I have read Frank Chimero's latest essay numerous times now, it's that compelling. His thoughts and insights are on the idea of "independence" and he reminds us that Christina Xu in her talk at XOXO said that "independence is lonely." And this is how Frank reacted to that:
I winced, the kind of expression you make when you have to live with bad news. I know that loneliness. So, I looked around to see if anyone else was making grotesque faces of recognition. I saw a lot of nodding, as if to say, “I accept this as an interesting and possibly true idea.” Maybe that’s what normal people do. I was, on the other hand, slowly losing my shit, and contorting my saggy, sad face like a partially deflated balloon, because on one hand, I now had words for that feeling, and knew it wasn’t just me, but on the other hand, it was a sad thought, and a cost I didn’t want to believe was necessary. Still, I tried to keep it together, collect the sad sags of my face-balloon, and put on my deep-in-thought face.
And he has a later thought too:
I am beginning to think we are using the wrong words to describe what it means to be an “independent artist” and it’s setting the stage for these kinds of breakdowns. But any argument about the meaning of words quickly gets messy and complicated, and I’m not smart enough to defend it.
Still, I think words are abstractions, and abstractions become expressions that frame our understanding of our experiences, expectations, culture—everything. Language is an interface, and if an interface can mold behavior and perception, than language does that to your life.
We need new words so we can talk. We need to talk so we can explore. We need to explore so we can build, and we need to build so we can sustain. We are at the beginning of something good, but we need to take care of it and ourselves so it can keep going, better.
I strongly encourage you to read the whole essay.