How ignoring expectations from others can honor why you create and how you engage readers
Dan, I just want you to know that I admire your vulnerability here. I've followed you for many years (about 10) and I have never read such a personal essay from you. It's fantastic to catch a glimpse from your own life and how it translates into your worldview and work.
We are similar in many ways. My oldest is almost 13 years old, and she is one of a handful of her peers at the Catholic school where she attends (and where we are also church members) who does not have a phone. Ben and I know the implications of this - social ostracism among them - but we've been thoughtful and thorough in our research about the psychological effects of smartphone use on girls her age.
This is a reflection of our family values, even though we know good reasons why others might choose differently. But we are living in a way that reflects what is important to us and I tell Felicity all the time that she is fortunate to still have time to create from her imagination, since she is not plugged into apps on a phone constantly.
Also - Ben and I had a Scottish-themed wedding to honor our heritage (mostly his - I am a mixture of more ethnic backgrounds than he is), complete with highland dancers, kilts, a bagpiper, an ice sculpture of the Lion Rampart (Scottish flag), and his family motto on our invitations, Reviresco, which means "I grow strong again."
Finally - my Substack article that will be posted later today is also on the topic of authenticity! I would love to share it with you and hear what you think of it.
Sorry this was so long, but I wanted you to know it's lovely to have all these connections that make me feel less alone in the world - and that is what being true to who you are has done for me, Dan. Thank you. Keep being you.
Beautiful photos! And congratulations and mazel tov to your son. And thanks for the reminder to do my own thing--I’m applying it to my writing this morning.
I love how authentic you and your family are.
Happy anniversary, and congratulations to your son.
Happy Anniversary, Dan! You were nervous about sharing this newsletter, but I love seeing your wedding photos. I also love that you kept your son's bar mitzvah simple, focusing on the milestone and achievement rather than the grandiosity of the celebration. It's refreshing.
This is an amazing post. You do you. What a great message.
A little late to the party… somehow I missed this post. But it is perfect for me to read this today as I work on my first Substack post. And the open doorway into your family life makes me feel like a friend, which is the feeling I hope to evoke in my readers. Happy Thanksgiving!
Thank you for this beautiful share <3
Thanks. And YIKES.
Approaching a book Launch one month away, it was good to be reminded I get to make my own choices.
This is so inspiring. Thank you, Dan!
Lovely newsletter, Happy Anniversary, and congratulations!
Thanks for talking about authenticity -- the power of showing up as who you are, not some same-old version of yourself based on others' expectations. One's brand, one's public persona, isn't about being someone you're not. It's about shouting what matters, what's important, and what you're passionate about proudly from the rooftops.
Dan, thank you so much for sharing with us. It truly is a gift to be allowed glimpses into your family's milestones. Mazel tov!!
Thank you for sharing these beautiful events, Dan. Loved reading this and the photos. A lot of wisdom and warmth comes through. And reminder of gift it is to be and share authentically. Congratulations and best wishes to you and your family!
As a side note - I grew up on Long Island and remember the many bar and bat mitzvahs. How you and your wife planned your son's bar mitzvahs is my favorite :)
Thumbs up for the power of authenticity!
Happy Anniversary, Dan! My sister and brother-in-law are also celebrating their 20th this month!! And congratulations on the milestone of your son's bar mitzvah. Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful photos - truly authentic!