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I set my phone aside yesterday evening and turned off all the lights in my room and did something passing for yoga, there in the half-dark. It was strange. I wasn't trying to accomplish anything or be anyone or focus intently on any problem. I was just there. In that moment.

I had this thought, which probably sounds a little silly, but: this is how my cat always experiences life.

There is no digital technology that can take her away from the present moment. She doesn't check Facebook every fifteen minutes or let her food get cold while she tries to find the perfect Instagrammable angle. No wonder she stares at me blankly sometimes and tries to kick my phone on the floor in the morning. She has no grid for this out-of-body experience that is the Western human life. She cannot transcend herself to connect with other cats a thousand miles away--and thereby disconnect from the cats that are here in the present moment.

Running away. Forgetting how to be yourself. It's easy when the present is a daunting space and all your problems threaten to crowd out your pleasures.

But to spend a non-judgmental moment in your own skin--that is a rare gift. Find a way, and make it happen.


A Year Later

I sometimes wonder if it has always been like this. Sure, there are some jobs we can't escape the need for: trash collectors, for example, don't have the most glamorous job, but at least in an urban setting, the need for them is great. Certainly, we could alleviate the pressing need by re-using and investing in durable products to reduce waste, but there will always be similarly un-glamorous jobs. And if you spend your time looking at job postings on various websites--as I do--it's easy to become discouraged, not simply by the lack of available entry-level jobs, but also by the dearth of significance.

Seriously. In what fresh hell did this become our lives? I'm not trying to say the Industrial Revolution was glamorous, or that a manufacturing-based economy is ideal, or even that an agricultural society should be our goal, but it strikes me that we're doing something wrong if the vast majority of employment available to the general public is incapable of providing some kind of personal satisfaction.

Maybe what really gets me is how incredibly boring the world becomes when it is utterly depersonalized.

I don't know. All I know is, I don't want to be employed by the modern American economy, but apparently I have to be, which is about as close to being held hostage as I'm liable to ever get.