Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Tiny Beautiful Things"


               Don't lament so much about how your career is going to turn out.  You don't have a career.  You have a life.  Do the work.  Keep the Faith.  Be true blue.  You are a writer because you write. Keep writing and quit your complaining.  Your book has a birthday.  You don't know what it is yet.
              You cannot convince people to love you.  This is an absolute rule.  No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it.  Real Love moves freely in both directions.  Don't waste your time on anything else.
              Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be.  Sometimes you'll put up a good fight and lose.  Sometimes you'll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go.  Acceptance is a small, quiet room.
              Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relationship to your naive pomposity.  Many people you believe to be rich are not rich.  Many people you think have it easy worked hard for what they got.  Many people who seem to be gliding right along have suffered and are suffering.  Many people who appear to be olde and stupidly saddled down with kids and cars and houses were once every bit as hip and pompous as you.
              When you meet a man in the doorway of a Mexican restaurant who later kisses you while explaining that the kiss doesn't "mean anything" because, much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back.  Your daughter will have his sense of humour.  Your son will have his eyes.
              The useless days will add up to something. The horrible waitress jobs.  The hours writing in your journal.  The long meandering walks.  The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and  dead people's diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not.  These things are your becoming.
              One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don't look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you.  Don't hold it up and say it's longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm.  Your mother will be dead by spring.  That coat will be the last gift she gave you.  You will regret the small thing you didn't say for the rest of your life.
              Say, "Thank You".

     ~From "Tiny Beautiful Things,"
by Cheryl Strayed


28 March, 2017