I'm being a little sardonic in the title, but doesn't it seem like everyone in the world has a podcast?
My friend Amanda and I started one almost four years ago. It's called And Leslie - named after a Lynda Barry reference we heard together, and it's about whatever we want it to be about. One of those podcasts.
Amanda is one of my favorite talkers ever - her memory is damn near photographic and she puts it to good, thoughtful, emotional use. We went to college together, but not for particularly long, and we just like each other a whole lot, I think. We talk about a pretty wide range of topics - from whether political platforms actually matter (they do not) to the politics of British comedy to the morphology of professional wrestling. I recommend us.
I saw this headline the other day and it actually hurt my feelings:
It's a piece by David Heinemeier Hansson, who founded Basecamp, which is a great way to stay connected to people all over the place. This struck me as fascinating once I got out of my feelings. It's a resonant critique of Facebook, and how it can trap you in your past selves (in college, in high school, in old jobs) and stunt your growth. The passage that hung with me the most:
Becoming someone else entails experimenting and failing with new styles and ideas. Not a lot of people are so keen to premiere such vulnerable stages of their evolution in front of an audience that expects them to be that same person they always were forever.
I'm thirty-one. I often find myself nostalgic for a place and time that no longer exists, which I think means I have been extraordinarily lucky in many regards; good jobs, right schools, supportive family, close friends. It can be heartbreaking for me to feel disconnected from someone I haven't spoken to in a year. That's silly on paper, but makes sense in my head.
And Leslie has been a bunch of different things over the past four years. A lot has happened. Thinking about how much has happened - and looking at my own journals - is part of what's spurring me to blog again. A thing I wrote in my journal three years ago:
It's okay for me to continue to grow in public.
It's unreasonable to start a podcast with all of my long-distance friends (Amanda and I have lived three time zones apart for almost all of our friendship), but I kind of want to. Incidentally, most of my favorite podcasts involve a substantial amount of intimate shit-shooting between people who have known each other for years. And Leslie reminds me of the power of talking to people. I pick up the phone and call distant friends more than I did when we started.