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Amy and I lead a very interesting life together. She is a born contrarian. She doesn’t join movements. She rejects the status quo no matter what. She mistrusts every sort of institutional logic that becomes fashionable suddenly. If during a cultural moment a thoughtful idea turns into a viral sensation then her first response is definitely going to be “to hell with that.” As an example, the proliferation of the Enneagram became the bane of her existence. She can’t tell you what number she is and has less than zero curiosity to that regard. It grieves her that almost an entire generation conceded to relating to one another using a conversational meme.

I on the other hand am like a screaming teenage girl at a Taylor Swift concert. I am gonna be all like “What number are you?” And then you’re gonna tell me and I’m gonna tell myself that I know you. I want to listen to every podcast and Ted Talk. I want to out Brené Brown Brené Brown. I want whatever new spirituality Oprah is selling. I want to sell all my possessions and move to Kansas City to pray 24 hours a day. I want to be in a million person march. I want to be on God’s team. I want to mobilize. I want to organize. I want to be on the “right side of history.” Never mind that, I want to be on the winning side of history. Basically I am the type of person that movement organizers are assuming make up the bulk of humanity. My desire to be accepted and in the know is my achilles heel.

So anyway, yeah, Amy and I have to fight through some stuff. But she is starting to convince me. She opens up her Wendell Berry essay and says “Read this, Andy.” So I read it and I’m like, “well, okay.” And then I start wanting to live in my own life, my actual life, hidden and simple, where we just have to eat dinner with each other at the end of our day without much drama to talk about. There’s no “man of God” we’re paying attention to and no politician we’re putting our hopes in. Frankly, joining a movement would be a lot easier than facing and dealing with the complications of my own life. But I guess if Amy insists, I’ll put down my phone and join the real world. Thanks for nothing, Darling.

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