A few lifetimes ago I found myself at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel with my driver’s door smashed in so badly that it could barely stay closed. Two of NYPD’s finest (and finest ;) extricated me out of the passenger’s side. One went over to handle the other driver, the other had me lean against the trunk and asked me if I smoked.
I hate that I blurt things out at the most inappropriate times, in the most inappropriate contexts - school functions, formal dinners, funerals and FaceTiming the former president of Israel (ask me about this one).
With summer around the corner (in this corner of the world), there’s a lot of talk about being your best self, which somehow links to self-care and self-love, both of which can lead to self-meanness, which then calls for self-compassion. So before we drive all of our selves completely crazy, here’s a breakdown of what’s up, and why it doesn’t really matter.
There’s a word that separates Your and Self - a word that allows you to set your goals, commit to your workout, juice your greens, save your money, hit your target, meet your soulmate, meditate to keep calm and carry on in pursuit of your best self. Whereas being yourself doesn’t require anything - not a dash, not a comma, not a space.
I got married 21 years ago today. That’s 21 years of struggles and stress, celebrations and surprises (some more pleasant than others). 21 years of my belly growing, my heart expanding and my tolerance increasing as I learned to make room in and around myself for the (amazing) people that I share my life with.
21 years of figuring out how to compromise, to share, to think of others without losing myself.
The problem with getting what you want is that there is always more want underneath. Once you satisfy your appetite for food or for things or for power or for experiences, your desire becomes unleashed. There is more to want. More to yearn for, more to long for.
Grief has no rationale. It doesn’t care how old they were, how ill they were, how close you were.
Grief grabs you at your chest and squeezes relentlessly, just a moment longer than you think you can hold with a sudden and momentary release so that you can inhale sharply before you’re squeezed again. (Best to have a paper bag nearby to help with breathing.)