#034 The Garden

While a lot of people became great at baking bread and making unique dishes during quarantine, the rest of us made pasta and frozen pizza 6 days a week. Restaurants are open again so I don't have to pretend to be good at cooking anymore, thank God.

My roommate's girlfriend lives with my girlfriend which has made for a never-ending double dating situation over the last year. The four of us are best friends with one another, which feels like the LA version of Friends with a lot less drama and a more realistic living situation for young people living in a very expensive city. Most nights we sit around the table with our rotation of simple pasta dishes and talk about work, life, the way we were raised, funny stories about our friends, or weird encounters with strangers.

I mention this to Mackenzie quite often because it really does blow my mind, the fact that time is so telling of your relationships with others. You'd think that the more time you spend with somebody, the less you have to talk about or maybe that you've discussed everything there is to possibly to discuss in the world. But I suppose the magic of the most important relationships is that it just simply gets better over time. With time we become more vulnerable, comedic, and comfortable—all things that we deeply desire to experience as humans seem to be on the other side of effort.

Like most of the best things in life: The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

I'm thinking about so many elements in my life as a garden. How everything needs a different kind of care, and how slow growth is the most rewarding growth. Friendships, work, hobbies, my life in general.

While the world wants faster and more – I'm realizing my most important work will always be the least urgent.

"The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on, you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal."

— Vincenzo Di Nicola

P.S. Thanks for the patience this month and for continuing to share this newsletter with friends. 🫂

— Alex


Ideas from me

I. THE ATTENTION SHIFT

There is a natural addiction to the speed and quickly occurring changes that happen early in your career when we say yes to everything that comes our way, but everything we say yes to means we're saying no to something else.

Life is a marathon not a sprint. Saying no to distractions is how we go further, not faster.

II. HOW TO COMMUNICATE

We often try to communicate things in a way online that "works" according to best practices or latest trends. Then one day it doesn't work anymore because the app updated, a new algorithm came out, or that brand voice was so 2016.

It's best to communicate things online the way you would to people in real life. Directly and honestly.

III. 5 MINUTES

If it will take you less than 5 minutes, do it now, not later.


Quote from somebody else

“And so, initially I defined success on a purely financial metric. If I can pay rent and put food on the table, that’s success. But now, it feels deeper and more complex. Collaborating with the right people and selecting the projects that you identify with while at the same time being able to support yourself financially.”

— Robert Mentov, On Practices


Links worth sharing

🤝 Pharrell finds his balance with Humanrace

📸 How Gillian Laub Shot Her Way Through the Trump Years

🤣 Nolitadirtbag is worth following

💻 We made a new website for Alicia Keys at MW.S

📖 Curators are the new Creators

💀 The Digital Death of Collecting

💭 An Idea for a Website

🌿 Zach and I took some photos for Sanso under Mackenzie’s direction. More from this project coming soon.


Thanks for another week!

Common Discourse is a weekly briefing designed to help others (and myself) think through creativity, focus, and intentional work. It hits your inbox every Tuesday at 9:17am.

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