I couldn’t imagine living far from a city at any point in my life. I probably rely on the energy of others to fuel my excitement about the world more than I should, but it’s one of the big reasons sitting with people is so cool to me. There are few things so amazing as throwing away concepts of time and immersing in someone else’s words. But books don’t do it for me too much, so I resort to tea with strangers. Join me?
What's your story?
I’m often too arrogant to let myself be summed up in response to a question like this, so I feel a natural obligation to defend my poor online image: ‘There’s much more where this came from!’ I’m constantly in fear that I take things for granted. So I try to err on the side of being really thankful of my luck. I was really lucky to be born to a family that I love to no end, I was lucky to learn from incredible teachers, I was lucky to have friends that love me dearly, and I’ve been lucky to live in three bomb cities — New York, Philly and, now, SF. All those circumstances alone make me feel hugely indebted to the world around me, so I spend pretty much all my time trying to find ways to pay off this massive loan. Fortunately, my payment plan is amortized over 100 years or so.
What might we talk about?
I think about all the people I haven’t really seen yet. It’s so crazy to think that we barely even understand ourselves very well, but we often have the audacity to consider ourselves in ripe position to form judgments and perceptions of the people around us. Arguably, there’s no one that should have more data points on us than, well, us, and even while, theoretically, knowing everything there is to know, we may decide that we ‘get it’ enough to create thoughts on others. Ultimately, the most we can really say for sure is, ‘That’s a thing that exists.’ There’s a weird peace to that. And an even weirder tension.
That’s why I like to sit with people of different backgrounds and understandings — because the more I can ask questions and hear the way people answer them, the more I understand that I don’t understand anything, really. Increasingly frustrating. Increasingly inspiring.