If you’re Zinzy
No human experience can ever be summed up in a list of bullet points. Nevertheless, the things below you have written in earnest. Look at them whenever you need a reminder of what’s important to you.
If you’re someone else
Feel free to read, learn, wonder, and remember:
- Statements below apply to me, and to me only, even though their phrasing is often general
- This is an unapologetic codex, in which I may say things that offend your sensibilities, simply because of the person I am. You are not me, you may disagree with me. That’s okay. Make your own codex!
- These things may be subject to change.
Chapter 0: Meta beliefs
- Opinions, beliefs, and values may change over time and that’s okay
- I am ignorant and see only a very small fraction of reality from my own standpoint
Chapter 1: Self
- I am an optimist
- I make mistakes
- My intuition will always be able to lead the way
- My emotions are my responsibility (Gregology)
- My questions are relevant
- I’m great at finding connections with others
- At heart I’m a cultural relativist
- I’m privileged because:
- I have no serious, untreatable physical disabilities
- I live in a North-West European country with solid infrastructure, excellent health care, and good education opportunities, where I mostly feel safe and free presenting as queer with my partner
- My partner and I are invested in our relationship, share the same values, and have succeeded at cohabitating so far
- I have close friendships with White people who are fiercely antiracist
- I lack privilege because:
- I’m a first-generation university graduate, and I was not at all prepared for what academic life would bring
- I cannot safely travel to certain countries with my partner
- There are church communities that I cannot join because of the color of my skin, my gender identity, or my sexual orientation.
Chapter 2: Spirituality and philosophy
- The Bible is too complex to be taken literally.
- God is easiest to find in nature.
- Orthopraxy trumps orthodoxy.
- Christian culture is too much about what we should believe and too little about what we should do
- Christian culture is concerned too much with what’s to come and not enough with what is
- Jesus is my teacher, not my savior
- Jesus’ physical resurrection, ascension into heaven, his virgin birth or position as the son of God are irrelevant to my faith
- Studying the Bible in its historical, literary, and liturgical context is an important tool to better understand the cultures in which it has become or has been dominant
Chapter 3: People & relationships
- People try to do what they think will make the world a better place, even if that means its destruction
- Strangers don’t often expect kindness. It can be a spark for a great friendship.
- Everybody’s lives are infinitely complex, vulnerable, precious, and potential, just like mine.
- White isn’t a color unless it’s a skin color
- Seeing yourself in other people is crucial to developing a healthy sense of self
- No adult person should be forced to carry on a relationship with family members.
- Some people shouldn’t have children.
- Sometimes, going no contact with a parent is the least damaging option.
- Everyone has their own way of saying “I love you”
Chapter 4: Culture, society, and media
- I know for a fact it’s pronounced “Timothy Charmander”
- Seeing your experiences and standpoint reflected in media is crucial to developing a healthy sense of self
- It’s good to have one website as your central point of communication with the Internet
- To learn about a group of people, look at the stories they tell themselves and others
- History is told by the winner, and sometimes by the loudest
Chapter 5: Politics and policies
- No political system is flawless, some are worse than others
- Both revolution and evolution are required for change
- Ones politics cannot be seen separatedly from ones character and conduct. Sometimes, it’s not possible to “engage with someone despite your different views”, because of the implications those views have
Chapter 6: Health & Wellbeing
- Diet culture is dangerous
- Eating disorders are not about food
Chapter 7: Learning
- Discomfort is where growth happens
- Top-down learning works best
Chapter 8: Work
- Praise in public, criticize in private
- Don’t work overtime unless required
- The product designer should conduct user research
- The product designer should be a PO’s sidekick
Chapter 9: Habits
- I am intrinsically motivated, and will struggle with anything that I must do based on extrinsic motivation
- Practice yin yoga to train your quietude muscle, and tolerance of discomfort
- Wash your face every day, and moisturize properly.
- Buy simple black t-shirts and wear one every day
- Dress in calm tones, have one splash of style (glasses, weird socks)
Chapter 10: Personal Productivity
- One notebook for everything is enough
Chapter 11: Nitty Gritty
- Treat or split the tab. Don’t try to remember who owes who what.
- Carnations are the best flowers
- Growing plants is more fun when the plants are small
- People in their early- to mid-thirties should have access to Pokémon Red on a floppy disk, as well as a device on which to play it
- Ironing is a calming activity
- Neon candles are usually the most beautiful candles
Chapter 12: Influences and Recommendations
- Halloween is the best horror movie franchise, in the very first place because of the blatant disregard the films have for one another.
- People Bridget Everett
Chapter 13: A Timeline of My Life
Annual Gratitude Lists Named Years