"Don’t give up and don’t ever put yourself down. It’s easy to listen to that tiny voice inside with all the doubts & fear, but guess what? Ain’t nobody got time for that!"
Dear Veronica, thank you for always keeping me where the light is. I love you❤
robin williams died today.
here is a list of things that robin williams was:
- and sad.
that’s important, the “and sad,” because sometimes sadness can feel like the only thing we are. it can feel all-encompassing. it can feel like the only thing anyone could possibly see, when they look at you: sad. that person is so, so, sad.
but there is always an “and.” we are never just sad. we are never only. we are always and.
we have all known people who were sad, who are sad; some of us are ourselves sad. being sad does not remove the other parts of us, though it can make them harder for us to see. when you are sad, you don’t necessarily feel like you are also funny, and sharp, and clever, and kind.
but you still are. you don’t have to feel like something to be it.
those things are written on your bones, they are woven into the fabric of your skin. sadness can feel so big, so big and overwhelming and complete, even when it is not a directed sadness. maybe especially when it is not a directed sadness, when it’s a depression that has no direct cause and nothing we can name.
sometimes the sadness is too big. people try to cut it out, or starve it out, or drink it down, or drug it silent. if this is you: i’m sorry. if this is you: you are not alone. if this is you: remember that the solution is never to give up, because you do not live in a vacuum. there are people waiting for you. there are films and songs and books and not-sadness waiting for you. i know that you don’t feel like waiting, but wait anyway.
if you need help, ask for it. here’s a link to crisis centers across the globe. if you live in the U.S., this is the national suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255.
robin williams died today, but the genie didn’t, and mrs. doubtfire didn’t, and peter pan didn’t. sean maquire didn’t, and professor philip brainard didn’t, and alan parrish didn’t. batty koda didn’t. john keating didn’t. you didn’t.
“I moved back home for eight months after graduation… But I made it back here.”
Every day, I remind myself of the words I heard on that late night walk. Though the rest of that night was a lot more fun than that one conversation, it paled in comparison in depth. I can’t help but wonder whether we’d have talked about any of it had I not insisted we walk.
I’ve been here for over three weeks, but I try not to think about where I am. I’d always believed that where you were was exactly where you were meant to be; but I’m not sure I believe that any more. I want to obsess about what I could have done differently to avoid this fate but I know better than to live in the “shoulda-coulda-woulda” world.
I hear everything around me, but I don’t listen. Instead, I consistently find myself thinking about people who shouldn’t (and things that don’t) matter. Earlier that night he said I was perfectly put together – from the way I dressed right down to my nails. According to him, having well-manicured nails with polish that wasn’t chipped was a sign of being put-together. He said he had sisters, so he knew.
Being put-together is something that I’m not. I feel like I could be a jigsaw puzzle where all the corner and outer pieces are in place, but the player is just jamming and pushing random pieces that don’t fit together, together on the inside. I don’t fit. I’m a mess on the inside.
The outer pieces only fit because I spend roughly seven hours a week making myself look put together. Seven hours a week on hair, make-up and moisturising. Seven hours. SEVEN HOURS. Those seven hours don’t include the three hours I spend on hair removal every three weeks, the countless half-hours I spend picking the ‘right’ outfit, or the two hours I spend giving myself that ‘not chipped’ mani-pedi every couple of weeks.
I’m the socially acceptable construct of being externally put-together, but at what cost? I’m a front. I’m all façade.
My three weeks feel like they might as well have been his eight months. I know I need to persevere, but I don’t know how. I don’t know where people find their inspiration and/or driving force. I feel like I lack one. Needing to move back to New York is motivation, yes, but somehow I keep waiting for something to happen instead of being the impetus for making it happen. I don’t know how to be the momentum that drives my life.
I can’t help but draw comparisons to everyone else I know. Everyone that’s being their own driving force. Everyone that’s attempting to be my driving force. My parents. My handful of friends. My brother. There’s a lot of love and contempt that comes with that last one. My emotions toward him oscillate in sync with his vacillations between caring and offhand. My jealousy, however, is always off the charts. For all the things he’s done that are wrong, somehow, they never amount to the surplus of awful I’ve created. On the black and white scale, he may be in the grey, but I’m always in the black. I’m the little black sheep in my family jigsaw puzzle.
I want to be accountable, but as much as I remind myself, at some point, I stop. I need a reminder more permanent than an emotional scar. My professional emotional scars just blend in with all my other personal ones. And though they may be healing, I feel like I’m turning into a keloid scar. I don’t know if it’s cowardly or if it’s a sign of being mature enough to know it isn’t right, but for better or for worse, I can’t bring myself to create a reminder more permanent or visible than my emotional scars.
Having said that, when I emerged from the shower this morning, my skin on my legs was blotchy and red. There was a patch next to my right knee where I’d scrubbed myself so hard with my bath gloves, like carpet burn, but somehow worse because I’d done it to myself. I hadn’t gotten into the shower with the intention of scrubbing myself raw and removing layers of skin, but once I started, I couldn’t stop despite the pain.
Earlier this week, I got a text from a friend who attributed my hiding from the world to depression. I didn’t know how to tell him that by associating me with the group he was belittling the range of emotions and the issues that I imagine people who suffer from depression struggle with. I don’t purport to know anything about depression or its symptoms, but adding me to the list makes the very real issue seem like a first world problem.
