and that’s a little difficult to do while burying my face in a book forty hours a week.

In a way, I am thankful for getting this opportunity. It’s the longest period I haven’t consistently worked since 1999. More importantly, without such time I very likely wouldn’t be returning to school; I wouldn’t have taken a course I’ve always wanted to take (copywriting); wouldn’t have realized that sitting on my ass for too long stinks; and wouldn’t have a major life event with which to draw experience from. Sadly, I also lament that such a period occurred, as I’ve been aloof, not present, spaced out…and moody, temperamental, and ‘express[ing] anger [in certain ways].’ I’ve hurt someone close to me–indeed, perhaps others as well–and my ability to handle future major life events has been called into question.

I can’t divine the future (I know, you’re shocked–more on that revelation in a future post), but I know that I’ve always drawn upon my experiences, positive and negative, to foster a better tomorrow for both myself, and the people I surround myself with. If you know me well, you know that one of the most difficult journeys of my life began over three years ago. I don’t wish to rehash that now, but it fostered the largest period of growth in my life to date. I’d like to think I handled it pretty well, all things considered. But one such performance doesn’t not portend a future one, and we need not look any further than my recent “jobless” experience.

As stated above, my life doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are family and friends I interact with daily. I’ve been petulant, and it’s had a negative affect on those close to me. I must remove the stressors: the lack of a full time job; (making/saving) money. It is to this end that I return to work for the company I’ve called home for so long. I’ve never been so excited to become really busy, and I don’t wish to endure such a period ever, again. But if I do–or experience another major life event–I plan to ensure I take the knowledge gained from it and do my best to keep my head about me, and to not get lost inside of it; to remember my stress can have a negative impact on others’ lives, especially those closest to me; and to take the most expedient path to the removal of whatever ails me.

Moreover, and perhaps of utmost importance, it’d be folly for me to assume the aforementioned experience of “freedom” is the root of what’s become of my emotions. Not in the least–it’s served to remind me that I must be ever wary of my mental health. To pin my temperament entirely upon this recent spell would be an excuse, and would belie the truth–that I must always be (emotionally) considerate of myself, and those around me. Like yourself, my mental health must be exercised daily; I must not ever enter a period of contentedness. We can see ourselves gaining weight; we can feel ourselves running more slowly; we can feel the aches and pains; but what goes on inside our psyche is ever subtle. Oh, there are signs. We simply need to know what to look for; assess ourselves daily, listen to our feelings, attempt to understand them, and seek to exercise them to peak health.

My job; my schooling: they’ve allowed me to “gain a peace,” though with them comes new stressors, and the “[loss of] one, too.” I will be ready. I’m out of my head now. I’ve written the wrongs, and I aim to get them right.

I’m sorry to any I’ve hurt along my way–especially the one who called me out.

Thank you for reading.

Best,

-j

 

Songs listened to while writing this post (Spotify playlist):

  • Seasons (Waiting On You), Future Islands
  • Imogen, Nick Mulvey
  • Rainmaker, Sleigh Bells
  • Baralku, Emancipator
  • Hearts, Blackbird Blackbird
  • Pain, The War on Drugs
  • Holding On, The War on Drugs
  • Strangest Thing, The War on Drugs
  • Jet, Digitalism
  • Pleader (feat. The Age of L.U.N.A.)[Mr. Jukes Remix], alt-J
  • Deadcrush, alt-J
  • I Don’t Know (feat. Samuel T. Herring), BadBadNotGood
  • Snow (Hey Oh), Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Jungle, Tash Sultana
  • Begin (feat. Wales), Shallou, Wales
  • Taizo, FORQ
  • Like the Moon, Future Islands
  • Fall From Grace, Future Islands
  • Big Jet Plane, Angus & Julia Stone

 

 

 

(dis)connected

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

The Merchant of Venice (III.i.49–61)

I’ve been trying to find a way to cherry pick arguably the most popular quote from The Merchant of Venice and incorporate it into a blog post. Heck, lately I’ve just been attempting to discover the best way to cherry pick the myriad interlaced thoughts within my noggin. Therefore, I suppose I can consider this a double win–but only if I can adequately explain why I’m choosing to cite this particular Shakespeare on this particular day.

