Open Letter to Marc Maron (Day 17)

But I’m going to be blatantly Pollyanna and say it also means bad things end, and good things get even better or just change into a different version of a good thing. Nothing’s ever in stasis, is it? No matter how stuck we feel. Hmmm, so maybe that’s the only thing we can count on as being true forever? Everything changes eventually.

I’m not sure what to write about today, how to follow up on change and forever and stasis. It’s all been said, right? I can’t think of a single jumping off point that doesn’t feel like beating a dead horse. I can tell you that I went to see Inherent Vice today and I didn’t hate it exactly but I also almost fell asleep a few times during it. I love Joaquin Phoenix and I appreciate P.T. Anderson’s work, and I’ve adored Josh Brolin since The Goonies, but I just couldn’t find my way into this film. I felt bad because I really really wanted to like it. I didn’t want to keep getting distracted thinking about what it would be like to make out with Joaquin. What it would be like to date him, hold his hand. I mean he’s nuts, right? Super talented and super nuts. And I can’t quite decide if that would be exhausting or exhilarating.

And I’m wandering to the bus stop in a delightful winy haze (yes, it was an 11:40 movie, yes I got popcorn and wine anyway CAUSE I’M ON VACATION, DAMNIT!) daydreaming about holding Joaquin’s hand and trying damned hard not to notice how lonely I am. Not friend lonely. Not person to have breakfast before work with lonely or friends to laugh with at the office lonely or some place to go for the holidays lonely. It’s someone to kiss lonely, someone to hold my hand lonely, someone who just wants to stick his nose in my neck and take a good sniff lonely.

I don’t mind being alone, but I do mind being untouched. I do mind the day to day hunger for someone else’s skin next to mine. I’ve been celibate for more than a decade now. I’m a little ashamed to even type that as if it’s some badge of defectiveness. But really, I stopped sleeping around because I couldn’t quite play by the rules of the one night stand (I always wanted to have breakfast the next morning), and, you know, with the faulty narrative of the pitch lake sloshing around inside me, I never was able to have an actual relationship. I always thought—oh, when I lose weight I’ll get a boyfriend. Nope! When I go out more, I’ll get a boyfriend. Nope! If I stop mean-mugging when I walk down the street and actually smile more, I’ll get a boyfriend. Nope! When I learn to love myself and treasure my alone time, I’ll get a boyfriend. Nope! I’d like to think the pitch lake is all but drained at this point and still, here I am on my couch. Alone. Being a little too fond of how soft the blue velvet couch and squishy gray blanket are against my skin.

Intellectually, I know how precious my freedom is. I can make plans without consulting anyone, change my mind at the last minute, live like an utter slob, eat cheese and crackers for dinner every night for a week if I want, go weeks without doing laundry, you know, live the perfect bachelor lifestyle. I love being (romantically) alone—except for those aching moments when I don’t.

What I want more than anything is to find someone who I love being with even more than I love being alone. Who won’t pull away when I rub the small of his back. Who’ll understand why I hate talking on the phone cause he’s read every single thing there is to read on outgoing introverts and send me e-mails that make me giggle instead. I know that when it comes to relationships, I’m difficult, ping ponging between a wide-open heart and prickliness, affection and sometimes (God help me) outright disdain. I always envisioned that I’d meet someone who’d see right through me and when I got to the part where I tried to run away cause I was overwhelmed by all the vulnerability and responsibility of loving someone, he’d just kind of hold on to me while I ran in place, windmilling my legs like some they do in cartoons, till I ran some sense into myself.

But maybe the fact that I’m yearning after Joaquin Phoenix, who I’m just going to go ahead and stereotype as the wild-eyed difficult artist type means deep down I don’t actually want anyone. I’m not exactly daydreaming about the settle down and have a quiet life guy next door, am I? Or maybe it means that I’m looking for someone who seems like he’s like me, at least the me I am when the filter’s down and I’m having a hard time doing all those socially acceptable things one is supposed to do? Or maybe it doesn’t mean anything at all except I was lonely and there Joaquin was 20 feet high on the screen and looking deeply kissable? Maybe it means—though good Christian women who are trying to work on their relationship with God aren’t supposed to feel this way—maybe it means I just need to get laid. Sigh…

To be continued…

Open Letter to Marc Maron (Day 16)

…Why does it feel more disheartening to be thought of as old (or not young) than it is to be thought of as fat or not very intelligent?

I’ve been starting each day with the last few lines of the day before in order to give this project some continuity but most days it doesn’t work because my brain has moved on to the next thing. At least for now. I circle round and round the same obsessions so it stands to reason over 30 days I’ll trace and retrace the same emotional circles. I think every artist has an obsession or two in their work though they never might articulate it as such. What’s hard is exploring those obsessions in one’s art practice without starting from square one with those emotional things in one’s actual life. I think I’ve moved forward from a lot of the things I write about, but there’s still more to mine there. So am I stuck, or am I just thorough?

Yesterday I fell too deep into myself, which happens sometimes. I probably should’ve expected that after a week of being social, being out of my regular routine, that I would introvert hardcore. And that’s good if there’s some sort of movement going on—I’m going to lunch (or in the case of yesterday, I should have gone to church), or I’m walking up and down my apartment thinking and doing bits and pieces of the things I want to get done. It’s meditative and I can usually push myself forward over some hurdle—emotional, spiritual, professional—by at least a centimeter. But every once in a while I choose instead to spend the day on the couch, which starts out okay but ends with me way deep inside my head feeling heavy with stuck-ness, with emotional inertia, which is the perfect stage for all of my insecurities to flounce across, preening and parading, and sticking their dumb selves in my face. Which is not to say I shouldn’t sit on the couch ever and let myself just watch TV and dream, but there are certain times when I’m tiptoeing around an ice rink of depression that it’s just better for me not to linger there. And I think I always know when I’m at that place, but I don’t always listen to myself. Yesterday I pretty much talked myself out of going to church, which was stupid cause clearly the me that actually knows how to take care of myself (she lives quietly somewhere in the center of my gut and passes her days knitting and daydreaming and sending secret mind messages to Josh Groban and Michael Fassbender) was trying to force me into having some human contact so I wouldn’t spiral down.

