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Lifestyle Episodes

Colin Wright
Colin Wright
Current location: Milwaukee, WI, USA
Reading: Ladyparts by Deborah Copaken
Listening: Fringe by Glitterfox
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Lifestyle Episodes
I’m in the process of rifling through old notes and photographs and terse, phone-shot videos, unearthing and examining contemporaneous media artifacts to remind myself of the context surrounding bits of journal-writing I’ve jotted over the past several years.
This is something I do when cobbling together the outline for a new book, as I currently am.
I’ve got years of backlog, spanning quite a few well-defined lifestyle “episodes,” and I’m looking for parallels, connections, major shifts and downslopes and boss-battles, and generally looking for the parts that—when presented to others in the right way—will hopefully be both entertaining and valuable.
I find it’s often productive to view my life in this way, from this vantage, because in addition to the many fond, smile-inducing memories and the abundant “oh wow I completely forgot about that” rediscoveries, there’s also almost always a mycelial network of connections between seemingly unconnected things, which makes the red thread running through my life more apparent, while also making my consistent errors, vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and unhealthy inclinations more evident.
During one such digital memento-backed, memory-resurfacing process years ago, I realized that although I have only been well and truly drunk maybe a half-dozen times in my life, those tended to be experiences I truly regretted; nothing serious in the sense of being illegal or ethically violative, but I had been loud or rude or paranoid or thoughtless or bothersome in a way that really bugged me, later.
This may seem like a small thing, but deciding, based on that discovery, to limit myself to two drinks when I do drink, is one of the better decisions I’ve ever made.
Now—although I still socially flub and flounder, at times—I can think back on those moments without the haze and distortion of toxin-induced befuddlement or hangover. I can more easily learn from such moments rather than merely regretting them, and I can still feel okay about the occasional glass of wine or beer while socializing with friends or family.
A new discovery, from my current round of personal evidence exhumation, is that I’ve spent most of the past five years or so trying on new lifestyles, challenging myself to take on new shapes and habits and responsibilities, and then integrating aspects of each before moving on to the next one.
This is distinct from my previous pattern of doing the same in a more limited and superficial fashion: trying out new geographic locations, but maintaining a relatively stable framework for how I spent my time, did my work, managed my relationships, and so on. I learned a lot and made tweaks as I traveled, but I didn’t fundamentally adjust my mode of operation the way I have semi-regularly this past half-decade.
This segue toward a different sort of malleability makes me wonder if and how it will eventually culminate, and whether my current form—what I’m doing today, within my current context—will be one more stepping stone toward something else, or if it might serve as a springboard toward a fundamentally new rhythm or approach or sequence of lifestyle-episodes—a shift more akin to the one I underwent a handful of years ago.
Awareness of such internal trends can be useful, as it can help guide our actions, reinforce our decisions, or lead to warranted questions as to where we’re headed—and what might be done to change that course if a deviation is desirable.
It can also just be a lot of fun to revisit fond memories, acknowledge personal growth, and periodically pat ourselves on the back for some of the prudent choices we’ve made over the years.
If you found some value in this essay, consider supporting my work by buying me a coffee :)
Istanbul, Turkey (2016)
Istanbul, Turkey (2016)
Select, recent works from my projects.
Aspiring Generalist: Responding to Cognitive Dissonance
Let’s Know Things: Buy Now Pay Later
Never Not Curious: September 21, 2021
One Sentence News: September 22, 2021
Understandary Lab: Info / Subscribe
Interesting & Useful
Some things to click.
New York City, USA (2016)
New York City, USA (2016)
It’s a chilly morning here in Milwaukee, and after I hit “send” on this newsletter I’m going for a run, then walking to the grocery store, then doing some audio production work with a small space heater at my feet and the wind whipping just outside the window.
Wherever you are, whatever your plans for the day, whatever the weather and shape and scale of your workload, I wish you and yours happiness and health and fulfillment (in whatever shape those things might be available, right now).
If you’ve got a moment, consider sending me a quick hello and telling me something about yourself. I respond to every message I receive and would love to hear from you :)
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Colin Wright
Colin Wright @colinismyname

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