There is this place where you and I go. And we meet here way too often. We come here because, of course, this is us, right? This is what we do.
Am I right?
I know there are times when words fall short. I know there are times when everything is so intense. And you’re like, “Dammit, already. It’s enough!”
I know there are times when advice is confusing (or unwanted) and nothing makes sense. Not even the simple things are easy.
The best I can say, or, if I’m being honest about this — it would be more accurate to say the best advice I could even give myself is don’t forget to take a step back.
Take a break. Take a walk for a while. Take some time away or take a minute to yourself. Either way, and whatever you do, don’t let life take you apart.
Don’t let the ideas and the moments take you away from who you are. By any means, don’t let time slip through your fingers because there is only one shot. And this is no dress rehearsal. There are only so many chances in life. There are only so many times to watch the sun come up. There are only so many sunsets and full moons. Either way, we all have to serve time. Not in jail so much, which is usually how people take this. And that’s fine because most of us live imprisoned and yet, we have all the freedom in the world.
I think if I could give any advice, the best advice I would give is this: Do not be afraid.
Don’t be afraid to live or laugh. Do not be afraid to get out there and see new things. Try something different. Listen to music. Dance for a while. Find something amazing and let yourself slip into it. Stand in the middle of an empty field with no one around. Look up at the sky. Try to count the stars if it’s nighttime. Trust me. It won’t hurt.
Don’t be afraid to wonder. Be a kid. Don’t forget to play when you get the chance because as it is, the world is way too serious. And so are you. Life can be a bitch. I know this and you do too.
So what’s the harm?
It used to be we could take the phone off the hook. It used to be we could slip away somewhere and not be attached by some kind of technology. Remember?
I’m wondering what a day would look like if we detached from it all.
If we went somewhere, you and me, you know?
There is so much sometimes. There is always something going on. There is always something pressing and there is always something anxious in the mix. Sometimes I think the wire is so tight that you might eventually snap.
God, I hope not.
Maybe you need to howl. Maybe you need to be somewhere and scream so loud and feel the wind on your face. Maybe the sea. Maybe the beach. Maybe the top of a mountain or maybe someplace, or anyplace else, but either way, if I could tell you anything I would say don’t be afraid to say “When.”
Just say “When” and that means to “Stop now” or “Start now.” Either way, this means you’ve had enough. “Just say when.”
And there is no “When” really. There’s only now.
All we really have is now. This moment between us. This minute. This little section of time in the universe is now because everything else is either past and gone or it’s in the future and it hasn’t happened yet.
If I could tell you anything, I suppose I would say it’s okay to give yourself a break. Trust me. No one’s looking. No one’s around. Let yourself unplug in whichever way you see possible.
Somehow, you seem to believe there is something wrong.
But there’s not.
This is just life. This is only a case of smoke and mirrors and trust me, this illusion will pass. And rest assured, that’s all this is: an illusion.
Stop being so damned hard on yourself. It’s okay. Believe me, it really is.
Nothing will happen if you can’t “Fix it” or if you don’t have the answers. Besides, who said it was your job anyway?
You don’t have to earn anybody. Let them earn you.
Sometimes I lose myself.
And what I mean is I close my eyes and I think back to say, a time when I was so unforgivably young and unaware. I remember an afternoon I spent all by myself, which was perfect. I had all that I needed. I had some music to wire to my ears. I had a box of Marlboro Reds with a lucky “Wish” cigarette turned upside down.
The sky became orange as the sun went down. There was no one else around me. There was no one to impress and there was nothing pending — or wait, maybe I should say there was nothing impending, like the doom from my idea machine. There was no crowd to please and no problems to solve. Even if this was only for a moment; at least, I had a moment to slow down.
Safe to say that I have grown since then. I lost the need to have a smoke and it’s been a while since I picked up a pack of Marlboros (or needed to).
But I do think about that afternoon. I think about the way it feels to totally unwind and let go of everything and everyone — to step back and just take a breath or to let it out and say, “Ah!”
See, the thing no one tells you is our minds cannot take the constant pace of a thousand miles an hour. We’re not built for this but yet, at the same time, sometimes the world is like a ride that moves too fast. You just can’t stop and get off. Sometimes, I swear, it seems like we are buckled in and there is no stopping until the ride comes to an end or someone runs out of gas.
If you can relate then my question is this:
How’s that working out for you?
It seems to me that we’ve been treating the heart attack after it happens. We’ve been doing this for way too long.
Maybe now would be a good time to get in front of this.
Maybe now would be a good time to shut the engine and let the lungs breathe and the heart beat.
Close your eyes. Breathe in and then breathe out.
If I could say anything to you, I suppose the thing I would say is equally something I doubt you’d believe. But either way, here it goes.
You are absolutely perfect!
You are beautiful in so many ways that my words fall short and the sentences I write on your behalf would only do you an injustice.
You are truly incredible.
You are that child.
Bright-eyed and full of life.
Don’t be afraid to be this.
Don’t be afraid to try. Don’t be afraid to say “When”
Don’t be afraid to know the reason I count on you is because I wholeheartedly believe in you.
It is okay. You know this, right?
You, me and the way we are and the way we think — there is absolutely nothing wrong with us. In fact, there are people in this world that are grateful we exist. And most of all, with all my heart, I am grateful for you.
I love you.
You’ll be glad you did.