This, of course, isn’t just advice for publishing pros. Not only is it just enjoyable to get out and do new things, being in the world around us is a life skill, like the ability to make painful small talk, that transcends job titles. No matter where you work, it’s important that you can talk about things you find completely uninteresting. Interminably. In fact, these life skills are related. The more you know about the world, the more easily small talk will flow from your lips, like completely hygienic word vomit. Speaking of…
I’m going to get back on topic. I didn’t always have Molly and Veronica’s eloquent exhortation, and I’ve been working on this world-engagement thing and sort of failing. Moving to New York has been, to date, the most mind boggling thing I’ve ever done. Because here, everyone is interesting. And there is so much to do! Yes! But…there’s so much to do. And that’s overwhelming. Everyone is very intimidating and “cultured,” whatever that is. And also everyone works a lot, and I already worked a lot but when surrounded by everyone working a lot one feels like one is in Rome and you know what they say about being in Rome…
Because new people are intimidating and all the stuff is so…so much…and there’s work to do, you end up in a pattern. Patterns are good, but they don’t do much for eye opening and world-loving. I know how it feels, man. But let’s work on balancing. Work is awesome, not to mention you have to do it. Not doing work is frowned upon. Not doing random stuff, not so frowned upon. But it should be. My efforts at balance:
- I rode the Governor’s Island ferry back and forth (it’s free for godssake), even though time didn’t permit me to actually do a whole lot on the island itself.
- I went to the Brooklyn Flea Market on Saturday and (nearly) bought a giraffe sweater.*
- I read an article in the New Yorker about British politics (they’re completely re-envisioning division of responsibility over there…it’s interesting).
- I dressed up and went to the Halloween Parade in the West Village with Triumvirant Suzie.
Alarmingly, these are not things you can do while reading. You can’t take work along to the flea market or to the parade. That’s so scary. For us in an agency, it means that someone else might be reading and requesting that perfect query that’s going to revolutionize your list and allow you to finally TAKE OVER THE WORLDAHHHAHAHA. But that’s OK. Because like pruning your crepe myrtles means you’re going to get even MORE of those little blossoms in your hair when the tree grows back even more robustly, taking time away from the job—whether it’s publishing or not—is going to make you better and sharper when you return to the shackles at your desk.
So, what’re you doing this weekend? *smacks fist into hand. Again. And Again.* Working?
*I’m going back this weekend. If that sweater is still there, it’s fate. And it’s mine.