I can hardly believe it but here we are: 50 editions of this newsletter. I’ve shared before the tweet that’s been an inspiration on this journey.
Every time I read that I’m reminded that many don’t make it this far and helps me push back on my tendency to focus on what I’ve yet to do. And this is my reminder that I’m moving into that next phase: those who make it as far as 51-100 editions.
But here we are. Read to the end for what I’m doing to celebrate it.
This week, I wrote about my name. A friend who read the essay said I had been talking about this stuff for a long time and once again I was reminded how many things I’ve been thinking about for years but never actually written about. This was certainly that: in some ways I didn’t have to think very hard writing it because I’ve done much of that thinking already. That may have made it easier to play with the structure a little bit.
Here’s an excerpt:
My name is Ayomide.
That’s how I introduce myself. It’s a common name in Southwestern Nigeria, home to the Yoruba people. And to any Nigerian it’s as instant a marker of what part of the country I’m from as my hair marks what continent my ancestors hailed from. But to many here in the UK, though, it’s just another name. And although no one ever says it out loud, I can sometimes tell they wish I introduced myself as—I dunno, John or something.
But my name is Ayomide, Yoruba for “my joy has come.”
Go on and read the rest of the essay here—I think you might have as much fun reading it as I did writing it: Call me by my name.
Eat to 80%
Last week I shared something from Charlie Bleecker about eating mindfully: thinking about how food makes you feel and letting that guide you. I’ve been applying it and it’s been great. Then two things happened after that. First was a new Apple TV+ show, Physical, about a woman’s battle with her eating disorder. It must be a really triggering show for anyone with an eating disorder (or an affected loved one), because I don’t and still found the scenes of her gorging and hating herself as she did really difficult to watch.
Then I saw a tweet from Anne-Laure Le Cunff sharing about a Chinese phrase 腹八分目 that roughly translates to, “Eat until your belly is 80% full.”
I really can’t imagine better phrasing. It’s basically saying, leave margin in your appetite, and I love it because it’s very practical. Obviously the 80% isn’t about being exact, it just means, stop eating when you feel okay, before you get all the way full.
I think it applies to all kinds of appetite, too. Stop doing things before you get tired of them. Leave something to make you want to come back.
Does it resonate with you, or do you have reservations about it?
So there’s something I’ve been looking to do for a long time: I’d like to meet you. And now that we’ve gotten to 50 editions of this newsletter together, I’d like to get to know you a bit more.
Book a call by clicking on the link and picking a date and time that works for you. It’s open for the next two weeks: Let’s chat!
Clothes (Yoruba proverb)
I’ve heard this proverb all my life, but my mum reminded me of it again this week.
People are a person’s clothes.
In more modern terms, we might say social capital is the real capital, but that has a sense of the transactional. I find clothes a fuller metaphor: clothes both protect you from the elements and add beauty to your person.
Like, you know, people. Like CS Lewis once said,
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”
I don’t know that I entirely agree it has no survival value, although I see what he means. But I heartily agree it gives value to survival. We’re never as fully clothed as with people we deeply care about and who care about us.
Talk soon—hopefully literally. Here’s the link again to book a call with me! And here’s to the next 50!