Manage episode 270295855 series 2709203
Lulu Miller is the author of the book, Why Fish Don't Exist, a co-creator of Invisibilia.
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ZAK: Lulu got deep into this epic novel called A Little Life...
LULU: ...by Hanya Yanagihara and it's this kind of very long, very sad. Some people almost call it tragedy porn, heavy, gorgeous novel.
ZAK: Once Lulu finished the book, she found that there was this one word from it that stuck with her
LULU: Recalibrate. This is from a tangential character in this book. It's a, it's a piece of wisdom from a fictional character. And he was he's this kind of professor character. He's sort of a father figure to one of the guys in the book. And in his own life, he had a son who had all kinds of problems and he and his wife kind of dealt with it differently. Like he basically says, the father says, you know, the whole secret to parenting is the ability to recalibrate and what that, the way he talks about it, it's sort of like to let go of whatever visions you had for a kid. Um, and to quickly just meet where they are and work with that. And that this sort of like haunting of what could be this, this holding on close to a vision for what your kid could be or what you wanted Parenthood to feel like that not only dooms you, but like it dooms the kid, it cuts you off from surprises and connection and other pathways that really might lead to, you know, beauty and fullness.
And it is so strange how that word has endured like a little piece of steel on a compass, you know, or whatever compasses are made of. Recalibrate. It pops into my head and it is useful for parenting, but I've found it like a very all-purpose little piece of wisdom that just man recalibrate, like if you can, maybe it hurts in the moment, a disappointment, a roadblock, you know, but like, and let yourself feel that hurt. But that reminder of like, luckily, Lou, if you can, if you can recalibrate, you're going to be okay. And actually like, you know, like ruined plans and chaos are the grand creative constraint of life. And you can either look at them and, and sulk and be wounded, or you can say like, okay, this is the new reality. So how can I be creative? And it's sort of simple, like, and dangerously simple. Like someone I love dies or someone I love just being cruel, just recalibrate. And everything's cool. Like, no, it's not meant to be some kind of ridiculous all purpose don't don't honor and explore pain and disappointment. But I think it is like this little arrow saying, feel what you need to feel. And when you're feeling ready, when you have the energy, the way out is recalibrating.
ZAK: Yeah. So how are you training yourself to really embody it?
LULU: I mean, I think there is power in the go to sleep and maybe I can't get there this afternoon because I'm swimming in a certain disappointment or frustration or whatever it is, but it's kind of like the pill I swallow. I'm like, all right, Lulu recalibrate might not be able to do it today, but that's your path go to sleep. And then I wake up like maybe a little more able, just knowing that's my mission. And so there's this just kind of little faith in it. Um, and a patience with myself, like might not be able to do it immediately, depending on the size of the disappointment or the frustration or the tangle or the shame, you know, like, but like keep kind of believing in it when you go to bed and seeing in the morning, if you're feeling up for it. And then there are some mornings that strike and I'm like, cool, I've got the energy. Let me crack my knuckles and get creative and brainstorm a path out of this. Or talk to someone who might fill me up in a way that, that gives me a third way, a new path. And maybe it's not even talking to someone about the problem, but just like getting near the people who remind you, there are infinite ways to approach relationships, to approach life, approach stories, you know?
ZAK: I love it.