[I know I’ve been MIA. I’ve been wanting to come back to blogging for a long time. I’ve been drafting and redrafting an explanation, a reintroduction, something worthy of my next-first post. But you know what? Let’s just jump in. That usually works.]
To everyone, and also no one, and also, in the end, to myself,
You’re beautiful to me. It seems weird to tell you that. Because when I say it out loud, it always sounds like it’s meant for my friend with the newly blonde hair, or my dog with his new Christmas sweater on, or the girls in the bar who are worried they look like cows. But that’s not how I mean it this time.
It’s beautiful that you can be so patient in the face of something so heartbreakingly sad and frustrating. It’s beautiful that, in my life, you’re a little out of it, a little irresponsible. But in the right context, you can be amazing like that. I see it, you know. I see how you shine with your family, with those kids in your building. I see it in the way you’ve managed to not lose me yet. And I think that’s beautiful but I can’t tell you. Everyone has a place where they shine. Everyone has beautiful parts. It’s amazing to get a glimpse at them when you least expect it.
It’s a beautiful thing to watch you out in the world. You’re mean, you’re crazy, you don’t listen, you don’t sit still, and if you were a child, trust me, you’d have no friends. But all I can do is watch you live life with this kind of painful envy because you’re so full of WONDER and unlike most people…you’re not going to grow out of that. Thank you for being my life. Thank you for finding your way to me, and for letting me see (under all the meanness and wildness and smelliness) the beauty.
It’s beautiful how much you try. How you don’t know what to say, or how to act, but you try. It’s beautiful how when I call to talk about something, I can’t make myself say the words and you can only do what you know to do, like fix a cell phone or discuss snow tires. It’s beautiful how you don’t understand my choices, but you try not to disagree with them. How you’re watching me wander around confused and sometimes screwing up and you’re letting me. And also managing to not lose me. Maybe you don’t know what you’re doing. But you try, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned this past year, it’s that all we can do is try.
Thank you, most of all, for teaching me that. For telling me I’ll be ok. For teaching me that everyone is where I’m at, and all of us are trying, and that’s the best we can expect from each other. It’s beautiful that you see things like that. It’s beautiful that you haven’t lost me either. It’s beautiful that life goes on, and you go on, and sometimes I get to join in. Before, to help me, people were always taking things out of my hands. People were all like “It’ll be ok, I’ll take care of it, try to stop worrying.” I don’t know why, it seems so simple, but no one ever thought to look at me, with all my issues, and say “you got this” and do nothing else except stay. That’s beautiful.
And finally, in a completely different way, thank you for letting me leave. Thank you for losing me. Because I always saw you were beautiful. But I needed enough space to find out that sometimes, in the right light, I am too. Thank you for letting me do that.
Here’s a secret about beautiful people for you: It really does come from inside. I know that’s a cliché that we tell our daughters when we won’t let them buy lipstick. But the people I love, the things I love about them, they are the secret things. The moments they were reluctant to share with me. The things they thought I didn’t notice.
I noticed. And tonight, it’s quiet, and I have so much that I take for granted, and I thought (without naming names, or getting too personal), I’d put some gratitude and some beauty out there in the big wide world.
Sleep well, you beautiful people. Yours until you give up on me,