Advice for Awkward People

Hi Josh,

I’ve got a very strange but really severe problem. Throughout the year, I’ve seen so many of my friends grow as people, and I’ve remained pretty stagnant. I feel the same as when I came out of high school, and it makes me sad. I’ve been wracking my brain, trying to find the secret to their success and the reason I’ve been left so far behind, and finally I’ve settled on one super important thing that every one of my friends has, but I’ve never been able to obtain: an aesthetic.

It’s so hard to find one, especially because I don’t quite know what it is. I’ve studied all of the usual suspects that my friends identify as their aesthetics: ugly babies, President Obama sneezing, Tyra Banks’s facial expressions, all to no avail. I find it so strange how each and every one of my friends can claim an aesthetic so quickly in everyday conversation. I’ve even tried to claim one before them, but I’m not well-versed enough in the realm of aestheticism to differentiate an aesthetic from a regular sentence or annoying sound. Once, a bunch of us were sitting around, and an old lady slipped and fell in front of us, and I was like “That’s my aesthetic.” Everyone just looked at me for a minute and then went to see if the lady was alright. Got any advice? Will I ever be cool enough to have a sweet aesthetic?

Fragile, Aesthetic-free Individual Looking for an Understanding of Real-world Excitement


I’m sorry to hear that you’re having such an existential crisis. I’m not sure what you’ve heard or what exactly you’ve been studying, but your friends are probably just being ironic and using a humorous turn of phrase. Having an aesthetic, or a certain appreciation of beauty, a style, a creative philosophy, is not necessary for everyone. If you don’t have a daily creative pursuit by which you’re examining the world, it’s not crucial for you to have a fully fleshed-out understanding of what you enjoy in that way. You’ll be fine.

Peace, Love, and Puppy Dog Tails,
Joshua Brown

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