Summer is on it's way out. The days are ever so slightly shorter and the kids are ever so slightly taller and tanner and more sophisticated than they were three short months ago. Reading. Diaper free. Big boy beds etc.
I feel like something big is supposed to be happening. Huge and exciting and life changing in the best of ways. Some mornings, this feels exciting. Most mornings it feels like I'm just waiting for loved ones to die. For me to age suddenly and then get sick and die myself before my kids.
But then something happens and everything feels OK. Or at least like it's not so full of suck.
Is this what a midlife crisis is? Could be. But as I become more and more of the adult I am the closer I feel to the seventeen year old I once was. That's weird right? But for me, it's a real truth.
This is a long way to say that you should all run to your nearest independent book store and buy TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS by Cheryl Strayed.
She is the advice columnist for The Rumpus and she is wisdom on a stick. She is grace and badassery and like your mom, best friend, inner true self and God all rolled into one on their best day ever. Her advice for every situation is spot on and illuminates what is means to be alive and the tools you need to survive. She uses her own life to connect everyone's life. And that's what great writing always does.
I saw her read at an Upstairs on the Square Event in Union Square. The place was packed, SRO and I was delighted that she was so popular. I had to stand in the mosh pit area and listened while flipping through art books about Courtney Love and the grunge scene in Seattle, French interior design, dragon art, while Cheryl skewered my heart like an olive on a toothpick.
I love her. I needed to hear her that night and read her tonight, and tomorrow, and the night after that.
We all should. So do it!
...And a darling teen writer in Sheboygan won a signed AND THEN THINGS FALL APART. Just for FOLLOWING ME ON TWITTER!
Here's a little life advice from Ms. Strayed:
The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing 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.
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.
There are some things you can’t understand yet. Your life will be a great and continuous unfolding...You will come to know things that can only be known with the wisdom of age and the grace of years. Most of those things will have to do with forgiveness.
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.