Note: It looks a lot like Photoshop, but this picture is 100% real! I took it at midnight on Miami Beach this January — there was a huge stadium light behind me and I loved the look of the pitch-black sky. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
It’s time for me to take a break.
Even though I get pretty deep when I write, I generally don’t share things until I’m ready to calmly discuss them. By the time I’m talking about something in an article, I’m more or less over it. I sometimes worry that I give off the impression that I have it all figured out. I’m good at dealing with things — frequent journaling, having an artistic outlet, and just straight-up compartmentalizing are how I accomplish this — but I most certainly do not have it all figured out. I don’t know who I want to be, or whether I’m directing my ambition towards the right endeavors.
Currently, I’ve got three major things going on in my life. The first is that I’m socially transitioning from female to male. The second is that I just started what is pretty much my dream job at a company I’ve wanted to work at for ages. The third is that I want to take Fake and Basic in a direction that will accommodate both my readers and myself as we all grow up and evolve as human beings.
Let’s just say that I would be in a constant state of excitement, fear, and overwhelm if just one of these things were happening, but all three of them are happening at the same time. It’s absolutely been a ride, and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon.
My brain has been going into overdrive because of this. I’m finding myself increasingly relying on social media to “relax,” scrolling through the same photo feeds and memes on social media that I’ve scrolled through a million times before. I’ll literally be working on something, feel my head start to hurt, and take a Facebook break on my computer … only to grab my phone a few seconds later to look at Instagram.
The Marty who wrote the article titled “Every Time You Look At A Meme, You Lose 30 Seconds of Your Life” would flip shit if he saw me now.  I’ve even started mindlessly scrolling first thing in the morning, which is actually the worst, seeing as that’s my most productive time of day. It’s true that I have a lot to process, but this is not the way to do so. Since my mom isn’t around to cut off my Internet access like she did my junior year of high school, I’m going to have to take a stand for my health and tiger-parent myself.
August’s One Month Project will be an extended break from my online presence. Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat will be deleted from my phone, and there will be no new articles on Fake and Basic until September. I will not be cutting off conversations or social interactions, though. Feel free to reach out to me by email, or through any messenger app that we have each other on.
Bye bye, distraction central
Social media makes everything move at a frantic pace and hacks up my attention span until it’s almost impossible to concentrate on deep work. A little Instagram peek here, a bit of Reddit lurking there, and all of a sudden the day is almost over while my work sits there, basically untouched. It doesn’t look good, and moreover, it feels terrible.
I’ve noticed myself becoming distracted way more easily, even to the point where I’m distracted from sleeping at night! This is really scary for my workaholic self — I’ve said time and time again that “the Zone” is my favorite place to be, and lately it’s been really hard to settle down and focus.
All for … what? Throwing away hours on things I’ve seen before, since my newsfeed algorithm never displays anything new?
I’m over it. I would very much like to get my focus back. And, as cliche as it sounds, I also want to dedicate time to find out who I am and where I want to be going, without the constant pressure to do so in front of an audience. I know that I rush things when I get too hype about them. This time, I want to do it right by taking the time to carefully think through how I want to transition, how I want to make an impact at work, and how I want to deliver themed content on Fake and Basic.
What I’ll be doing with my time off
I’ll be taking a long, extended nap on the beach …
… Just kidding. I’ll actually be deliberately more engaged at work (no more antisocial Instagram scrolling during lunch!), spending quality time with friends, reading the novels on my wishlist, and planning out the future of this website. Maybe I’ll even clean out my room and give it a much-needed makeover, but I probably won’t. I’ve learned that one can only fit a few things onto their schedule before it becomes unrealistic. ????
This break may seem counterintuitive, as I was literally just talking about what I want to be doing online going forward, but I believe that stepping back and actually thinking things through will benefit my content (and myself) in the long run.
Since you won’t be hearing from me until next month, I wish you the best in August! I hope that you’ll also take this month to slow down, consider everything going on, and work on your deep focus. ♚
 I know that that article is unnecessarily aggressive — I was trying to “prove myself” during my first Silicon Valley internship and reading a lot of self-help on the side when I wrote it. Plus, I was an asshole, which I didn’t realize until later that year. I cringe a little when I read it now; there are so many better ways to healthily promote a productive lifestyle!