Reinvent

Just like last year, I’m choosing one word to be a kind of overarching theme for this year: the verb “reinvent.” After focusing on acceptance, I feel now is a year where I will have to reinvent myself—something I don’t think I do very well.

I’m a creature of habits. My ways may not be as set and I may not be as stubborn as a 70-year-old me, but I’m quite resistant to change even if I am hesitant to admit it. Trying exotic (or not so exotic) foods, listening to new music, meeting new people, attending parties (basically any kind) are things I seldom do, and only when friends insist. Put me in a room with coffee, classical music or some Jorge Drexler and Damien Rice, books, one other person, and that does it for me. If it sounds like I could have all that in a coffee shop, there’s no reason to wonder I spent much time of my days in one.

With reinventing myself, I’m not thinking about saying yes to all the things I’ve said no to. I’m also not talking about trying new things for its own sake. The second half of this year will see me enter a completely different atmosphere from the one I know and I want to do more than just adapt—more than just change a few things to survive. Whether I attend grad school and remain in the United States or move to Mexico City, the circumstances will be quite new.

I’ve seen many reinvent themselves when things are just not working out. At least that’s my perception. Well, things have not exactly been easy this past year. Now that I accepted my “lot,” I want to take the next step.

I think I’ve started the process already, if only slightly, and I want to continue doing just that: reinventing who I am.

Happy new year!

I worry

I worry a lot and I worry often. It’s like the exercise I’m supposed to do but put aside because, well, I need time to worry about life—always so general, always so specific. Worrying takes up most of my time, a full-time job with not benefits. And because there is always more time to worry, I’m worried about how much I worry.

Worrying is easy, at the beginning at least, before it’s all-consuming. It then becomes necessary. The natural response to uncertainty creates anxiety and finds its way into your regular life, and it disrupts it. When you realized you haven’t eaten a proper meal, with some greens, because it just didn’t seem that important, you worry. Or you worry about still not caring about your diet.

Taking a break seems like a healthy thing to do, right? Except, if you take a break you don’t make progress on those things you’ve been anxious about. So, you go back to worrying.

Netflix, The New York Times, and a Schubert piano sonata are all wonderful ways to relieve your worrying self. But you finish the new season of Narcos, read your healthy dose of David Brooks and Frank Bruni, and listen to the piano come to rest on a G major chord, and you’re back to worrying—if you were lucky enough to forget about it in the first place.

Im okay, I tell myself, and I believe it. I may worry a lot, but it’s just that: worry. I know it’s unhealthy, but it’s the one coping mechanism I have at my disposal. I don’t want it, in case you’re wondering.

When will I stop worrying? I might have to worry about that later.

#020 – Natalie Bruzon

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This week on the show: Natalie Bruzon. I had the pleasure of working with her (meaning for her) at The Clocktower, our college’s newspaper. Now, she lives in Orchard, a tiny town somewhere in Nebraska (and where’s Nebraska?), where she works as editor of Antelope County News. A few weeks back she came to Lincoln, so we sat down to talk about her new life, creating community, working for a newspaper, and the upcoming election.

I had a lot of fun producing this episode, and I hope you enjoy our conversation.

#019 – Hannah Ashburn

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This week on the podcast we have Hannah Ashburn. She is an artist finishing up her college degree and finding what the next step is. Besides talking about what it is like to grow up white and how creepy I think Gothic paintings are, we tried to discuss the intersection between various art forms and history. Perhaps I shouldn’t talk about things I don’t know, but here we go!

Check out our book recommendation from our previous episode: Sonia Nazario’s Enrique’s Journey

Proud of my complexity, doubtful of yours

I am proud of my complexity. Sure, some days I think about my simplicity. Invite me to get some coffee and have a good conversation and you’ve made my day. Give me politics, classical music, and a novel, and my life may feel complete.

But I also enjoy trova; stories that will never resemble my conservative, I guess, lifestyle (but feed my curious mind); guilty pleasures like Gossip Girl; … and … I ran out of things to list.

Perhaps, I’m quite simple.

But, like many others, I am proud of my thinking. I tend to wave the flag of objectivism, of reason over emotion, naively boasting of my unbiased opinions with ironic passion and a pretense of composure.

I am proud of my complex thinking. I am proud that I can have an extent of loyalty to an institution or ideal without being blinded to its shortcomings. In fact, by talking openly I want to show that complexity. Not many can do that, right?

As a complex being, one holier than thou, I patronize you when I see you sharing blatant falsehoods throughout Facebook. After all, you are not a complex thinker. And that’s okay, not everyone’s gifted.

Becoming blinded by well-fed sense of superiority, I turned into an asshole who overlooks his own fallacies and gets into an unending, useless argument on technicalities. And, emotion triumphed over reason.

I, of course, can’t accept that. So, I’ll just keep being proud of my complexity and doubtful of yours. I’ll reduce you to a couple character traits.

I am keeping my dignity and taking yours with me.

#010 – Claudia Pech

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It’s been a while. We are bringing you some new conversations soon. But this time, we are re-releasing our episode with Claudia Pech. Back in December, we talked about Trump’s comments on Mexicans, the difficulties of being an undocumented immigrant, and the state of the conversation surrounding immigration.

After listening to a lecture by Sonia Nazario (Pullitzer Prize winner) on immigration for the E. N. Thompson Forum on World Issues at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I decided to re-release this episode and go buy her bestselling book, “Enrique’s Journey.”