📺 You can watch my spoken word rendition of this post on TikTok or YouTube, or close your eyes and listen to the audio-only version on SoundCloud. 🎧

2023 what a time to be alive in.

Existing is getting expensive, aliens discussed in congress, artificial intelligence is now creative, our immune systems are finding it harder to keep up with all the stress we’re under.

Watching as houses get swept away, cars melded with the roads, people jumping into the warming ocean to save their lives, one extreme weather warning after another.

Meanwhile, billionaires fantasize about cage fights, blow themselves up in submarines, yet we give them more control over our public infrastructure and watch as they fund the pursuit of superintelligence they believe is an existential threat.

But hey, by 2030 we’ll be carbon neutral and driving electric cars and everything will be fine.

We’re collectively exhausted, seeking therapy to cope, yet it is our systems that are broken. The myth and expectations of normal are crushing all of us under their weight, Barbie and Oppenheimer and a void in between.

I am out and proud but I worry as I observe hate spreading its poisonous tentacles through comment sections into the fists of men who cling to their privilege.

What would the world be like if we weren’t all so conditioned to running away from our own discomfort with additive solutions? What if we rediscovered the power of sitting together around the campfire and mending what we already have?

What would the world look like if we didn’t have to worry about funding our existence and instead combined our energies towards communal thriving?

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I don’t need more AI, I need more community and belonging. Less of the superficial, more of the deep that nourishes our humanity.

I need to slow down, to feel the grooves in the barks of trees instead of bumping my finger tips against glass all day, with no end in sight. I am tired of hearing “we’re out of time” when time is all we have to give each other, but only if we allow ourselves to be truly present.

I want to learn how to tell time using the stars, the sun, the moon, I want to feel what my body can do when it’s not locked inside a box and constrained by expectations of achievement.

I see the same flame burning in you, a desire for change. The flame is what still gives me hope in 2023. What a time to be alive in. But what better time to spark change by connecting and reaching out, by reclaiming time as our own.