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June 1, 2022
July 5, 2022

The delight in being known

Back in the days of vaccine passports, I had to get mine printed out because the app wasn’t working. Little did I know that the download would include every single jab I’d ever had.

I became almost wistful looking at Faith’ Vaccines Through the Ages. As if it was a museum display of my medical highs and lows.

I tried to picture the scene as I studied the dates, imagining my mum walking me to the doctor's against a backdrop of key world events:

  • Diphtheria in ’77 during the Silver Jubilee (The Sex Pistols blaring).
  • Polio in ‘81 just before Charles and Diana walked down the aisle (street parties in full swing).
  • BCG in ’90 during the fall of the Berlin Wall (with a fixed brace and sore mouth).

It made me feel extremely old, obviously, but also extremely ‘real’

What I mean by that is that this printout of my life in inoculations was solid and accurate, and yet something I didn’t really have any knowledge of.

We’re so used to being in control of our own stories, able to create versions of our lives that are edited, polished, that have the ugly truths softened.

It can be quite humbling to see things about us that can’t be argued with.

Shit got real.

It’s the same feeling I had when I went through cashflow modelling with my financial planner and saw my life played out in the future:

  • There I am at 70, eating caviar by the sea.
  • There’s me in the care home at 80 with the internet sewn into my finger.
  • There I am in the Metaverse asking Diana if she was really murdered by Prince Philip (I think I have dementia by now).

I now no longer have to hope for the best and cross my fingers for the future. Or bury my head in the sand, fear the worst and horrify myself with potential scenarios on a loop.

Because there on the screen are the cold hard facts. I’ll have enough money. I’ll be ok. Which means my imagination can move on to something else.

Author Tim Kreider wrote in an essay for The New York Times: "If we want the rewards of being loved, we have to submit to the mortifying ordeal of being known."

He was arguing that to achieve deep relationships with others, we must share the aspects of ourselves we may not wish the outside world to see.

Mortifying indeed.

But perhaps it’s also true if we want to achieve a deep relationship with ourselves too.

Simple hack

Mute people and topics you’d rather not see on Twitter by going to settings and privacy/privacy and safety/mute and block. You can even mute certain words like ‘jubilee’.

Article of the week

‘Thx’, ‘Warm regards’, or ‘Sent from my iPhone’? This piece in The Economist takes a wry look at how to sign off the work email.

Charm offensive?

Designed as a limited edition to commemorate the Queen’s platinum jubilee, this corgi charm is 18ct yellow gold with a diamond-studded lead, a ruby collar and a gold and red agate cushion is yours for £3,900.

Stat of the week

Searches for ‘digital nomad’ have grown by 376% over the last 2 years. This influx of new digital nomads has created demand for specific platforms, for example Go Nomad, a resource centre designed to provide information and inspiration...

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