WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED
She asked me, “what lessons have you learned this year?” I just stood there, all dumbstruck, words garbled and abstruse in my head. I wasn’t able to respond in the moment but I finally mustered up some answers: Call a friend if you want to give up. They will remind you why you started this thing and how far you’ve come. This is a very basic duty they hold so let them do their job. What a relief to remember that this is not all yours to carry. ⠀⠀ At night, look up. Do this as often as possible. Watch the blackness and sparkle spots fade and flicker and hold your gaze upward for a long while, as all your ancestors have always done to find their way, and remind yourself that those lights and that stardust is in your bones, your belly, your brain, your being. It. Is. What. You. Are. How vast a thing to forget. Remember. ⠀⠀ Get goofy AF. This is especially important to remember on painful days. Get your favorite weirdo friend and do some weirdo shit. The other night, my friend and I put pantyhose on our dogs and took photos of them. It hurt so good to laugh that hard at their hairy little butts in women’s hosiery. At the age of 5, you were an artist and a comedian and an imagination specialist. How contradictory it is to pretend you’re too cool, old, and grown up to make a ruckus.
It takes practice to learn to be free again.
Rest. Rest often. Rest again. This is not laziness. Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. ⠀⠀ This is the hardest one: Tiptoe into the pain instead of trying to avoid it. Stay. Stay. Stay. You have the ability to use your power of being-right-here-ness. You cannot outrun this. So look at it. Sit with it. March into the center of it (what a shock it will be when you find the truth waiting there, hungry to be known). ⠀⠀ And most importantly, at the end of every day, forgive yourself. Forgive those closest to you. Forgive it all.