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It’s difficult for me to talk about gratitude. Truthfully, it’s a word that I’ve come to associate with fast-casual grain bowl restaurants. Expensive hot yoga classes that I pay for in the name of “wellness.” A form of self-care that looks and smells a lot like mounting credit card debt. Expressing gratitude for my life, which sounds so simple and objectively good on paper, often just makes me feel like I’m performing a farce.
But I’ve felt very grateful for a number of things in my life lately, and I want to say it out loud, even if I run the risk of sounding like a clean makeup ad. I’m grateful for the longer days and bright weather. I’m grateful for my community. I’m grateful for the experiences that brought me to today. I hope that as you’re reading this, you have an abundance of things to be grateful for as well. And if that’s not the case, I hope that the change you need is swift and soon.
These are the things I’ve been appreciating this week. Hope you enjoy it.
“Fable” by Charles Yu. "Six months in, they didn’t look at each other anymore; instead, each of them silently studied their boy. Afraid to say anything to the other, lest they make it real by uttering out into the world what was, day by day, increasingly hard to ignore. Saying only generally positive things, vague expressions of hope. No reason to worry yet. Don’t jump to any conclusions."
The rules of the world as I know it don’t seem to apply to Cera. Best known for his self-effacing awkwardness and pubescent physicality (even as he approaches his mid-30s), Cera hasn’t had to conform to a certain Hollywood prettiness or even conventional charm in order to have his illustrious acting career. Like a fiery star in open space, Cera simply exists, and his gravitational force bends galaxies toward him. And like an earthbound peasant staring up at the night sky, all I can do is watch Cera’s muted yet gaunt expression in Barbie, fighting vertigo as though I’m staring into a deep, unknowable abyss.
“My Boo (Hitman’s Club Remix)” by Ghost Town DJs. This song was recently added to a road trip playlist by a friend of mine; he said it reminded him of “a simpler time, back when everyone was doing the Running Man Challenge.” While he makes an airtight argument, I’m grateful for this song’s reentry into my life in 2023. I can already tell it will bring back memories of that time I drove around in a car with good friends, sunlight streaming through the minivan, feeling like there was no place I’d rather be.