Letter from the Editor 11.02.2021
On growing up, overscheduling, and intrusive silence
I have a secret for you: I’m really scared of growing up.
Not for the obvious reasons. The routine of updating resumes and sending out cover letters makes the job search feel oddly soothing, and the thought of starting over somewhere new is replete with main character syndrome.
I’m actually scared of free time—and the expanse of it that defines young adulthood.
Right now, my life teems with controlled substance. Mondays and Sundays are for Street, while Tuesday evening is for date night. Thursday and Friday mornings are for work, and Saturdays are for a regimented kind of self care: the gym, eyebrow waxes, and aimless walks reserved for deep enough contemplation. Schoolwork filters the in–between.
For me, a bumper–to–bumper schedule has always been my foremost defense mechanism, even if the resulting burnout threatens to end the whole operation. In elementary school, alternating gymnastics and dance lessons (with an art enrichment program thrown in the mix) insulated me from the sharpest edges of my parents’ marital problems. Now, the unabated busyness has mutated into a way to avoid the unknown and the icky.
Moments of quiet, after all, preclude all my mental breakdowns. They force me to think about the hard things, the unavoidable things, the things that can’t quite fit into a 45–minute calendar slot marked for therapy. So as much as young adulthood represents vibrance and fresh starts, it also represents something darker. It means unscheduled silence is approaching, and I don’t know how to reckon with that.
This week’s issue is about finding solace in that silence. We have a review of John Mulaney’s comedic return from his and notes on the quiet terror of Martha Marcy May Marlene a decade later. Our feature goes on to look at the therapeutic powers of a silent, psychedelic trip.
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