Aloha fellow learn-it-all
Greetings from Diamond Head, O’ahu 🌺
There was a huge south shore swell out on the waves this past week. We're talking 7 to 10 foot waves. Kinda like the majestic ones that look like barrels in movies. Ya, those ones.
I went out with my roommate who objectively is far better at the sport then me. I saw terror in her as we paddled out. I had previously (accidentally) been out in huge waves back when my cousin was visiting during letter 72, so this wasn’t my first rodeo.
This instant was a breakthrough for me. It forced me to compared the version of myself when I first started surfing two months ago to now. I have since learned to paddle much further out before the waves peak. I trust in my arms to get me out of the breakers where the white water is most powerful. I've learned how to hold my breath drastically longer with free diving. I've perfected the turtle roll of gripping the rails of my board as I flip under it and hug for dear life as the wave soar over me.
I say this, though, I still know not to be reckless. Many great swimmers can drown in a gnarly swell. My fear was still there. But I have been getting more in touch with it. I feel like I have given fear a microphone to speak up, but I control the volume of how it dictates what I do.
And that is progress. I don’t want to let fear govern my life.
The rest of the weekend, these binoculars came in handy to scope out the surfers. Talk about some live entertainment. When you live life here, owning a TV is nonsense. No need for that. Just go fetch yourself a set of these bad boys.
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 you to sign up below to join the other 256 learn-it-alls:
Now, let’s dive into letter 81 from a learn-it-all. Enjoy!
🖊 Writing about Write of Passage
To the course that changed my life: I am still honored to be a part of this.
Who would've thought that a decision nearly two years ago would change where I am today in life today sitting here writing to you all??
I wouldn’t have had the courage to find my voice, cure my intellectual loneliness or feel as connected to all my Internet friends as I do.
It's a course that is about the art of writing online. It goes over so much more than those techniques though. That’s why I’m the ultimate nerd who has completed it five times.
Yes, I'm biased and think that signing up for this next cohort in 2022 would be a great decision, but that's besides the point.
This took a while for me to get this far on the journey. My grandma Omi passed in the middle of cohort three in December 2019. I felt like an absolute failure with another cheerleader down who believed in my writing abilities. I’d already failed at trying to publish a book after writing alone in the woods.
I had this limiting belief that I wasn't cut out to be a writer. Everyday when I wrote in my journal, I had words I wanted to share but I was too afraid. I kept letting this label of having dyslexia and my lack of confidence with reading come between me and my love of language to express myself.
Write of Passage helped me realize how writing is a collaborative tool. I started to channel my emotions into it and I felt saved as if it were my only antidote.
It has helped me discover multiple versions of myself that I didn’t know were possible. It gave me the confidence to explore intellectual curiosities for the hell of it. I don’t need a reason why. I’m curious.
This writing method would’ve made writing so much more enjoyable inside the formal classroom. We have the steps broken down from ideation, writing, editing, and distributing. This is alongside wacky like-minded friends who support, encourage and I feel bonded to.
I completely recalibrated my life compass to chart a path towards what I care about. When I think about my tombstone and what I want my obituary to read, I know one things for sure: it’s going to say I was a writer.
Final words of wisdom: You are NOT too late. The Internet is abundant and the greatest connecting tool ever. There is still so much space for new writers. There has never been a better time than right here and right now to get on a new trajectory through consistent action and publishing. I welcome you to respond to this email if you are interested in first steps to take.
👩🏻🏫 Write of Passage Writing Group
This past week was a tear jerker.
It was the final session. We got to brainstorm future ideas to write about, discussed channeling energy to write out rants and about the importance of accountability.
I owe it to these folks for helping to make this yet another unforgettable experiences. It is such a joy to learn alongside all these wonderful citizens of the Internet.
🎙 Recording AudiOctober
So the rapper Logic, also known as Bobby Hall, was a premiere guest speaker for Write of Passage students this past week. It was such a special two hours to unravel his creative process for song writing. when fellow song writing students were on the same wavelength asking him personal questions. The waterworks came down as I was moved by all the creative energy in the Zoom room.
I got the opportunity to ask him about how he overcame fear and channeled courage instead at the start of his career. His response was: "Focus on the people you want to share a meal with."
Three other takeaways:
1. If you're proud, put it out
2. Don't overthink creating
3. Balance hunger & presence
My half marathon on Big Island in Kona is less than four weeks away.
This past week I trained ran the longest distance I ever have in my whole life. The thing is that it was supposed to be 12 and a HALF miles according to my running plan. I decided that the extra half mile was going to push me to an extreme pain and I listened to my body.
This beached seal on Waikiki beach is how I felt after the run post stretching and Gatorade.
🔎 Word to define
Late bloomer: someone who successfully surfaces and acts on their self-knowledge from discovery later in life
A person whose talents or capabilities are not visible to others until later than usual.
Someone who becomes successful, attractive at a later time in life than other people.
In horticulture, a flowering plant that blooms later in a growing season than other flowering plants.
In the early 17th century, the earliest use was found in a letter by English writer and historian Thomas May
Write of Passage has allowed me to bloom by fertilizing my dormant seeds. As I've bloomed, I've shed different identities.
🌟 Quote to inspire
“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” -Mary Oliver
❓ Question to think about
What action can you take that will shift the trajectory of your future self?
📷 Photo of the Week
I’ve been coming along with practicing this lil ukulele guy. I even got a backpack to trek him down to the beach to practice.
I mustered up the courage to play a song about writing online to my writing group. Sweaty hands is an understatement for a girl with hyperhidrosis. I have only ever sang while in the shower, car or at karaoke nights while inebriated. This was certainly a new set of shoes I was trying on. Kinda like Gucci flip flops, since I’ve never worn those before.
I wanted to showcase myself again in the arena, like all the students were as a beginners.
Needless to say, the lyrics, singing and chords have some editing and tuning to go. More improvements to come.
🙏 Shoutouts to the WoP Team
- To Charlie Bleecker for being the best cheerleader attending all of my weekly writing sessions and her Fun size ideas piece inspiring a writing exercise
- To Will Mannon for his seamless finesse with the operations of the course and community
- To David Perell for acting on an idea and executing it into what it is today transforming lives
- To Ayomide Adebayo for his openness to listening to to me in our therapeutic vent sessions over the phone
- To Michael Dean and his marvelous way of making things make sense visually with feedback and graphics and drawings
- To Matt Tillotson and his upbeat energy never taking anything too seriously
- To Salman Ansari and his relatable nature of peeling back onions of ourself with writing to get to the deeper introspective questions of life stuff
- To Adam Tank for taking initiative and starting a weekly writing group back at the start of the pandemic that kept me publishing every week for the rest of 2020.
- To Michael Ashcroft and his framework that resonates deeply with me about being an Archeologist vs. an Architect
- To Louie Bacaj and his self-deprecating humor
- To Becca Olason and her support in me learning to play the ukulele
- To Juliette Chevalier, Alexandra Zamora, Monica Lim, Najla Alariefy, and Robbie Crabtree for their open minds, lively personalities, and fresh ideas
- To Julia Saxena, her copywriting prowess, and how my last letter inspired her to write her future self a letter:
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. If you want to learn more about who I am, I welcome you to visit my online home.
Never stop learning 😁
On why journaling is so my non-negotiable for the rest of my life:
Continuation from the quote to inspire of what we can learn about regrets from THE one and only Richard Feynman:
On the importance of planting seeds:
On designing an ideal life: