I think I'll wait another year

Closing down commitments, and refocusing on health. Again.

I think I'll wait another year

Hello dear ones,

There's a song by Amanda Palmer called "Another Year", which you can find on Spotify or YouTube.

It's a love song about longing and resignation. I see that it's not quite our time. I think I'll wait another year.

It begins...

i tried to fall in it again
my friends took bets and disappeared
they mime their sighing violins
i think i'll wait another year

I'm listening to this song as I work on the jigsaw puzzle I abandoned weeks ago, surrounded by the Christmas decorations I haven't been able to take down.

Something's been shifting for me. Unlocking. Surrendering. Something feels more free.

And there's grief there.

Tears are flowing—in that background way that they do when there isn't a question about why—and I try not to let them land on the tiny green and pink cut cardboard pieces.

i want my chest pressed to your chest
my nervous systems interfere
ten or eleven months have passed
i think i'll wait another year

I walk in the woods more often these days. I call it "my office," and have been collecting gear to expand what I can do there. A lightweight tripod. A good backpack. A camp chair. It's muddy during this rainy season, but also far more misty and magical.

When we think of redwoods, we think of special trips to big state parks, but they're everywhere in northern california. Eucalyptus groves, too. This trail is in Oakland, 20 minutes from my home.

When I'm on these walks, I can't control my open-mouthed smile. I stop involuntarily around every corner to wonder in awe at the absolute beauty, depth, complexity, and aliveness all around me.

On my recent walks in these woods, a question has been echoing in my head:

What if there isn't a problem?

What if there's just... not... a problem?

What if I'm okay?

What if there's nothing in the way of me being okay?

I sit down in the camp chair and try to capture this feeling to share with you, but it doesn't want to live in a notebook.

I wrap my new flexible tripod around a fence and capture b-roll of a tiny waterfall, but the footage loses the magic.

I drive home, and try to get back to my content creation work—this extraordinary privilege that I have negotiated relentlessly for the right to pursue—and there it is.

The problem.

The thing that's in the way of me being okay.

the winter makes things hard enough
i think i'll wait another year

I track my mental health with a red, yellow, or green dot on a calendar every day.

  • 🟢 On green days, I felt relatively well and capable.
  • 🟡 On yellow days, I struggled with limited capacity and was in triage mode.
  • 🔴 On red days, I needed to treat myself like I was sick.

I have 18 months of data on myself from this. It has become an extraordinary tool for seeing my patterns.

In 2022, the year I shut down my business, I had zero green days. None.

In first half of 2023—leading up to my decision to work on public content again—I had accumulated 53 green days.

I believed I had learned enough, healed enough, and built up enough wellness to try to pursue my internet project dreams out loud again.

Since the launch of this newsletter in July, I've had 21 green days.

In the last two months, I've had none.


Yesterday I called it. I closed down my paid subscriber option, and sent a letter of deep gratitude to those of you who stepped into that role (thank you again—so much). I also took the Facebook app off my phone, because it's been keeping me in a doomscrolling loop with the elusive promise that it might help me figure out "the right angle" for talking to a very stressed out world.

It's time to refocus on health and joy. It's time to put down any expectations of content work until my wellness is much more reliable, and I know how to protect it.

I have time.

my grandma died at eighty-three
that's lots of time if i don't smoke
i think i'll wait another year

I'm 40. And while my complaining joints and my confusion about Gen-Z slang have been insisting this means I'm old now, 40 is only halfway to presidential these days.

I have time.

And frankly, thanks to the careers my partner and I have had in tech, I can afford it. It's a strange kind of psychological struggle to choose to live on savings when so many can't, and when a lack of income still feels like a giant siren shouting "DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!" But reframing my mental health struggles as a form of disability has helped me make peace with this. It is my responsibility to use the resources I have to get my needs met, even when those needs are much deeper than I ever wanted to acknowledge. And even when that means accepting how inaccessible this level of safety is to sooooo many people.

Then again, maybe I'll end up getting a low stress (is that a thing?) job somewhere for a bit more structure and stability. I'm not there yet, but we'll see.

There are three puzzle pieces I've been trying to arrange:

1) Sustainable wellness
2) Satisfying creative expression
3) Sustainable independent business

I'm still committed to all of these. (Yes, even the business.)

But it's getting clearer that they need to happen in that order, without shortcuts, and with deep protection for this hierarchy of priority.

i think i'll wait another year
it'll be the best year ever

So I'm going to focus purely on wellness for awhile now. Health and happiness. Emotional regulation and autistic sensory joy.

I want epic nature and amazing views. I want forests and oceans and mountains. I want to sit in awe at this phenomenal planet we get to share time with.

I've never been a runner in my life, but lately my body wants to run. It also wants to dance.

I want long conversations with old friends over good food.

I want to get out to museums and shows. I want to see live art, even if it's past my bedtime.

I want to notice and pursue my special interests. I want to build skills for hobbies that are purely for enjoyment, regardless of professional application.

I want to listen to music with lyrics that make me wish I could write like that, and then I want to write like nobody's listening.

I want to find a good audiobook that I can listen to while taking down these Christmas decorations. And maybe even finish this puzzle.

i think i'll wait another year
can't we just wait together?

The irony isn't lost on me that I couldn't write this until I decided not to.

Maybe, as it supports my wellness, I can keep sharing about this process with you?

Maybe we can wait together?

Wherever you are, whatever you're dealing with, I hope you can pause and remember that a good chunk of our problems are just self-imposed impossible expectations. And that you can find wonder in the sky any time you remember to look up.

I love you,