…I heard today went a little something like this:
"I’m not worried about you, but I’m worried that you don’t take of yourself. Like, how you try to take care of what you’re doing but not you.”
And that changed the entire day completely.
Simple truth ain’t hard to come by, but here’s what I learned today.
The opening chapter for The Rest of Our Lives must be about loving ourselves, having mercy for the wounded, and having grace for the perpetrator. If we can’t do the first, we can’t do the second and third. If we aren’t doing the second and third, it’s because we aren’t doing the first. I realize that last sentence was redundant, but I want it to sink in (my own skull, mostly).
Loving ourselves seems so unbelievably selfish and hopeless, because really it’s just because we’re not sure what the “love” means in loving ourselves.
Art is expression. Simply expression for the sake of itself. To recognize that putting out your thoughts in a medium for the world to see/hear/taste/feel/whatever, is to recognize that we are giving a part of ourselves, and truly committing ourselves to the world. Expression is an act of service.
Bad art is expression for the sake of the gain to be bigger than the giving. Money, power, acclaim… What ever we’re creating in order to get something, we’re making bad art. Bad life decisions. Bad self-image.
But when we are expressing, as an offering to whatever we believe, for no other purpose than creating and contributing, we will take joy in ourselves. True joy is expressing with no agenda except the truth as we know it.
We are told to take joy in ourselves is a bad thing, because it’s self-indulgent and prideful. But really, to not do everything we can to take joy in ourselves is to completely fail at loving ourselves.
I can’t care for you if I can’t care for myself. I can’t give you advice if I can’t listen to the Spirit in me. I can’t teach you if I refuse to learn from you. I can’t be patient with you because I have no patience to view myself. Really, I can’t love you because I don’t love myself.
And if we can’t really love our friends the way they deserve (because, that’s what you want, too), we really won’t learn to love our enemies. And if we can’t love our enemies, we can’t love ourselves. You may not agree, but if you’re open to it, you’ll eventually find this to be true, too.
What is love, who the fuck knows? I know it’s not a feeling or an emotion. It’s a commitment to something that says even though I don’t want to do this, I’m going to do it. Even if it’s leaving or confessing or confronting, we do the things we don’t want to do, not because we’re guilty or obligated, but because we know how to love. Because we know how to love ourselves through joy in expression.
I didn’t just eat two bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and geek out during the latest episode of Scandal.
I think SmartWool, over the course of my life, has easily made about $2K off me. Every time I go to an REI or a Nordstrom, or pretty much anywhere that sells these motherfuckers, I buy like 3 pair at a time. What the hell is wrong with me?
I had the pleasure of not working for two days straight, and all I did was stay in Brooklyn. I wrote music, wrote words, watched documentaries, ate shitty food, and got high a few times.
If I could’ve been in 11th grade and had someone show me what my life would be like at 30, I’m not too sure I would’ve been impressed. I had so many different ideas of what my life was supposed to look like, that looking at what I’m doing now would’ve freaked me out. But, I couldn’t have ever asked for cooler experiences thus far.
I’ve seen the world, experienced my dream job, fell in love… all by the age of 23. It’s taken me a bit of time to figure out what I want to do next, but so far the wait has allowed me to do a lot more than the 11th-Grade Joey would’ve thought possible.
So, tonight, here’s to more unknowing. Here’s to more patience and more grace for myself and others. Here’s to more dreams fulfilled and making more mistakes to learn from.
Holler if you hear me.
The ribs of the umbrella
Have fallen apart;
The paper is also torn,
But with bamboo
Do not throw it away.
Also am torn,
Don’t desert me.
I had some interesting thoughts today that I already forgot.
On a lighter note, there should be a notebook company who makes super light notebooks. Their company should be called A Lighter Note. Or, or, or, a lighter company should make lighters that you can write on and call their company A Lighter Note. Whichever.
I heard Death Cab for Cutie’s The Stability EP the other night and I revisited a lot of (allota) memories. All good. Summer nights in vans kind of memories. Windows down, 9:00 PM, driving in an unknown state and it’s in the middle of July. Such a set apart feeling.
I’m not really sure if I’m insecure or shockingly realistic. You know, it’s like, our value has some sort of crazy power over us that dictates all of our responses. What we think we deserve, who we think we deserve, has the unbreakable edge to everything. I don’t know where this comes from, nor where it goes when it leaves, but I don’t want to not be sure how valuable I am. I don’t want to second-guess my gifts and my contributions to my world. I want to be celebrated and I want to celebrate myself. But how does one do that without being the worst fucking douche in the world? The cockiest, pop-psychology idiot that is just sailing in life and feels good about everything, and almost everyone. No stress. No doubts. Goes for what he wants. Goes for what he wants at any cost. And maybe there’s the difference. To celebrate oneself in an honest way is to do it with connectedness and no cost, whereas to celebrate oneself in an awful way is to be the unbreakable edge, driving through reality, disconnecting it. So it’s the douchebag vs. the humble guy, I say.
We took over a farm in the 1800s and
planted anchors and watches, so
we could grow some stability
and some sort of connectedness.
And, so we could grow some
new days and better times.
But, those anchors just sat
in the ground, with the watches,
and we were out thousands of dollars.
And we stressed about money and
having no real sense of anything, and
how we’d just wasted a whole season
on nothing much at all.
We cleaned the dirt from the metal
and tried to get the clay out of the gears.
There we were, taking apart every watch
just to make it spotless, so we could sell
it back, just to try and break even,
even though we were doubtful.
But, they bought it back and we
ended up making more money in the end
because of a governmental process that makes
things worth more or less ended up making
all our watches worth five-times more and
we’d lucked out. They said we should
keep the anchors for tough times ahead.
But they told us to sell them our gold
because they could give us money for it,
and since we’d just failed as farmers, we
had no choice but to sell because of our
desperate and unending need for money.
But, people told us we didn’t have to sell it
and we’d probably end up making even more money
in the end. However that wasn’t an option,
because, again, we had no money.
In the end, we had to sell.