1. There are people out there who want to make things better. Who want to change things for the better. Who are interested in helping even when the problem doesn’t directly impact them. Who aren’t solely dedicated to only self-preservation, to what’s good for them, to their own bubble. There are people out there who aren’t concerned with facing uncomfortable scenarios and things that are hard and things that feel completely fucked and unfixable. There’s a famous Mr. Rodgers quote about always looking for the helpers, because you can always find people who are helping. There are people out there who are helpers. There are people out there who want to fix things. You can always look for the helpers.
2. One of my favorite quotes by a comedian is that if she shits herself on stage she can always move back to North Carolina and start a new life. While I have never shit myself on a stage, I take great comfort in the fact that if everything goes to hell I can always move back to Montana (or Maine, or Portland, or Arizona, or really anywhere) and start a new life. I do not have to stay anywhere, I do not have to be anyone, I do not have to have any sort of life just because I’ve had it before. If I want to go live in the middle of nowhere, if I want to move to New York, I can do that. If you shit yourself on stage, if everything falls apart, you can go somewhere new and build something new. You can always rebuild from ruin.
3. There’s something profoundly motivating about trying to be a better person for my dog. She already thinks I’m…the world. That I’m the best thing to ever happen. And even though I’m not and I’ve kicked her off the bed, forgotten to feed her, not taken her for a long enough walk because it’s raining, or just been…human, I guess, she still looks at me and sees the world. I’m never going to be as good as she thinks I am, but I can try. We don’t deserve dogs and she definitely deserves more than me, but I can try and be that thing she deserves. I can try and be the thing she already looks at me and sees.
4. Eventually, about anything you can think of, no one will care. Like Scaachi Koul says, “One day we’ll all be dead and none of this will matter.” But time is honestly a powerful thing. Eventually, the thing, the person, the memory, the breakup, the words, the moment that you thought would haunt you forever is nothing more than a blip on your radar. If that. Eventually, the thing that used to make someone hate you won’t even register to them. Eventually, things that feel so in your face right now will barely matter. Eventually, no one cares. Everything can fade and become distant and unimportant with enough time.
5. The other night while we were sleeping I woke up to you pulling at me. Not hard, not demanding, just little tugs on my waistband that seemed to say, “This way. Just come over here.” I thought you were still asleep so I just quietly obliged, rolling over, holding you after I met you in the middle of the bed. The next morning when I mentioned it off the cuff assuming it was something you did randomly while half-asleep, probably dreaming of something else, and you looked at me and said, “Oh yeah I do that every night. Most of the time you don’t wake up but you always come over and hold me.” And maybe it’s silly to make this a metaphor about something to hold close, about a memory worth saving, but if you want me to hold onto you, I will. And that’s something that I, in turn, can hold onto for myself. The notion that we can meet in the middle, that we will be there whether we’re aware of it or not to hold onto each other.
6. The worst day of your life already happened. Yes—there may be a day that is worse that is still to come. A day that will knock you on your ass, take the wind straight from you, be the sort of day that feels like attempting to walk through a hurricane it is so mind-numbingly difficult. But that is a day that will also end. Good days, bad days, amazing days, horrendous days, euphoric days, days that you never want to end and days that you need to be over immediately will all end. No day is forever. And after it happens it’s done. Your bad days will end, the bad times will end, and then you get to start all over again. You can always start all over again.