The Eternal Sunshine of Life Lived Fully
On Reflection, Initiative, and White Noise, Itself
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Above: To reach the Field of Dreams, you need to play ball.
When I first set out to share my writing publicly, I scrawled a short note to myself.
As I sit hunched over my laptop, pecking out these very words, I am reading and rereading that same message; glancing up at the bent, brittle, white flash card on which it sits.
I have been doing this for the past few minutes. To me, this note serves two purposes: it reassures and it tempers.
It reassures me that this writing life is important, vital, worthwhile and it tempers my expectations that something particularly big, grandiose, or transformative will come from spilling digital ink into the ether.
The note reads:
I don’t kid myself thinking that any great human truth will emerge from my writings. That said, if I help another unearth some unrecognized connection, simplicity, or realization, I will consider it a small victory.
The above is a statement of fact; one that sits well with me because it is the pure, unvarnished truth. No more and no less.
I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.
And that, above all, is what I have done, what I am doing, and what I will continue to do with White Noise. That is, deliver plain, bare ruminations in an honest, authentic, vulnerable way.
White Noise is the closest thing that I have to a tattoo.
It is equal parts love letter and exposé.
It is a sort of Chicken Soup for Tom’s Soul.
It is my fight against the pervasive forces of apathy, cynicism, and ego that abound now more than ever before.
It is the most personal thing that I have ever made.
By writing week in and week out, I am forced to explore my ideas, interrogate my values, and understand who and why I am.
Unfortunately, not many people do that these days. In fact, most don’t even try because it’s too damn hard.
As my friend David Perell so eloquently wrote, “The purest vision of perfection is reserved for people who never take action.”
Ironically, perfect, aspirational you consists of no more than panoply of failure, difficulty, and hard lessons learned.
I don’t know much, but I have realized two things about my writing practice:
That fostering this habit is both the ends and the means because it begets deep thought, thorough reflection, and needed introspection.
That ignoring this unrelenting call to create, discover, grow, and write would haunt me for as long as I live.
In this way, I very much resonate with both characters in the below scene from the movie Rudy.
Writing anything—no matter how long or short—is hard, toilsome work.
Publishing what you have written is harder still.
That said, my correspondence with you reaffirms that this writing life is not for naught, that there are real people spread all over the globe on the other end of these notes.
To me, that is more than enough.
As I sit thinking about the words I have written, the deeds I have done, the decisions that I have made, one of the very best was writing to you, week in and week out. I can say with utter certainty that it has enriched my life and changed it for the better. Thank you.
And so, I encourage you to make this coming year count, to dare to do that which you know you must.
Life consists of infinite pitches. There are neither walks nor called strikes.
It takes one crack of the bat to reach base, make it home, and change the game entirely.
Per my about page, White Noise is a work of experimentation. I view it as a sort of thinking aloud, a stress testing of my nascent ideas. Through it, I hope to sharpen my opinions against the whetstone of other people’s feedback, commentary, and input.
If you want to discuss any of the ideas or musings mentioned above or have any books, papers, or links that you think would be interesting to share on a future edition of White Noise, please reach out to me by replying to this email or following me on Twitter.
With sincere gratitude,