Our modern conveniences are overwhelming us.
We own twice the amount of stuff we did fifty years ago, committing to the magical art of tidying up only to purge and buy again. Online dating is at an all-time high across age groups, yet one-third of users never transfer swiping into offline romance. Americans bill more out-out-office hours than any other advanced economy. Social media overuse frazzles psychologists and parents. Binge-watching culture has antiquated the anticipated weekend movie marathon. In a world architected for overwhelm, it’s no surprise we often find ourselves wandering exhausted and unsure.
Hearing this struggle in the hundreds of humans she’s interviewed—and recognizing it within herself—journalist Jacqueline Raposo intimately embraces a life stripped down in The Me, Without: A Year Exploring Habit, Healing, and Happiness.
Single, sick, and in debt at thirty-four, Raposo progressively shed her most constant habits over the course of one year to measure their absence against her physical health, social interactions, and sense of self-worth. Removing social media, sugar and alcohol consumption, unnecessary spending and more, readers follow as Raposo learns to define each habit, reframe want versus need, and eventually move from mindless inaction into active presence. Chapters weave her violent and profound shifts with source material and conversational interviews with professionals across the arts and sciences. Tech designer Amber Case, filmmaker Roko Belic, science writer Gary Taubes, and others shed light into why our brains and bodies react as they do to our habits, and how everyday choices greatly impact our mental state.
Part memoir, part case study, The Me, Without delivers readers an expiring example of how to expose hidden wounds, help themselves heal, and forge a new journey.