"Apocalyptic" orange sky (Ricky Weekly #46)

This is where I share 3 things every week with my friends and anyone else interested.

A picture from my life:

Apparently they brought Burning Man to SF this year 😂

Thing on my mind:

This past week we had the “apocalyptic” orange sky here in San Francisco. Some of my friends were pushed to the breaking point of their anxiety levels. I felt the negative emotions, but only after my friends shared them with me. Before coming in contact with anyone on Wednesday, I woke up, looked out the window and thought the sky looked cool and pretty, not ominous. I went outside to check the smell and decided it wasn’t that bad (even though the AQI was bad, but I’m more sensitive to the smell of smoke), so I walked around the block and took some pictures before coming back in to get on with my day. I went to get some groceries in the afternoon and the only thing that I thought was curious was how the sky never got any brighter, but that was it. It wasn’t until I checked social media and texted with some friends did I start to feel all the anxiety and sadness that everyone else was feeling that day.

This reminded me of when one of my best friends passed away suddenly a few years ago and I didn’t cry about it even though it seemed like everyone else did. I felt bad about not crying and my friends reassured me that there’s no right way to grief, but I still wondered why I didn’t have the same emotional response as everyone else. I know it’s a defense mechanism because when I get sad I used to spiral quite easily, and so in most situations I’ve figured out how to stay positive. I remember talking to my therapist about it, especially the “spiral easily” part, but I don’t know if we ever got anywhere that felt satisfying. Interestingly, I have the opposite problem when it comes to work where I zoom in on the negatives way too easily. I’ve been working on this “problem” over the years and I feel like I’ve improved, but who knows.

Piece of content I recommend:

Insecure on HBO

This is hands down one of the best shows on TV right now and more people should get with it, seriously. I watched the first two seasons but didn’t talk about it because it’s a little bit like watching Sex and The City where I’m clearly not the target demo. I just caught up with the last two seasons and I am so happy and fulfilled. It definitely deserves all the awards and I can’t believe it doesn’t already have an Emmy.

Why I love it:

  • The writing is amazing! They were adept at tackling difficult topics around race, gender, dating, money, friendships, loneliness, etc. while doing them complete justice with loads of humor and nuance. The writers on this show need to get work all over Hollywood indefinitely and then we will finally have world peace.

  • The show figured out how to present Issa’s internal monologue / self-talk in a very satisfying way that I haven’t seen any other show do. Got me thinking about how you would write a show to make other kinds of inward-looking conflict interesting on screen (like what it’s like to be a startup founder).

  • The music is sooooo dope. I have the show’s Spotify playlists on repeat.

  • The show managed to show me the beauty of Los Angeles and made me want to try looking at my hometown again with a more positive lens.

  • I’m proud I overlapped with Issa Rae for a year at Stanford and have followed her since she was Awkward Black Girl.

  • “Asian bae” showed up on the show and fired me up. A serious asian male romantic lead with sex appeal, a backstory and character development? I’m here for it. Thank you.

As always, you can find out what I’m thinking in more real-time on Twitter and my essays are on my website. My latest essay is called From Socialcam to TikTok: How we figured out video social in a decade