Monday, October 16, 2017

Lost in loss, found in friendship

I feel like I'm failing at most things most of the time. But for some reason I've been extremely fortunate to meet the actual best people. And every day I learn from their example how to be the kind of person I want to be.

Danielle called me the other day and we were talking about sadness and loneliness and how sometimes it's hard to keep in touch when you're sad because you don't want to call and just be crying on the phone. She said "I'd take you sad." And I said "I'd take you sad too."

It was exactly what I needed to hear. Society has a low tolerance for other people's sadness. You're allowed to be temporarily sad at certain places, like funerals, and then it's like enough already, pack that shit away, time to move on to more Instagram-worthy sentiments. But that's not how grief or loneliness or sadness works. Loss is a huge part of life. Everything and everyone you love you will one day lose in some way or another. Even happy life changes, like a new job or relationship or baby, can be tinged with the loss of your old life. Sometimes the choice of a new path means the irrevocable loss of a really great former path. Sometimes the losses pile up and it feels like you're drowning in it, except other people don't see it, they're walking by like "lovely day for a swim, isn't it?" Or some people do see it but make comments like "Everything happens for a reason" or "Happiness is a choice" or (insert inspirational cliché or unsolicited advice here). This is the equivalent of throwing a blanket over the drowning person. It makes the onlooker feel better by covering up the unsightly display of despair which has made everyone in the vicinity uncomfortable. But now the drowning person feels not only like it's taking everything they have just to stay afloat, but also feels alone and ostracized by their sadness. Then someone comes along and doesn't try to fix you or smother you with positivity, but just sees your pain and comes to sit with you in your sad place so you're not alone there. And that is true love.

Life is beautiful and brilliant and the best ever. But it's also so fucking sad sometimes. Tragic and depressing things are happening all the time. I don't think we're doing each other any favors by pretending everything is wonderful all the time. Yes, many things are wonderful. But many wonderful things have been lost. And giant pieces of our hearts have been lost with them. And sometimes it's just really fucking hard to get enough blood pumping through your veins with the little pieces of your heart that remain. You know you will get through it, you just have to go through it. It takes as long as it takes. And in the meantime, you feel overwhelming gratitude for those who give you pieces of their hearts as yours heals, and you try to do the same for others wherever you can.

Lyric of the moment: "Do you realize that you have the most beautiful face? Do you realize we're floating in space? Do you realize that happiness makes you cry? Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die?..." ~The Flaming Lips "Do You Realize??"