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: Beliefs about 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: Values I try to live by
Chapter 2: What I believe about myself
- 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 3: Spirituality and philosophy
- I take the Bible too seriously to take it literally
- What we do trumps what we believe
- Christian culture is concerned too much with what’s to come and not enough with what is
- Jesus is my teacher, not my savior
- 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 separately 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
- Abortion and birth control should be easily accessible to every human on earth
- Drug abuse is a disease, not a crime
- Education should be affordable for every human on earth
- Reparations for the transatlantic slave trade are necessary, in the form of investing in deep anti-racist education
Chapter 7: Health & Wellbeing
- Diet culture is dangerous
- Eating disorders are not about food
Chapter 8: Learning
- Discomfort is where growth happens
- Top-down learning works best
Chapter 9: 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 10: 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 11: Personal Productivity
- One notebook for everything is enough
- Tools do not matter
Chapter 12: 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 13: 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 14: Predictions
Chapter 15: Ideas I love
Chapter 13: A Timeline of My Life
Annual Gratitude Lists Named Years