You’re only truly brave when you do things that scare you. Learn to love being afraid. Fear can be the best motivator.
I’m always dismayed when people complain about someone using big words or “showing off how smart they are.” As if there’s something wrong with learning to express yourself eloquently, as if it’s better to be stupid for the rest of our lives, and forever talk like children. Christ, people, level up. Language is powerful and beautiful. It is our privilege to have it, and it is our duty to learn how to use it, to express ourselves clearly, honestly, memorably, genuinely and well. Language makes us who we are, and there are times when words are all we are. We must recognize this, respect it, and enjoy it, in order to recognize, respect and enjoy ourselves in our attempts to use words to creatively, effectively and meaningfully connect with each other.
I’m 42 years old and that’s okay, you don’t need to tell me how young I look or that I look good for my age. I am strong and fantastic and beautiful regardless of how old I am and regardless of what anyone has to say. It’s ridiculous that society makes older women feel they should be ashamed of their age. Fuck society and its stupid rules. If you’re one of those people that think older women are undesirable and that only young women matter then you’re part of the problem so fuck you too.
After decades of doing laundry, I’m actually only now finally separating my whites from my coloured clothes and washing two separate loads. The coloured clothes come out much brighter and the whites come out much whiter, which makes obvious sense, it’s ridiculous that it took me this long to do the job right. Goes to show that even though I’m awesome, I’m also stubborn, lazy and a slow learner. I resisted all this time because I am so “punk rock” and I insist on doing things my way. Also I don’t like other people telling me what to do, even when their advice makes sense, or is just flat out right, especially in the face of my obvious wrongness. So now I concede it’s true, you should separate your coloureds from your whites. I don’t mind admitting I was wrong this time, because these new laundry results are delightful.
The world is both light and dark, and darkness is half of everything. You must accept darkness, and yet choose to live in the light. Consciousness is the gift of that choice. Every day, and at every moment, you can make the world darker or brighter. You alone are responsible for that decision. Every day, and at every moment, you deserve either the credit or the blame, depending on what you do, the actions you take, and the choices you make. Darkness and light, at all times, at every point, you have the power to make a real difference, and the responsibility to make the right choice.
The human body is the most profound work of art and is potentially our most sacred temple. Physically it is flesh and bones but metaphysically it is constructed of the light of life. Our bodies should hold no shame or stigma, we are all beautiful when we regard each other with compassion, and see each other with eyes of love.
There is a darkness inside each of us, that part of ourselves that is irreparably damaged by the hardness of life. We are what we are because of this darkness, or perhaps in spite of it. Some use darkness as a shield to hide behind, others as an excuse to behave unconscionably. But darkness is simply a part of the whole, neither good nor evil, unless you make it so.
It’s not really who you love, what matters is that you love. Across the wins, losses, setbacks, gains and games, you must make an effort to love. Be more lovable and more loving. Remember that all the darkness in the world can’t put out the light of a single candle. Spread your light and spread your love. This is how every one of us can help to heal our world.
We all have the potential to leave other people better off than they were. Even something as simple as smiling at someone can make their whole day. Every person has the power to make a change. We all have it in us to be able to improve the world, to make it better and brighter, for ourselves and for each other. The question is, will we? Love is what makes the whole thing matter. Receiving love makes us brave, and giving love makes us beautiful.
Life is fragile and beautiful. Nothing is permanent. We cannot take anything for granted. Whether we are ready for it or not, each of us eventually will die. There will be no more sunrises, no more minutes, hours or days. All the things we’ve collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else. Our wealth, fame and power will become irrelevant.
It will not matter what we owned or owed. Our jealousies, frustrations, resentments and grudges will disappear, along with our hopes, ambitions and plans. All our thoughts and desires will expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where we came from or what side of the tracks we lived on at the end, even our gender and skin colour will become irrelevant.
So what will matter? How will the value of our days be measured?
What will matter is not what we bought but what we built, not what we learned but what we taught, not what we got but what we gave. What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate our example. What will matter is not our bank accounts but our character, not who we knew, but who will feel a lasting loss when we are gone, not our memories, but the memories that live on in those that loved us. What will matter is how long we will be remembered, for what and by whom.
A life significantly lived is not one of circumstance but of choice. We must choose wisely and we must choose well. Because our lives can only be great if our minds are open and our hearts are good, and if we continue to make conscious choices.
Sometimes I wonder why I’m not a lesbian. I guess because as violent, messy, clumsy, clueless, rude and ridiculous as men often are, they can be smart and wonderful, and I do love them, however begrudgingly. Plus if they weren’t in my life, I’d be starved wandering lost and confused surrounded by piles of broken electronics, tightly sealed jars, and large heavy pieces of hard-to-move furniture, locking horns and arguing with a whole host of gossiping complaining frustrated women. On second thought, bring me men.
All we need to do are three things: try our hardest, be honest and be useful. We must help ourselves, and we must help each other. We decide what we will make of each and every situation. Wherever we are, whatever we’re doing and wherever we are going, we owe it to ourselves, to our art, and to the world, to do it well, for all of us together, for each other, and for ourselves as individuals reflected within the group.
There are things in the mind that are irreplaceable, like the memory of stars, or the smile of someone you once loved. At the same time, life goes on. In dark moments, try to recall the nights when you saw the stars the clearest. Remember it’s the darkest nights when stars are truly bright. Remember the smile that remains on the hidden face of the past. Love is never lost if the love was true. Because real true love is unbounded by time and springs from the same unending truth. All real true love strengthens the heart and nourishes the blood more deeply and more permanently than the brightest stars. The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why. The greatest adventure is finding real true love, because that’s who you really are, and that’s where you belong.