I honestly have no idea who reads this blog. Sometimes I forget I have an audience.
Tonight I got an email from an old friend who found me via Google. He says of my blog, "I am impressed, but not surprised. What I am reading is straight out of your heart." Damn. He's right about me. I didn't even know he could be right about me. But now that I know, I'm glad he's right about me...
When I am reminded that people, do in fact, read this blog, my attitude about writing shifts from a mild insecurity to a full blown fear. Because the way you write affects how people react to you. And even though Reverend Run (of former Run DMC fame) says you should live your life as an open book if you can set a good example, I'm not really sure what kind of example I'm setting. So I don't know how open my book should be.
What I do know, is that with this new mood of total disclosure comes an unintended consequence: worry. And what I know even more than that is that I hate when people worry about me. I've worked my whole life so that nobody, including me, has to worry about me...So do me a favor. Keep reading, but don't worry about me.
Matter of fact, hope for me. Pray for me. Wish good upon me. Just don't WORRY about me.
Last week, I got another really nice email from someone who has began reading this blog. My favorite part was the part that said, "I'm excited about you"...You know how you read something, and you just know it in your bones to be true? Well, I read that sentence over and over. It made me smile.
I needed that smile. There are times when smiling is just as difficult as it seems.
Since Sean passed, things have been different for me. I notice things. Like how long it takes someone to respond to a text message, or how many gray hairs I have--even though they're hereditary. It is both a beautiful and awful way to live your life. Wanting everything, noticing everything, being affected by everything.
I am not in the best place emotionally. Losing someone to suicide is a very peculiar kind of loss. It makes you defensive. It makes you worry about the wrong things, like your parents dying while they're traveling on business. And because you're hurting, you give people access. Access makes it easier for people to disappoint you. Sadly, there will be people who inevitably disappoint you.
The most beneficial effect of this kind of tragedy, however, is that it makes you redefine happiness in a way that preserves your own mental health. Like tonight, when I was filling out one of those goofy surveys on Facebook. The question was, 'Are you happy with your life right now?" and while I used to be able to respond with 'HELL YEAH!' Tonight, my response was a more accurate: 'The truth is I'm happy, until I'm not."
It's just that simple, folks.
I do OK on most days. Until I remember that I'm trying to forget a thing that was probably the most special thing I have ever had in my life. Then I lose it. Losing it reminds me of this article I read that included a conversation between a professor and a twenty-something student. "Your problem," the professor says, "is that you haven't figured out you're going to live for a very long time."
You know how you read something and you just know it in your bones to be true? Well, I read that sentence over and over. It made me smile.
And there are times when smiling is just as difficult as it seems.