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Tangent 50th Edition
"We did it, Camilo!" -Kamala Harris
This is Tangent’s 50th Edition!
I don’t tend to celebrate milestones. I skip over my birthday like I’m clicking through Apple’s Terms & Conditions. Whenever I closed a sales deal, I would forgo celebrations and instead adopt a Kobe Bryant-like mentality: I made statements like “job’s is not done” or “onto the next one” in my imaginary press conferences.
I realized (or rather my friends intervened, so they realized for me) that celebrating milestones big and small is a crucial part of life. If I’m all about living intentionally, being aware and present, and making the mundane beautiful, then celebration is the congruent thing to do.
So here we are.
I wrote in my first edition that the purpose of Tangent was to become a small detour in your inbox meant to deliver insight and delight. I have given an earnest effort in trying to fulfill this promise, and will continue doing so.
In sustaining this promise week after week, I’ve also learned quite a few lessons. So here are 50 lessons from 50 editions of Tangent.
(Just kidding, I’m not going to do that to you)
Though, I will share a couple of things that I hope you find helpful.
First, I learned the importance of proving yourself right. Often, we find motivation, a fighting spirit, in proving others wrong. That works, but it’s like adding diesel fuel to a regular engine; you’ll break down after a while. The idea of manifesting something and proving myself right is much more fulfilling and sustainable. I wanted to prove myself right about my ability to start a creative project in public and sustain it for long enough to be proud of it.
In the process, not only did I learn that I could do this, but that writing is something I really enjoy. I enjoy it despite the inherent masochism of trying to arrange a series of words in a way, fashion, and form that your eyes are glued, your senses heightened, and your heart changes rhythm. Writing well consistently is incredibly hard. I relish the challenge.
I also learn, week after week, the importance of focusing on process over outcome. I’ve written about it before. In my mind, I know this is true. Yet, this belief is tested when the number of subscribers of this blog grows at the speed of a baby taking its very first steps.1 And when a post receives less likes than the previous one, I question whether I’ve peaked, whether I’m Gotye singing “Somebody That I Used to Know,” and will be soon submerged at the bottom of the writing ocean to rust with all the other blog shipwrecks.2
My salvation is reverting to a simple thought: If I can just inspire/delight one person reading this other than my Mom (because unconditional love and all that), then I will keep going. And fortunately, I’ve received that feedback from at least one of you every edition of Tangent.
Which means you, dear Reader, have been my salvation. Perhaps it’s too big of a word, but that’s the impact your encouragement and feedback has in my life. I dream one day of being able to live solely from my writing. It will come. And your support in this early stage is wind beneath my wings. I don’t take for granted.
In that same vein of gratitude, I would like to thank all the individuals who have supported this blog through their words, their patient eyes, their curious ears, and their honest minds. I have this dreadful fear of leaving someone’s name out, so I will omit singling anyone out. I hope this does not dilute my gratitude for it is buoyant and steady. If you are thinking “he should probably thank me,” then you are precisely right. Thank you.
Lastly, I thought about writing a writing manifesto for this edition (how meta). A declarative Gettysburg address-like text that everyone in their writing journey, from tourists to vagabonds, could see themselves in. Yet, far more useful than a manifesto is to continue manifesting through action. One of the best pieces of writing advice is “show, don’t tell.” The best way I could show the value of writing, the value of creative expression, is to continue writing about the mundane, about how we relate to the world, to each other, and to the scripts that run our lives.
Thank you for honoring me with your attention and I hope you keep sticking for the ride. It will be full of tangents.
I’m going full Sportcenter3 on you. To commemorate 50 editions of Tangent, I wanted to share snippets from some of my favorite essays (and yours).
Accidentally Wes Anderson
Dissecting the Dissector
Until next time!
I have been able to sucker 173 of you into giving me space on your inbox every week. Thank you. I’m looking for more suckers to go on Tangents with me. Join us.
I would much rather prefer if it grew at the speed of a toddler chasing a dog.
Don’t say it…Don’t say it…NOW HE’S SOMEBODY THAT WE USED TO KNOW hahahaha.
I hope the Sportcenter melody played in your head as you read this. I really do.