Something Good #16
still talking about Balzac's, a new theory, hate-crying about my hair
Hi, I'm Nina Iordanova and this is the 16th edition of Something Good, a newsletter filtered through my 🧠, 🖐, and ❤️. Coming your way every two weeks, I hope you find something good here.
A list of things that have been on my mind:
Getting a medium blonde roast coffee with steamed soy milk every morning from the same café. I never thought I’d have a coffee order that had so many words in it. Sometimes their blonde roast bean changes so there’s just enough predictability and just enough variety in this routine. I love this part of my day.
Thinking about what it means to be happy. I think for me, the answer is in motion, in moving between two strong states. From working with focus to working with ease. From waking up at 6am to sleeping in without an alarm. From exercising every morning to reading every morning. The joy is in the depth and the change. I loved Haley Nahman’s similar theory of instability as the ultimate equilibrium, which she calls frisson.
”Frisson is not being merely fickle or unreliable, which is annoying. It’s about taking things too far in order to turn back around in the other direction, ad infinitum. It’s about growing in every direction through your own centripetal force.“
I got a pack of coasters from the café I go to every morning. I debated it for a few weeks because honestly I thought coasters were a scam. Why can’t you put the cup directly on the table and then just wipe up any rings it leaves behind?? It seemed like a made up solution to a made up problem. Then my coffee table got fucked up exactly like that. Then I got coasters! They make me so happy every time I see them. The bottom two live on my coffee table and the top two live on my dining room table.
Heard a pigeon sneezing and it was very cute. Just like a person. It also used its little claw foot to scratch its nose in-between sneezes. Also at the same time two of its pigeon friends were having sex under my chair.
I got my hair cut and coloured and now wake up every morning with clenched teeth and try to follow my two week haircut survival plan. Does my hair look fine? Probably. Did I still cry about it the next day? I did. I have a full list of complaints for anyone who wants to hear them.
I had a breakthrough in my singing lessons! I was finally able to “sing from my diaphragm”! (in quotes because I’ve heard that expression for the past 15 years and didn’t know what to with it til this past Tuesday.) Wow, what a difference. It’s SO COOL to see yourself make progress in something and to say, “I can do this now and before I couldn’t”.
That night, I put on a track from Spring Awakening (one of my favourite musicals in high school) to sing along to when I noticed I was defaulting into the alto part. We’d practiced the harmonies in high school for musical theatre class and it felt so natural to fall back into it. Like muscle memory you didn’t know you had. I just lay in my bed with my headphones in, singing high school memories from my diaphragm, feeling a little like I was 16 again.
That was a really nice night.
I’m back to stressing out about getting a dog while also stockpiling dog food containers in my Amazon Wishlist. Frisson?
I hope you spend this week growing in all the directions that excite you, or maybe none at all.
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Thanks for reading and I'll see you in two weeks! 👋