I’m not happy but I’m not unhappy, either. I know I haven’t come to terms with my move, and I know it’s affecting me in ways I never expected it to. The other day as we drove to the grocery store, Ho Hey by The Lumineers started playing on the radio, and I found myself crying as I sang along to the lines, “I don’t think you’re right for him. Think of what it might have been if you took a bus to China Town. I’d be standing on Canal and Bowery. And she’d be standing next to me.” For the first time since it happened, I found myself thinking about a relationship that ended, which led to my last one. The song was so apt, it all fit so perfectly. Suddenly I wanted to be back in TriBeCa with him navigating our way to China Town, Google Maps in-hand.
The more I think about it, the more I want a roadmap of my life so I know what to expect. Last night, as I was texting a friend back and forth about a letter I’d sent him (and I’m taking this completely out of context), one of his responses was, “Happiness = Reality – Expectations”. As I read it, I knew it applied perfectly to my current situation. I’m experiencing a lack of happiness because my expectations for what my life would be are so vastly different from what it really is. So, I’ll say it again - I’m not unhappy, I’m just not entirely happy, just yet. I’ll be an ever-growing keloid scar until I learn to take control of the reins in my life. And, maybe then, I’ll realise that I’m the player putting together my jigsaw puzzle, and I can start to rearrange the ‘misfit’ pieces.
Sam Smith GooglePlay Live from the Roundhouse.
Highlights: Leave Your Lover featuring Jessie Ware (13.35); I’m Not The Only One (17.00); Latch featuring Disclosure (55.00); Stay With Me (1:03:55).
I think an angel blessed him with that voice. #nojoke (Side note: how is his lisp not super prominent when he’s singing?)
— Sam Smith Interview with Elle Pop Culture
If you know one of your friends likes you, and you’ve made your romantic disinterest them blatant; and you continue to hang out often because you enjoy their company, but you know that they’re holding onto the hope that you’ll eventually like them the way they like you, does that make you a bad person?
I’d say I’m asking for a friend, but I’m a horrible liar.
Things I need to remind myself of on days like today.
You can call me bitter or cynical or any other term but the truth is simple: If a man loves you, he’ll make it happen. He will not use excuses on you. He will not make you wait in the cold. He will not keep you in the dark. He will absolutely not keep you hanging by thread, make you lose your sleep, take away your energy. That’s not love, that’s not respect. That’s taking someone’s love and vulnerability for granted. And how dare he.
It breaks my heart whenever young girls come to me for relationship advice like my younger sister’s friends or my own age fellows in their mid 20’s wanting to know why he’s so emotionally distant. He might be telling you he “needs time” and has to “go on a break” but I’ve only seen men do this who lack the guts to cut it off directly. They’ll make you wait for nothing. And it breaks my heart because I end up being the one telling them the not-so-convenient truth and it hurts, naturally.
If he really wanted this, he’d make it happen. When there’s a will, there’s a way, and I live by this.
John Legend just gets it. And it’s so great to have someone come out and finally just say it: Love gets you further than cool detachment. Here are some highlights of John Legend’s Commencement Speech at UPenn (transcripts courtesy of HuffPost):
"And it turns out that love requires that level of commitment from you. Half-doing it is not doing it right. You have to go all in. And yes, your personal relationships require that too.
I know what it’s like to be all ego in your 20s. I know what it’s like to be selfish and just focus on your immediate wants and desires. I know what it’s like to protect your heart from pain and disappointment. I know what it means to be all about the rat race and winning.
But years from now, when you look back on your time here on earth, your life and your happiness will be way more defined by the quality of your relationships, not the quantity. You’ll get much more joy out of depth, not breadth. It’s about finding and keeping the best relationships possible with the people around you. It’s about immersing yourself in your friendships and your family. It’s about being there for the people you care about, and knowing that they’ll be there for you.”
"If you’re committed to loving in public, it requires that you believe in justice, that you open your eyes to injustice, that you see the world through the eyes of another. This is not a passive activity. You have to read. You have to travel to other neighborhoods, other parts of the world. You may have to get your hands dirty. You have to allow people to love you, and you have to love them back.”
"Fear is what blinds us. Fear is corrosive. Fear makes us hold back. It whispers to us, tells us that we’ll fail. It tells us that our differences are too much to overcome. Fear locks us in place. It starts fights. It causes wars.
And fear keeps us from loving. Even though we’re made to love, we’re often afraid to love. We’re afraid of being hurt deeply. Afraid of feeling the pain I went through when my parents divorced. But you’re never going to really love something or someone unless you put those fears aside. Don’t hold back. Being in love means being ready to give freely and openly, and being ready to risk something. Risking pain and disappointment, conquering your fears, and becoming anew.”
And finally at 18.04:
"Love. It’s so corny, isn’t it? It’s much cooler to be detached and apathetic, right? We all like a little snark and cynicism and irony, especially from our favorite artists and comedians and writers. I get it.
But that cool detachment only gets you so far. Passion gets you a lot further. It makes you a better entrepreneur, a better leader, a better philanthropist, a better friend, a better lover.”