Hello, pinecones and wasp nests! It’s Friday, which means it’s time for our weekly Friday Open Thread, in which we celebrate our weeks together, share stories and photos, and sometimes even reply to one another in the comments! We have a Friday Open Thread every week, which is great because sometimes I am struck with an inconsolable sense of loneliness. Plus, y’all get cuter and cuter every time, just like a baby goat or something. You know?
It’s been a long time since I had the chance to host our weekly web-based lovefest, and I’ve missed y’all like crazy. In between now and then was, of course, A-Camp, in which we all came to Mt. Feelings to find ourselves and potentially also a new partner. For me, the trip had a secondary purpose: in my six-hour flight to LAX, I was determined to complete The Desire Map, a self-help book I bought at Barnes & Noble in person a couple weeks back in a moment of what most call “weakness” and I call “crying in public.”
The Desire Map is about finding your “core desired feelings” and living for those instead of arbitrary markers of success and happiness like housing that pleases your parents and making your boss happy at work while your soul rots away inside of your body. Sounds good, right? It was. I cried on the plane, although I do that every time I fly on a plane, and then I showed up at 7,000 feet with a new sense of clarity. The best part? I didn’t even finish the god damn thing. Just imagine how enlightened I’ll be in a few more weeks once I’ve had the time to do it after this A-Camp Plague and all of my godforsaken emotions pouring out of my heart on the way to and from work every day to my own demise! I can’t hardly wait.
The thing about self-help books is that we, as humans, are so bizarre that we need actual books by other humans who occasionally hold degrees in appropriate fields from accredited schools and universities to understand and improve ourselves. Barnes & Noble called the section “Self-Help and Advice,” but the back of The Desire Map tells all: “Self-Improvement,” right there on the bar code. But it seems so crazy to me that saddled next to this book are volumes on What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and how to start your own morning routine, Being a Manager for Dummies and other chronicles to help us not piss off our coworkers, and even The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which always struck me as a strange choice in medium for people with no motivation. As much as I love envisioning a future where I cancel out moments of calm by repeating “I want to feel harmony” over and over again like an actual crazy person probably while rocking back and forth repeatedly, there’s a lot to be said for the self-help and self-improvement books that have yet to exist — as well as the weird shit that already does.
Imagine a world where self-help books actually covered the full spectrum of our dumb needs and fears. How fucking CRAZY would that be! Just One More Cigarette: Remedies for A Self-Made Sore Throat. Snooze or Lose: Succeeding In Your Sleep. Every Girl’s Guide to Coping with Workplace Stress and Relationships Without Turning Into an Antifeminist Bitch. Your Handy Dandy Guide to Illegal Drugs: When to Take Them, and How. One More Cup of Coffee Before I Go: Your Guide to Caffeine Addiction. Paying Your Bills in Two Steps or Less! How I Learned to Stop Procrastinating and Walk the Dog.
For now, I’m sticking with The Desire Map. But in the meantime, I might take up a career as a self-help guru and amass a cult-like following of millions of people looking to turn their entire lives around in 200 pages. If I’m anything like Danielle LaPorte, they’ll even subscribe to my daily emails, which, word to Danielle LaPorte, change my life on a daily basis.
As much as I love a good workbook and a mug of hot cocoa (shout out to @B), when I’m not sitting around tonight seeking out clarity in my once totally uncomplicated life I’m gonna be doing the only thing I love more – hanging out with you. Which brings us to the good part!
What self-help books are you reading, or have read, that particularly moved you? Have you ever read a self-help book and then discovered you were truly superior to most other human beings who had never examined the concepts of inner harmony at that level before? Maybe you don’t read self-help books because you have your shit figured out. If not, what else are you reading? Is it any different from what you weirdos were reading two weeks ago? If you’re not into books, that’s okay – I wanna know what you ate for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, how cute your girlfriend and/or pet is, and when your date is showing up tonight to take your hot ass out for a drink. Share your stories of success and shame below, and if you post a photo of a fuzzy critter that you call your own I will top you with a photo of my fuzzy critter named Eli, who is the ultimate and the light, amen. Tell me anything! Show me everything! Bare your soul and then come back for more. And if you reply to someone else in the comments tonight, I may even eat some hummus in your honor.
Get it going, folks. I can’t help you if you won’t help yourselves.
How To Post a Photo In The Comments:
1. Find a photo! This is the easy part. Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL,” and then…
2. Code it in to your comment! Use the following code, and use a DIRECT LINK to the image. Your image link should end in .JPG or .GIF or .PNG or .CallMeWhateverYouWant even. I don’t care, but it should be an image suffix!
How To Post a Video In The Comments, Too:
1. Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, but first make sure it’s for 640px wide or less. If your player is too large, it will not display properly.
2. Copy the code and paste it directly into your comment.
3. Go forth and jam.