I began with this idea awhile ago. In fact, this blog post–well, the title and the quotation–has been under my “drafts” for months. I had a kernel of an idea mixed with some more-than-fleeting thoughts but I couldn’t find the path or direction. Imagine standing in a tee box tasked with hitting into a forest and then being able to locate your ball (I’m not sure why I chose this analogy, as I often can’t find my ball when hitting it into a fairway, but just go along with it, OK?).

Like yourself, I have many opinions, beliefs, thoughts, and ideas that make me different from everyone else. Different from you. Even the closest loved ones don’t agree with me 100% of the time–or perhaps even 50% of the time, nor I with them, so imagine what that rate might be with “the masses.” While some of us are more argumentative than others [LOOKS IN MIRROR], none of us wish to go through our daily lives embattled. So, naturally, we gravitate towards those who are most like-minded as ourselves: our closest family and friends, acquaintances, journalists, publications, celebrities, etc. We take each one of these people, or “resources,” and encapsulate ourselves within their warmth of like mind. This is our cocoon, and to heck with anyone who tries to invade with a different strain of silk.

There is a copious amount of bile being strewn about lately, all brought upon by the unwanted, diverse entanglement of said silk. “Unfriend” me if you think this way, or that. “I don’t want to talk to [you or them].” “I don’t follow them because I don’t agree with them.” When a foreign concept or idea approaches our general vicinity, we feign contagiousness and seek the exit. What have we gained if not for comfort?

Shylock (quoted above) at once recognizes that we are equals, while admitting that he will do worse evil than has been done towards him. What he might possess in understanding, he lacks in humaneness and humility. Shakespeare is ever brilliant because he so eloquently discusses issues that have plagued humanity to this day–over four centuries later. We’d do well to heed his advice. It is not good enough to merely recognize that we are equals without simultaneously possessing both the empathy and modesty to put an end to the ceaseless vitriol that flows between those of unlike mind. After all, an unlike mind does not an unequal mind (or person) make.

Late last year, when a certain election concluded, many stated the need to have “uncomfortable conversations.” I don’t possess any empirical evidence, but they don’t appear to be happening. Unless, of course, we’re to count the snarky replies in a constant game of one-upsmanship with the “other side”–a.k.a. other humans. As you surely know–but perhaps won’t admit, the discourse which is necessary doesn’t occur within y(our) echo chamber(s). We must take our most humble, empathetic selves and become intertwined with yarn of a different thread–as discomforting as it may be–and have the talk(s) we so desperately require.

So, who wants to chat?

Thanks for reading.

-josh

that’s (me)ntal [pt. 1]

(Written between 12-2am, May 20th, 2017)

If things had gone according to schedule, I’d presently be sleeping in Corpus Christi needing to awake in five hours for Beach to Bay. Except they didn’t, and so what do most people do when this occurs? Write a blog post about mental health, obviously.

This isn’t as completely random as one might think. Firstly, I haven’t scribed a blog post since you don’t remember, so it would reason that there are innumerable thoughts marinating in my head. One of these recent ideas was opining on mental health during “Mental Health Awareness Month.” Well, guess what month that is? Yep. Secondly, I’m naturally compelled to consider such things, as I have my own cross to bear with them–and odds are you do, too.  Ultimately, though, the final impetus to sit here way past my bedtime writing on the subject came upon hearing the news of Chris Cornell’s death.

I had a terrible temper from kindergarten through high school. And when I speak of this in the past tense I don’t mean it’s gone; I mean I didn’t yet possess the awareness or ability to control it. My parents should be canonized for managing to not only withstand the onslaught, but to simultaneously steer me in a positive direction which ultimately got me to where I need(ed) to be (mentally). In middle school I was diagnosed with chronic depression. It was thereabouts, or perhaps slightly earlier–honestly, it was all kind of a blur, plus I  wasn’t attempting to document it for a blog post 30 years-ish later–that I began to receive treatment in earnest: medication, outpatient care, and psychiatric treatment. What could’ve been a mere handful of certified professionals seems like countless in retrospect–I recall a bunch. I remember sitting in offices. I remember faces. I remember cars–yes, my outpatient therapy counselor had a Mazda Protege (I had a slight infatuation with cars as a child–some would say I still do).  I remember drugs (SSRIs), namely Prozac, which we discovered I’m allergic to, plus Zoloft, Luvox, Paxil, Lexapro, and (likely) more that went into my system and have since been flushed out of my memory. Today I take Trintellix. But more on that later.

