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big changes for Charlies everywhere...
Hello! This email is a bit out-of-character, but I wanted to send out an update about my life, some recent pieces I’ve published, and the future of the blog.
The biggest news: At the end of this month, I’ll be leaving my full-time job to focus on writing and researching. This is very scary! But very exciting! I’ve begun a fellowship with the Creative Impact Research Centre Europe (CIRCE), and as part of this fellowship I’ll be spending the next several months traveling, reading, and writing. I’ll be writing for this blog, so I’m incredibly excited to send out some thoughts from the (rail)road as I absorb many, many new places and ideas. In June, I’m leaving for Gdansk and Vilnius and Riga and Stockholm and Copenhagen (and a few places in between) and I can’t wait to send you all my little love notes as I travel. One can only hope for a very Before Sunrise / Eat, Pray, Love (have never seen/read it) / that one scene from La Chinoise experience. If you’re a full-time or part-time creative living in the EU and want to chat, let me know! I know I’ve been slacking a bit on my blogging duties as I try and balance an office job and writing, so it’s been a bit chaotic recently, but the calamity should be dying down quite soon (and making room for stranger, more fun calamities).
(This is all to say: if you work at a media outlet and are looking to commission something for your magazine/ periodical/ newspaper/ zine etc. etc. etc. don’t hesitate to reach out!)
Also, some recent publications!, I finally answer the age old question: can women—and academics—ever really have it all?
dear mixed feelings,
I'm 29 and on track to becoming a professor. I'll be in school and subbing for a while. I want kids. I know I'll have them when I'm ready, but so much of me thinks that I'll be too old, or too busy. I used to hate the term biological clock, but lately I feel like it's really been ticking. How do I get over the fact I'm doing some work first to give my kids a steady future, while also worrying I'm running out of time?" — Wendy, she/her
featuring Dove Clarke, Eliza McLamb, Alex Goldman
Online personalities, even those that are only loose adaptations of their source material, are treated both as characters in imagined narratives and personal friends in our own lives. Debord writes about the decrease of political potency in the neoliberal world, how a lack of agency turns into a desire to be a part of a story of progress. But neoliberalism doesn’t only reduce our capacity for political potency, it also creates a dearth of intimacy (and what Lorde describes as the erotic). Finance capital puts geographic distance between people as speculative real estate markets gentrify and remove entire communities from cities, de-unionization efforts have destroyed public transportation in the United States, and increasingly, free time is devoured by precarious contract labor and demanding bosses. These personalities, especially when they speak to us in the form of podcasts or Instagram Lives or YouTube vlogs offer a sense of friendship and company, yes, but also something more basic: the sense of knowing someone else, and, in turn, the possibility that we ourselves may one day feel known. We want to participate in something meaningful, whether it be a relationship or an event, to assert that we exist, that things happen for a reason, that we have any power over the passage of time. To interact with a face of the zeitgeist is to do something, even though we intellectually understand that their personas are curated and filtered.
All three creators spoke about navigating the difference between their internal selves and their online personas, but they also all firmly insisted on expressing a sincere gratitude for their fans and the communities of people who engage with their work. In all of my conversations—with Goldman, with Dove, with McLamb, with my friends, with myself—there is always a sheepish admission of enjoyment that comes with the positive attention of internet notoriety. It’s a rather silly thing to be self-conscious about, the simple and very human fact that being appreciated feels nice, that people come to you for your thoughts and opinions about the world. It’s a tedious balance, being sensitive and observant and wanting to share those observations with the world, and also having an internal life that gets to remain private. We say the things we do because they feel important enough to be said and we feel that the things that are important enough to be said are important enough to be heard.
Okay, that’s all for now! Thank you all for being patient with me as I try and balance everything my heart pulls me to (and as I try to invent a 25th hour in the day)…! Springtime wishes, sending all the best, xoxo,