Alice Lemee

Are You Waiting For Someone to Make You Happy? | Internetly Vol. 52

published4 months ago
4 min read

Hi, I’m Alice (ah-leece). This is a Tuesday weekly newsletter to help you take advantage of the internet, one idea at a time. Don’t hesitate to reach out if something piques your interest. I’m all ears.

Hey there,

The first month I was in Colombia, my relationship began to wobble.

I’d bought a one-way ticket and while we wanted to stay together, the fact that I didn't have a return ticket complicated things.

Normally, I wouldn't write about the intricacies of my relationship. But one reader was curious to know how I balanced a relationship and long-term travel, so here goes. My partner and I are near perfect for one another except for one fundamental difference.

I value serendipity, spontaneity, and novelty through people, places, or experiences. But my boyfriend’s values are rooted in community, family, and familiarity. He adores living in NYC, his morning oolong tea, and playing basketball at the YMCA on 23rd Street.

Rather than force the other to conform to a specific lifestyle, we do our own thing. Even if it means spending months apart, unsure when we’ll see the other next.

Yes, it’s unconventional. I’ve had people tell me to my face it’s “sad” or to “break up.” But our love is rooted in respect and, most critically, growth from within.

When we first started dating in 2019, we were chaotic. We’d get wasted on a Tuesday night because, why the hell not, before clocking into hospitality jobs the following day.

Since then we’ve grown tremendously. We’ve catapulted our careers and pursued new passions and hobbies. But most importantly, we look for happiness inside ourselves, rather than force the other to be the answer to our dissatisfaction.

As Ava from Bookbear Express puts it,

“When you’re unsure of yourself, it’s easy to be obsessed with the idea of love—the idea that happiness will arrive when someone else loves you. This can lead to you ignoring your own life.”

We respect each other’s choices, even if they don't involve the other. We let ourselves be independent and seek fulfillment through other outlets – our art, creativity, travels, and careers.

This individuality is what allows us to navigate being apart. It's not easy, but when we choose to put *ourselves* first, we're able to be more present for the other.

So with that, my question for you this week is:

“Are you placing happiness outside of yourself? If so, how can you shift it back so it comes from within instead of from a person?”


🖼 On Becoming a Prolific Creator

This Week: Being Yourself is the Best Gift You Can Give

Do you struggle to be yourself because you’ve been someone else for so long?

As E.E Cummings once said,

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight.”

The world pushes us into conformity, and our art is no exception. It’s tempting to want to create what we know has a higher likelihood of pleasing the algorithm. It is rampant, as exhibited by repugnant mass NFT projects or mindless Medium articles regurgitating the same bogus advice.

As creatives, you have to fight against this temptation. Create what is an extension of you – because offering yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can give.

“But I’m not interesting,” your imposter syndrome quips. While I probably can’t convince you in under 500 words why that’s not true, I’ll let screenplay writer Charlie Kaufman take it from here:

“Agree. Perhaps I'm not interesting. But I am the only thing that I have to answer. And I want to offer something. And by offering myself in a true way, I am doing a great service to the world, because it is rare.”

Creating work that comes straight from the soul – algorithm be damned – is a special thing. Share it with the world, and you’ll make someone, somewhere, feel less alone.

Design for a man's waistcoat, 1780, France.

🥒 Content Diet

✍🏼 How I Followed My Dreams From Teaching English in Japan to Working at Instagram by Cara Lam – Cara went from feeling “behind” in life to snagging her dream job at Meta. Cara’s story is a perfect example of “internet self-actualization” – using the internet to create opportunity rather than wait for it.

📔 When You Keep Learning Instead of Taking Action by Alexander Hyne - While most college kids are spending their spring break getting belligerently drunk in Cabo, Alexander was in a desert with no food. His goal? “To know oneself.” Sounds vague, but his revelations are striking.

John Jaster “Basket of Strawberries“ 2022 Acrylic painting

✍🏼 Freelancing Journey

This Week: For the Love of God, Make It Easy For Your Client

Last week, I posted a Tweet asking for help to revamp my website.

What ensued was total chaos as my inbox was flooded with requests. It was an illuminating process, and not in a good way.

People were throwing themselves into my DMs with sloppy messages. I had tons of designers request to get on a call, to send them more information, or for me to contact them.

A good handful mentioned their portfolio, only for it be nowhere to be found. They had no links on their bio, or didn’t bother inserting a link into the message. For the portfolios I did find, they had nothing to do with my industry. I saw websites for grocery stores, dog food, and I kid you not – a strip club.

Out of the 50 + messages I received, only 3-4 caught my eye. But the winner of this whole debacle was Jonathan Park, who absolutely knocked it out of the park by being a “permissionless apprentice.”

Jonathan got the job.

I was blown away by his initiative, detail, and hard work. And even if I didn't hire him, it would still be a win-win because he'd then have a project to showcase on his portfolio.

If you are freelancer, always make it as easy as possible for the client to work with you. This means:

• Making it easy to find your portfolio, and including direct links to relevant bodies of work.

• Not asking a client to get on a call, send you more information, or message you. That's just more work for them.

• Showing up with specific ideas of how you can help. See example down below:

You’d be surprised at how low the bar really is. A sprinkle of hard work is all it takes to stand out from the crowd of freelancers.

Daniel Casson

That's it this week, folks.

I won't be in your inbox next week as I'll be taking some time off to be in Cartagena with old friends. :)

I hope you have a beautiful week, wherever you are.

Stay creative,

Alice 💌