Lost in the woods


Hi, friends. I thought I’d try including an audio version of this newsletter. It’s identical to what you can read below, except the links, which are only for reading and clicking on. Let me know which format you like better!

My Spotify Wrapped for 2020 is the Frozen II soundtrack.

It’s so appropriate. Why should my soundscape change when my scenery has not?

Frozen II might be the last movie I saw in a theater. It was an 8am showing (HAHA) in November 2019. It was my son's first visit to the theater. My three year old and her bff, twinning in Elsa dresses, entwined their fingers. Their faces were rapt in the glow.

I miss those big spaces engineered for wonder, where strangers dissolve into shared energy. I want so badly to lose myself in vibration and spectacle.

In this year on repeat, I've been DIYing a low-rent version of spectacle at home. One of my great sources of joy in 2020 has been emoting like an 80s power balladeer while I croon an off-key, volume-up version of "Lost in the Woods."

In the theater, this trippy, three-minute interlude brought me to shaky, tearful laughter.

Now, I try to recreate that melodrama in a field of Legos. My two year old harmonizes, and my four year old corrects my lyrics.

Singing badly, with abandon, is a thing I didn't do until I had a newborn and postpartum depression, sludging through a groundhog day that, for my personhood, was a lower point than this year has been. (Please receive my acknowledgement of staggering privilege).

Out of desperation and on the suggestion of one of the few parenting books I am glad I read, I started singing.

"We bring our babies home, and then the floor gives way and the roof collapses. Adrift in disorientation, I began to sing ... Every moment I was humming along, letting the music and the words tumble out, was a moment I wasn't thinking dreary thoughts." - Karen Maizen Miller

I sang nonsense songs ceaselessly in that sleepless overcast postpartum time.

In this shapeless unending pandemic time, I ham it up to a lovesick ballad in raggedy, yogurt-smeared sweatpants. It's my great opus and my great escape, performed over the infinite loops of dirty laundry and dishwasher loading.

I’d have it any other way, but I will wait for it.

🌟 This week’s just trust me.

💰 Send your spare coins to your local food bank.

🤓 Read: AOC’s attractiveness drives us all mad. The places where life is back to normal. One of the reasons we’re not back to normal is this brand of mind-bending, rage-inducing selfishness. My dream version of the internet is made up entirely of lists like this.

📺 Watch: this sitcom about an ex-pat out of their league is light and funny without any doe-eyed obnoxiousness.

🎧 Listen: how to have hard conversations, better.