Hello fellow learn-it-all,
Greetings from Chicago!
To my Dutch readers, happy belated Sinterklaasavond! On the evening of December 5th, Sinterklaas (Dutch Santa Claus) arrives bearing gifts. During my youth, some years I'd remember to put out my wooden shoes and got some goodies in them.
I drove back to Chicago this past weekend and my parent's dog Polo begged to come along. He is the definition of what a “good boy” is. His temperament is just what anyone could hope for during 2020 quarantine by constantly following you around. Sadly that makes him quite distracting. He would've made for some great company!
This Jeep has been my main mode of transport since I learned to drive when I was 16. It was passed down to my family from my grandpa. A couple of weeks ago, she sounded like she was going to explode. Thanks to the miraculous car mechanic, she's doing much better now and still kicking along quite great for being 18 years old.
If you are new here or missed last week's edition, you can catch up on the past letters here. If you are reading this for the first time, I’d love it if you signed up below:
Now, let’s drive into letter 37 from a learn-it-all. Enjoy!
Some things I’ve learned through…
🚢 Shipping It
I reinforced my daily writing habit and shared five Ship Its. Each of the pieces is less than 400 words. I explained my rationale behind starting it here. A couple of my favorites were:
Change is in our DNA - With growth, change inevitably follows. Because of this, it is best to embrace it. Acknowledge it and let it be. Don't live in denial of nostalgia
9 Lessons from 90 Years - My Omi passed one year ago. I did some reflecting and realized how much wisdom she passed along to me from sharing life together.
If you would like the read the highlights in a tweet form, look here:
I am interested in turning this post into a longer piece of Omi's life story and the adversity she faced. I would love to know if you have any questions that you'd like me to answer in the piece. 😊
I've shipped for 95 days of short-form pieces and have 5 left to go before I get to 100!
Along the theme of celebrating Omi's life, I am resurfacing an essay from my archives of Alzheimer's stealing away her memory. I believe the worst thing that can happen is to lose your memory. If you'd like to learn more and take a walk down memory lane look here.
With Alzheimer’s, you lose your ability to learn because you cannot remember. Without remembrance, you cannot be human. Learning is what makes us humans. This realization came to me and is a driving force behind my mission of having a learn-it-all mindset.
🤔 Reflecting on November
Over the weekend, I did a review of the past month that flew by. It was extremely helpful to stop and pause. It's super simple and I highly recommend giving it a shot to recognize patterns in the actions that you take.
To follow the format of every 4th letter (like letters 32, 28, 23, and 19). Some highlights include:
What I loved:
- Incorporate daily fresh air (as I mentioned as a habit last month). Every day I got outside at some point, whether in the morning or at night. My energy skyrocketed and gave me a space for thinking about life.
- Launching the third season of the Subject Matter podcast at Astutely
- Seeking discomfort by starting my YouTube channel and posting three videos
- Implementing a maker schedule and a manager schedule days as my routine to help with switching costs of my headspace (inspired by Paul Graham)
- We now have 166 readers. This is 23 more learn-it-alls reading along since the end of November.
- I consistently tweeted and gained 70 new followers. The top tweet that I want to turn into an essay is:
What I lacked:
- Separation from work. I found myself subconsciously checking apps like Slack and Gmail all the time. This cuts into my leisure and thinking time. I sent my computer to get its keyboard repaired over Thanksgiving and felt beyond anxious without it. I survived and need to unplug more often.
- Joy and inspiration for writing. I have still been shipping every day (apart from last week’s hiatus), but I want to make it more enjoyable.
- Time with my roommates away from work to play games, sing and dance to Christmas songs. I'm so ready to blast Michael Bublé.
- A constant conversation with how I'm feeling. I am currently exploring different therapy options. I would like to gain a deeper understanding of myself and figure out why I feel what I feel and determine what's in my control.
What I learned:
- I would like to more religiously use my Freedom software to block sites.
- To make writing more fun again, I am going to use my Otter app and speak out ideas on my daily walks to be transcribed. This will get outlines down in a different environment than at my boring desk.
- My body gets stiff sitting or standing, so my new habit this month is going to be stretching for at least 10 minutes each day. I used to be quite limber when I competitively danced for 10 years growing up. I want to see if I can get that back.
- For my weekly YouTube videos, if I script word-for-word, the filming becomes gruesome. I want to keep it up to and be kinder to myself with mistakes. I'm aiming for progress over perfection.
🗣️ Part-time Youtuber Academy
As I mentioned in last week's edition, for Ali Abdaal's Part-time YouTuber Academy I would be sharing a 60-second short. I condensed my reading from the Inner Game of Tennis with a link to a memory of my own with swimming. This is the first video of a series. Enjoy!
🔎 Word to define
Liminality: (anthropological term) the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of a rite of passage.
It occurs when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the rite is complete.
The etymology: originated during the 19th Century from the Latin word līmen, meaning "a threshold". The founder of french folklore, Arnold van Gennep, popularized liminality within his work regarding rites of passage ceremonies in the early twentieth century.
Example using the word: I feel like I am constantly in a liminal stage, where I am at the threshold of my comfort zone. It is like being a limbo where continuity of tradition is uncertain, and future outcomes once taken for granted are thrown into doubt.
🌟 Quote to inspire
“Everyone you will ever meet knows something that you don't.” -Bill Nye The Science Guy
💭 Question(s) to ponder
What do I know about the world that others do not? How can I seek out and create opportunities to share this knowledge?
📷 Photo of the Week
Thank you to this group from the Annual Review Collective for showing up every month this year. We all took part in an annual review at the start of 2020 conducted by Tiago Forte.
The year definitely didn't shape up for the way we intended. I only started attending in June of this year. The accountability has been beyond helpful in creating space for reflection. I’ve loved facilitating these reflective conversations.
To Kyle Bowe for inspiring the word to define as liminality.
To Gwyn Wansbrough and Lux Narayan or the feedback on my YouTube script.
To Alex Hughe Sam for making me feel less alone when fighting against The Resistance while creating a YouTube channel.
To my brother Mitch, whose dedication is inspiring. He just completed the third level of the CFA exam. I’m so glad his exam wasn’t postponed again.
I appreciate you reading this! If certain ideas resonated or you have feedback to improve my future newsletters, I’d love you to leave a comment, reply to this email, or send me a message on Twitter @JenVermet.
Never stop learning 😁 🌟
Until next week,
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