Dear Lana,

I was reading this old Atlantic article by Ezekiel Emanuel about being content to die after age 75. It’s not really a thought that occurs to me. For one, I am young. For another, I’ve been quite okay with the possibility of my imminent death for awhile. There’s something in Heidegger that defines death as a point of completion for Dasein, and I think control over your own death as well represent the final act of freedom in life.

Things that I find extremely alluring: string lights, polaroids and scented candles. Where is this teenage girl phase that teenage girls allegedly go through that completely missed the mark on me? Honestly, if I was able to live out my teenage girl phase when I was a teenager, I probably wouldn’t have all these repressed problems that I have now. Lame.

Being beautiful is a license to suffer beautifully. Since creating art controls our sense of aesthetics, what better way to suffer beautifully than control what is beautiful?

I wonder if Sylvia Plath would’ve liked EDM if she grew up in our generation. I wonder if she would’ve turned to poetry if music was more free. It reminds me of that scene in The Queen’s Gambit when Beth Harmon was drinking and dancing to some music on TV. Since everyone in the show, especially all of Beth’s friends, is at least two standard deviations hotter than the collective average in the world, we are supposed to treat her descent into alcoholism with sympathy and awe. Being beautiful means that you are able to do whatever you want, and people view your life in a positive light no matter how destructive it is.

I didn’t have a renewed desire to play chess again after finishing The Queen’s Gambit. I’ve been playing the London system transposed into the queen’s gambit declined for as long as I have been playing chess, but since finishing the show I started opening with e4 instead of d4. I watched the show because I play chess and it’s probably one of those anthropologically important shows in the chess community, but I actually consider it one of my least favorite shows I’ve ever watched. Even a couple weeks after finishing it, it still bothers me how much I dislike it.

I’m not really interesting in experiencing pain anymore. That’s so 2018. Honestly, hedonism is pretty close to the name of the game, except there’s nothing to spend money on right now. I spent $15 on a candle, and I consider that probably the most expensive personal item I’ve bought in the past couple of months. I would die for a shot right now. It feels like ages ago I had some crappy bottom-shelf vodka, but I honestly miss the taste so much.

More recently, I’ve come to realize that happiness is more within our grasp than I’ve previously thought. It is in the present. I realize recently that happiness occurs in absent of others but highly dependent on others. It closely resembles an act of absence rather than an act of selection. It comes and goes, and all we have to do is hold its hand.