My relationship with perfection sucks. Even now, as I look back at the previous sentence that I just wrote, I feel awful. It sucks! Who, in their right mind intending to publish an essay online wanting to make an impact, would start of with a statement of such lackluster color? I suppose that I would, because that first sentence right there, on the top of the page, happens to be mine.
Since my last blog post (the title of which, by the way, I can’t even remember since it was such a long time ago) I have wanted to write more than ten essays. There was an idea on writing about fashion but I never actually wrote it since so many know so much more than me about the subject. I wanted to write a post called “F**k dogma” about my frustrations with the dogmatic beliefs and philosophies people (including myself) walk around with for no reason. Of course, Nassim Taleb could write that essay a thousand times better than I ever could, so I haven’t. I want to make a cookbook one day, since food is one of my biggest passions, but what do I have to add? Most of my recipes aren’t even mine; I’d have to come up with at least thirty original recipes to publish a cookbook. Right? The list goes on. I’ve wanted to write: about how nervous I’ve felt at Princeton in the last year; an essay on the authenticity of people and brands (or, more so, the lack thereof); a warm welcome to the international students of 2022; about what I love and hate about the United States; and finally, about this. I’ve wanted to write this post since the middle of March.
So why haven’t I? My problem lies at the heart of epistemology (however pretentious that might sound). Knowledge, I have found, exists in two distinct forms: the cumulative knowledge and logic that humanity has as a whole and what one single person knows. Apparently, the realization that knowledge exists in these two forms is discovered by children at a pretty early age (and naturally, the practice of lying comes right after). As an example, while a very young child might not realize that, if dad gave her a piece of candy, mom doesn’t necessarily know that as well (at which point she might begin using this to her advantage, slyly obtaining two pieces of candy). Still, I don’t seem to have come to terms with this even though I’ve probably been lying for more than 16 years!
I could write about fashion because, while there certainly are people of much higher authority than me, my readership (that is, my dear mother and one or two kids on campus) probably doesn’t keep up to date on what hip vintage stores on Södermalm are stocking, how to get that proper fit or which button(s) on a blazer never to touch. Then again, there’s that voice in my head telling me that:
“Most days you walk around in un-brushed hair, a white t-shirt and your slightly ill-fitting blue chinos, people will surely realize that and call your hypocrisy. If you want to write about fashion you need to first dress well every day for a year or something”
You might think I’m being hyperbolic for dramatic effect but I can assure you that I have literally considered dressing impeccably for an entire year in order to write a single post about fashion. Similar thoughts have kept me really unhappy about other things such as my freshman year grades that I’ve only now come to be proud of (rather than ashamed of) and probably kept me from trying new things like I used to do all the time in high school. I worry that it might be an effect of being on campus, being intimidated by a new genius around each corner (including, but not limited to my favorite person(s) in the Class of ’18, Emma, Mike, Jack Tannous, Peter Singer and, of course, the portrait of Albert Einstein in the E-quad). This external comparing doesn’t do much good and I’m rather sure others feel similarly on campus (including, surely, all of the people I mentioned above except for maybe the portrait of Albert Einstein) and it’s something I’d like to help change.
A proper post has a beginning, middle and an end but I’m afraid this one doesn’t. However, I will end with a fair warning: expect posts of drastically lower quality going forward, and a much higher degree of, let’s call it… authenticity.