The dance of eating alone is mostly similar. Often, the first staffer is surprised when he/she/they hear no one else will be coming. I see the waiter’s faces change from confusion to pity as they serve a single plate. I imagine solo diners still look as weird to others as they did to me at 17.
I read self-help books selectively. There are several reasons why. But with Psychology Of Money gaining such a good response and Morgan Housel being extremely reliable in the field, I decided to give this book a shot (despite this book not meeting any of my 5-pointer checklist criteria).
At 22, Strayed lost her mother to lung cancer. Her family, her marriage, her life collapsed in the wake of her mother’s death. With nothing more to lose, Strayed decides to hike a thousand miles alone with no training to the Pacific Crest Trail. She would hike from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it all alone.
Modern self-care is not intimate or subjective. It looks a certain way: fancy yoga mats, bubbly baths with ridiculously expensive bath salts, jasmine-scented candles, face-masks that cost half of your rent, and “solitude” with Netflix. If I had a dollar for every time I saw a “self-care infographic” laden with these same items, I’d be able to actually afford that face mask.
The majority of the essays are about Didion’s home state, California. The writing is tight and scrappy. I would say that the work of Joan Didion is not simply “prose”, it is art. It is timeless, heartwrenching, and Hemingway crisp.