An Invitation

My work in this world crystallized into a single sentence yesterday, during a late-afternoon walk:

I prompt you to start and encourage you to keep going.

(For the record, I also edit, coach, and make terrible puns.)

I practice being good to myself, and continue to shed layer after layer of high expectations and perfectionism.

Sometimes I just want to write about the late 80s forever.

My high school senior class voted me Most Likely to Make You Look and Wonder. It took me a long time to realize that this couldn’t have been more fitting. Maybe they saw something I didn’t yet.

None of us fits into a checkbox. Whitman was right about containing multitudes. One of the most violent tyrannies is when we deny this.

Our culture banks on self-loathing. It’s a scam of mammoth proportions.

Earlier, I finally figured out how to use the new thermometer. Then I proceeded to take my temperature half a dozen times. Does anyone else do this?

Who do you think you’re the only one of?

In 1984, I was obsessed with twirling my baton in the driveway and listening to Madonna. There was a shed at the top of our steep driveway. I claimed it as a secret hideout and brought pillows and notebooks and a Spanish-English dictionary to keep there, then spent hours making lists of translated words. I also played down at the creek and made little boats out of skunk grass for my doll while singing the entire soundtrack from Annie.

We don’t change all that much.

And yet our cells — all 50-75 trillion of them — are dying off constantly, in cycles of just hours or days. We are literally never the same twice.

When’s the last time you laughed so hard you were gasping for breath?

Sometimes the only way to the truth is a crisis. Sometimes the only way through a crisis is the truth.

Advice makes me weary. I’ve received some good advice and some shitty advice and at the end of the day, the biggest decisions and choices of my life have come from my own deepest knowing.

Regret is a silent killer.

I believe in karma and angels and seasons. I am a goner for babies and bulldogs and certain kinds of summer light.

If I live to be a centenarian and they ask me what my secret was, I’m going to say ice cream. And all of the above. And none of the above. And there is no secret. Also: Coffee.

The first time I had sex with a woman, I exclaimed: “How come all women don’t want this?” And she said, “Because not all women are lesbians.”

* * *

Trust yourself.

Listen hard.

Write it down.

It’s time.

* * *

it is a serious thing

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in this broken world.

~ Mary Oliver, from “Invitation”


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