August 30, 2012

An Open Letter to Myself

My friend, you and I have been through a lot. We have been down some dark alleys and stuck in a massive rainstorm you had no reason to get out of. We have jumped out of perfectly good airplanes, and felt like we could conquer the world. We have traveled across the oceans on a whim. We have cried alone in the deepest of nights because of a narcissistic bitch. We have also felt powerful, peaceful, lonely, sad, warm and happy.

I know you are headstrong. I know you can miss the red flags, miss the warning signs, get caught up in the charge forward, only to realize you are storming the wrong gate. I know that sometimes you have to kiss the pavement to learn. Here are some gentle reminders for the path ahead.
  • If you are lost, quit walking around and sit your ass down. Evaluate your surroundings. Evaluate the positives and negatives. Get some coffee. Choose a path. Choose wisely.
  • Just keep swimming. Once the path is chosen, and the excitement of a new journey wears off, keep on keeping on. Life can't always be shiny. Sometimes it sucks. But every day is a step forward.
  • You can't jump ship on yourself. You are stuck with me, and I with you. You can't divorce me like that cheating spouse you had, and I can't serve you a pink sheet. You may not be holding all the aces, but at least you're still sitting at the big boy's table.
  • It's always about you. Focusing on what others can do to make your life easier is a practice in frustration. It's a waste of energy, and you ain't no spring chicken anymore, I'm sorry to say. Focus on your thoughts, your actions, and do what is within your power to better your life. It's amazing how much falls into this category when you quit wasting energy on what "should" have been.
  • Be someone you'd love to fuck. Physically, emotionally, and socially. Focus on presenting yourself as the kind of person you would fuck. If you don't like it, either shut up and accept it or get your ass in the gym and change it. I'd fuck me. I'd fuck me hard.
  • See yourself honestly. You aren't blameless. You aren't Mother Theresa. You sometimes show your ass and need to own that. You also aren't a total loser. You aren't that geeky kid wearing mismatched socks and leather bracelets anymore. Be realistic in your view of yourself.
  • Value your strengths. Maybe there are a billions of folks out there in the world, but only one of them is the weird mashup that is you. Rock that. Rock right the fuck on with that.
  • Nobody shits daisies or pisses sunlight. From the Queen of England down to the lowest jellybean. The only people who are better than you in this world are the ones you allow. The only people who you are better than are the ones you are undervaluing.
  • You will continue to date people who are as emotionally healthy (or as screwed up) as you are. Use this as motivation to keep learning and growing.
  • Everyone you interact with has something to teach you. Learn from each of them.
  • Shut your mouth and open your ears. As a general rule. (I know, this one is hard, but do it anyway. I KNOW! Now shut up and listen!)
  • Always turn your back to the drama and negativity. It's not worth your time or effort.
  • There is no whining in the Champagne Room. So what if your feet hurt. Be grateful you have shoes. Many don't. Hell, be grateful you got FEET. Some vets gave all and came back without them.
  • Give freely. If you give and others only take, you still gave. What happens after that isn't yours to own.
  • See other people for who they are. Don't shoulder them with the emotional baggage left over from others. Don't crown them with the expectations of perfection. We are all just doing our best here with what we got. And here's the secret of life: nobody's holding aces.
  • Communicate to the best of your ability. This means talking AND listening. This means saying the hard stuff, and hearing it too. This means not getting all "let me tell you about you so I don't have to deal with me" (yeah ... that's a fun time waster, but words with friends is better in the long run).
  • Be the person your grandmother taught you to be. Because your Norwegian grandma was always right. Be the strong, independent, loving person who she cultivated via the cunning use of home baked cookies, music and Canasta games.
Now go back to the top and reread. Repeat as needed.