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" For my part, if I'm working while flying, I'm often a bit relieved to be forced to shut down the computer on final descent. But I guess I'm a slacker. "
" The search for happiness has long been a dominant feature of American life. It's a byproduct of prosperity, not to mention the most famous line in the Declaration of Independence. "
" I am weary of happiness, both as a word and as a concept. "
" I've been a freelancer my entire career, and, at any given time, I have several deadlines for all sorts of things, whether it's some magazine piece or ad copywriting or anything. "
" Social media, despite its reputation as the ultimate agent of self-promotion, actually feeds on self-loathing. "
" People have always taken photos of themselves, either with camera timers or by handing their Nikons over to strangers in foreign countries and then paying large sums to get them back. "
" Confessions are not processed or analysed; they're told in a moment of desperation to a priest or to somebody interrogating you about a crime. "
" It was a challenge for me to do a plot because I'd been an essayist and a journalist. I had to be vigilant about moving things along and being entertaining. "
" There's this tradition of women's magazines - which have been my bread and butter as a freelancer - where the paradigm is that the writing is about relationships, body image, lessons, and it's always redemptive. "
" Quitting Facebook would be like partially erasing myself. Quitting Twitter would constitute further erasure. Pretty soon, I'd be invisible. I was never on Instagram or Tumblr, which I guess means I never completely existed in the first place. "
" The reason it was so bruising when someone said I was from a rich family is that, like many of us, I'm deeply invested - probably overly so - in the myth of my own self-creation. I like to believe that I got where I am, such as it is, by working hard and charting my own course. "
" The first person is a tradition I relate to and that I use; historically, it's been the voice I work in. But the hair on the back of my neck stands up when I'm referred to as a 'confessional' writer. "
" If you do the things you enjoy and are good at, I really have a feeling that that will lead to having a fulfilling life, and people with fulfilling lives are able to be 'good people.' "
" You don't realize how much a dog's presence defines the contours of your home until, in its absence, the walls seem to relocate themselves. "
" I loved 'About Schmidt'. I like Alexander Payne's work a lot. "
" I don't think anyone's ever accused me of too much self-love. "
" Our culture is so obsessed with the idea that you're going to go through a crisis or some difficult event and come out the other side a changed or improved person, and I just think that if you're honest, that often does not happen, and in fact, it shouldn't happen. "
" There's a particular kind of single woman whose relationship with her dog has a level of intensity and affection that may be both the cause and the result of her singleness. For a long time, I was that woman. "
" I think whatever generation you're in has a nostalgia for the generations past and the generations you weren't in. "
" It's great that Time is moving in the direction of validating those who, by choice or circumstance, will never be parents. But the point is not simply that society should stop judging those of us who don't have children. It's that society actually needs us. Children need us. "
" We don't want privacy so much as privacy settings. "
" A young female essayist saying they're influenced by Joan Didion is like a young female singer-songwriter saying they're influenced by Joni Mitchell. "
" As humans with egos and feelings, none of us wants to be pilloried. But as thinkers and writers, it's our job to express opinions forthrightly and without qualifying them out of existence. "
" We're not handed situations based on our established likes and dislikes; we get what's available. "
" This whole notion that it's somehow easy and simpler to live in the country is such a fallacy. "
" Like a physically beautiful but otherwise rather dull person who trades on his or her looks, Southern California swings perpetually between a profound inferiority complex and an equally profound sense of entitlement. "
" If you must know, my parents came from pretty hardscrabble backgrounds in the southern Midwest. I certainly didn't grow up poor, but I did spend my 20s and early 30s juggling temp jobs and choking on massive student-loan debt. "
" Of the countless ways to feel old in your 40s, perhaps none is quite as perplexing as seeing a young person trendily decked out in 1980s-style garb and saying to yourself, 'I can't believe that look is back in style. It was bad enough the first time around!' "
" Almost nothing is more tedious than complaining about the weather. "
" In the world of opinion writing, there's something called the 'to be sure' paragraph. A sort of rhetorical antibiotic, it seeks to defend against critics by injecting a tiny bit of counter-argument before moving on with the main point. "
" I think people seem to want to read pieces that are shorter but not as short as the pieces they can read in small bites on the Internet. It may be that the sort of long essays are hitting a sweet spot between the tiny morsels online and the full-length book. "