Note: Today, I’m heading to Iceland for eight days of much-needed vacation. I’m hoping to return this blog to a more regular schedule upon my return. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter and Instagram for travel updates and photos.
The past couple weeks have been the busiest of my entire professional life. As a result, you may have noticed my newsletter/blogging schedule has been lighter than usual. I’ve been finishing up some projects at work and also hosting four weekly podcasts. It’s a lot.
The most challenging of the podcasts has been Culturally Relevant, my weekly interview show. While it’s the proudest I’ve ever been of any of my podcasting work, it’s also been a monstrous challenge to juggle booking weekly guests with all of my other commitments.
One of the things I’ve been grateful for is how willing people are to talk to me about their work. In just the past couple months, I’ve had a chance to chat with award-winning filmmakers and best-selling authors. On a recent occasion, one of my guests (who you will hear on a future episode) shared with me how incredibly busy they were, juggling massive prestigious projects while running themselves ragged. Nonetheless, they were committed to taking the time to talk to me.
While I appreciated the kindness, I also asked why our conversation was important to this guest. After all, they hadn’t heard of me until I’d introduced myself with an invitation to appear on the podcast.
“Because one of my friends is a big fan of yours and he said I should definitely come on.”
We moved on to another topic, but I was still very moved by this offhand comment. It made me realize that there are people rooting for me who I don’t even know about — people who are willing to vouch for me and use up their social capital, for no reward other than to support what I’m working on.
I think we all have invisible angels. They are the forces we cannot see that protect us, elevate us, keep us from danger. Sometimes you are able to thank them personally; other times, you might not even know they did anything for you. You will never meet them, nor understand the full extent in which their actions shaped your life. You can only hope that by putting some of your own positivity into the world, you’re paying it forward.
I appreciate all my invisible angels out there. And I hope that I can be that force for good for the people in my life (and and maybe those who don’t even know me) that need it most.
Some interesting links from the past few weeks:
- I’m very proud of this episode of Culturally Relevant featuring author R.O. Kwon. The episode represents the clearest articulation I can help provide people of what it’s like to lose your faith in God. I hope you can take a listen.
- Oh, and in case you’re wondering what my other three podcasts are: The Slashfilmcast, The Sweet Smell of Succession, and Write Along. Check them out!
- George Packer has written a fascinating and gut-wrenching piece for The Atlantic about what happens when your ideals collide with what you think might be best for your children.
- For AV Club, A.A. Dowd has a beautiful piece about what reading Stephen King’s IT meant to him.
- Ian Bogost tried to use iOS’s Screen Time feature to limit his time on his phone. It didn’t go well.
- That said, I did appreciate some of the suggestions found in this piece by Ryan Holiday about how to spend less time on your phone. The bullet point about sleeping in a different room than your phone is an interesting one to try.
- At Fast Company, Mark Wilson explores why we haven’t changed the expiration date system for our food, a problem that has resulted in $218 billion of wasted food each year.
- For The New Yorker, Hua Hsu writes about why you should think twice before you post photos of your kids to social media.