Growing up, Therapists, Hamilton, Bananas [Friday Flow #2]

Everyone grows, but not everyone grows up

Hey.

How you doing? It’s time for this week’s Friday Flow edition #2. Here’s what’s up for today:

🧔🏾Growing versus growing up
👓 Therapists help you see
📺 Hamilton is having a new moment…
🍌 This week’s Nigerian proverb

Growing versus growing up

The difference growing and growing up is choice and pain.

One simply happens to you, but the other you must do. I mean, sure, you have to eat, but other than that, you don’t have to do much about the actual growth. (Unless you’re an athlete, which doesn’t count.)

Growing up, on the other hand, requires you to not just take the first step (eat) but to be fully involved in the process every step of the way. You have to not only make choices, you have to stay with the consequences, and backing out at any point (which is always possible) can stunt the growth.

Once you eat, you’ll grow. But with growing up, you have to stay with the process to the end.

Which brings us to the other difference between them: pain. I mean, eating is mainly pleasant. But making the kinds of choices that bring growth? There’s always some degree of pain involved.

And the reason for that? Well, while growing involves taking stuff in (food), growing up always involves letting go. And the degree of pain depends, not on the choice itself, but on what it costs.

That’s why physical physical growth is passive, but personal growth is active: everyone alive grows, but not everyone grows up.

Because it’s always possible to choose not to.

👓 Therapists help you see

Speaking of choices, this week I published an essay I’m really excited about: about therapy and how its usefulness can depend on us as much as on the therapist. I think my favourite essays are where I capture ideas in writing that have been sort of floating in my head for years. Getting them down means I can now point folks to them and say, “There’s my thoughts on that, if you’re interested.”

I was able to do that in this essay, exploring an idea I’ve played with for years and putting it in the world.

That’s what writing is, in a sense: an expression of yourself let loose in the world. Check the essay out here: Therapists are mirrors

Meanwhile…

📺 Hamilton is having a new moment…

And I’m here for it.

It’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen, and nobody can convince me Lin-Manuel isn’t a genius. But even geniuses must pay their dues.

See, one of my best things about Hamilton (and I think most people relate to this), is just the fact of its being based on rap and R ‘n’ B. And there’s more to that than just the fact that rap is catchy. For starters, it means a ton more words (Hamilton has more than 4 times more words than the next longest Broadway show). I mean, just take a look at these stats from the FiveThirtyEight.com:

If you know your rap, though, you know it’s gotta be more than just words—you need solid wordplays: not just rhymes, but puns and alliterations and double entendres and humour. And great beats to back it all up. And you have to do all that while still being, you know—a musical.

Hamilton delivers, on every single front.

Miranda wrote all of that, and the cast brings their A-game for every single performance. I saw it last year, in London, and I’m so glad I did before the world went bust. But now it’s on Disney+ which means you can see it for $5.99 instead of $159. (I saw it for about half that, but if you count the cost of the trip, it probably comes to about that.)

Here’s the thing though: the brilliant idea to make a rap musical wasn’t new. Miranda had tried it already with In The Heights, which had gotten great reviews, but wasn’t the breakthrough Hamilton would be. In The Heights first hit Broadway in 2008—but Miranda had been working on it 9 years earlier, as a second-year undergrad! It was that same year—2008—that he read the biography of Alexander Hamilton that would inspire him to write the first song of what would become the 2015 Broadway musical.

“Overnight” successes always turn out to be anything but.

As I said in my essay from a month ago: time is a reservoir, and nothing happens suddenly.

And finally …

🍌 This week’s Nigerian proverb

No sane person sharpens his machete to cut a banana tree.

What does that say to you? Reply and let me know, plus how you might apply it this week!

Yours by choice,
Doc Ayomide