It wasn’t until high school, when dealing with difficulties taking exams and standardized testing, that we realized I also had additional mental ailments. I was considered an “overachiever” in the classroom–if you’re unaware of what this means, it basically says I was more concerned with avoiding failure than achieving a good outcome. I was a mess when it came to taking tests, and could rarely finish them in the allotted time, only compounding my anxiety. It was thereabouts that I also began having difficulties focusing when reading/studying, because I would feel compelled to count how many letters were in each word. It drove me absolutely nuts. So, my parents sent me to a specialist. We met on multiple occasions where she ran me through a litany of mental exercises. Again, I remember the act of going through it, her face, and even where we met, but not her name or official title (i.e., doctor, licensed therapist, etc.). Along with determining some positives about my mental health (e.g., a great short-term memory), I was officially diagnosed with anxiety and OCD. The immediate benefit of these diagnoses was untimed testing, although the ultimate benefit came in the form of awareness and the acquirement of techniques to combat the ailments. It also explained why I would excel with homework–specifically essays and papers, but struggle mightily with tests: One allowed me the veritable freedom to be creative, while the other did not.

Meanwhile, lurking in the background throughout all this was my longtime companion: depression. I’ve always been a light sleeper (believe it or not this is a segue, as opposed to non-sequitur). Evidently, as an infant and only days home from the hospital, my parents lulled me to sleep, and then tip-toed from my room…only for me to rollover: awake. In all likelihood, for my parents this was at once a portentous and ominous occurrence: “Oh, sh*t, what are we in for?” If only they knew at that time. Sleep and your mental health will forever be intertwined. Debate still exists over the role serotonin plays in relationship to depression (as well as OCD, anxiety, panic, and even excess anger), but it is generally understood that an imbalance in serotonin causes disorders which include cases of both depression and insomnia. Basically, if you don’t sleep, or sleep well, this has a negative impact on our brain’s response to serotonin. Most antidepressants are SSRIs. In brief, they allow for more serotonin to be available between neurons. When I began to have severe bouts of depression in high school, my PCP prescribed me SSRIs and Zolpidem (or, Ambien). To be quite honest with you, without looking at my medical record I couldn’t tell you if I’ve “officially” been diagnosed with insomnia, or if it just became understood that I have it. Again, therein likes the debate with serotonin; because I have depression it could in fact be the root of my sleep disorder. Chicken or egg? So, in order to combat periods of major depression, we addressed both issues: help me sleep, and increase serotonin levels.

The last bout of major depression I had was circa 2006-2007. Perhaps the best way I can convey such an experience is to say that when I hear of someone committing suicide I don’t first think, “How could someone do that?” Instead I take a moment, have a thought for them, and sadly think, “I can empathize.” Like you, I’m afraid to die. Being caught amidst a major bout of depression–for me, anyhow–is being scared to be awake and being afraid to die, contemporaneously; I don’t want to end my life, because I’m scared, but I don’t want to experience life either. Sleep is the only escape. Speaking of sleep, it’s now even more way past my bedtime, so I’ll end “pt .1” by simply saying: Before you’re quick to judge someone who’s taken their life, have a moment of sympathy, and if you’re like me, some empathy, and remember–in this day and age where the flaunting of physical beauty pervades–the importance of your mental well-being.

Thank you for reading.

Best,

-j

Songs listened to while writing this post:

  • Love Like a Sunset Part I, Phoenix
  • Love Like a Sunset Part II, Phoenix
  • Rome, Phoenix
  • Black Sheep, Martin Sexton
  • The Promise, Chris Cornell
  • Seasons, Chris Cornell
  • The Day I Tried To Live, Chris Cornell
  • Blood on the Motorway, DJ Shadow
  • You Made It, Chris James
  • Midnight In A Perfect World, DJ Shadow
  • Says, Nils Frahm
  • Said And Done, Nils Frahm
  • Slice of Life, Bauhaus
  • Rooting For You, London Grammar
  • Nightcall, London Grammar
  • Stay Awake, London Grammar