I did finally fight my way out of it and by the time I went to bed last night I no longer believed I’d never get to a healthy weight at which I was comfortable, that I would die alone without friends, that I hadn’t ever done a damned thing that mattered, or that I was—when you added up my sum total—merely an insignificant, depressive speck. I don’t expect that I will ever stop having depressive episodes. The same brain that works itself into a let’s-go-jump-off-a-cliff-so-the-negative-chatter-will-stop frenzy is also the same brain that fills me with empathy and love and the courage to keep that damned pen moving across that damned blank page. In other words, I think part of my depression comes from letting too much in, but it’s all that stuff that comes in that gets filtered into poetry. So I’m not sure I exactly want to fix my brain.*

What I do want, and what I actually have gained through lots of thinking and lots of practice over time, is perspective. As much as I was weighted down with darkness yesterday, I knew from experience, that just doing one little thing different would put me back in balance. So I forced myself to take a shower and changed into fresh pajamas and washed the dishes. And at first it felt a little like slogging through molasses but little by little I felt my regular rhythm start to come back. I have the perspective now to know that even though I can sometimes feel emotionally squashed, squished, and outright pulverized, I just have to grit my teeth through it cause it’s not forever. I think that’s an important life thing to realize—nothing’s forever. Which we often think of as being a sad fact, cause we tend to think only of good things ending. But I’m going to be blatantly Pollyanna and say it also means bad things end, and good things get even better or just change into a different version of a good thing. Nothing’s ever in stasis, is it? No matter how stuck we feel. Hmmm, so maybe that’s the only thing we can count on as being true forever? Everything changes eventually.

To be continued…

*PS Don’t freak out people, I am going back to therapy soon and have two bonafide recs from my doctor.

Open Letter to Marc Maron (Day 15)

I should add that one of my brilliant things is making lists. But that one’s fairly obvious, isn’t it? As is, perhaps, that my heart isn’t quite in this right now. But you have to push through. We’re all phoenixing through our lives more times than we want to admit.

I mentioned earlier that I’m newly 45. For the most part, I wear my age lightly, though I perhaps work too hard to work it into the conversation when I first meet someone. I’m grateful to look young, but I do want to be taken seriously for the decades of life experience I have. I know being a wunderkind is all the rage these days, but perhaps it’s the Gen Xer in me, but I still think experience and battle scars count for a lot. The reason my age is on my mind is because today, as I was hoisting myself off the blue couch after a particularly lovely afternoon nap, I felt my age. I actually felt the weight of every single day of the last 45 years (16, 425 days to be exact) pooling in my lap as I tried to stand. It’s not that anything particularly hurt—though I seem to have already developed arthritis in my back—I just felt old.

I did a performance this morning–a reprise of a #blacklivesmatter piece comprising four poems woven together with a song—for a university audience, to kick-off a teach-in with students and some faculty on race and social justice. There were three performance poets on the bill—young, dynamic, strong writers. And there was me, and an acclaimed playwright who I’d once studied with and who’s in her 60s, I’d guess. Like most page poets, I didn’t memorize my poems, and the cadence was much slower and not quite as ferocious as the younger performers. As I performed, I became keenly aware that, given the average age in the room, some of the students might not have recognized the song I was singing (Wade in the Water) or known any of the references in my poems. And while I’m sure they’d all studied poetry in their English classes, I wondered how many of them had been to a traditional poetry reading. And I realized that they just might not be moved by my work not because of the quality of my writing or because they don’t like poetry but simply because I’m decades older than them and they can’t relate.

I freely confess that I, like many middle-aged people, gripe about twenty-somethings all the time and how we couldn’t possibly have anything in common and they can’t possibly understand and blah blah blah. But it’s one thing for me to think they’re too young for me to bother with, quite another for them to think I’m a dinosaur. This is all conjecture, of course, and there could have been kids in that room that were deeply moved by my work or got something out of it. I think maybe what I’m really thinking about is that deep ego blow when you realize that despite the fact that you feel young, and you look young, you really aren’t. It’s not that I’m old, but, still I’m not young. And while I agree that youth is a state of mind, it’s not actually a state of mind that anyone else has to share with me (and about me) if they don’t want to.

Why does it feel more disheartening to be thought of as old (or “not young” than it is to be thought of as fat or not very intelligent?

To be continued…

Open Letter to Marc Maron (Day 14)

Maybe tomorrow I’ll write a list of what I need to let go of… maybe… cause who doesn’t love a letter that suddenly turns into a listicle?

Clearly what I’ve let go of is the need to write this letter. Okay, that’s not true. (Not much difference between a poet and a liar, I’m afraid.) I’ve been on vacation, too busy eagerly awaiting turn-down service to write. And spending time having these conversations out loud with actual human beings and not via a keyboard. I saw a play on Wednesday—Every Brilliant Thing—a one-man show about a son dealing with his mother’s suicidal depression and then his own collateral-damage depression. The drumbeat throughout the show was a list of brilliant things—things both ephemeral and physical that filled him with wonder and reminded him that life was worth living. I think that’s why I’m such a magpie—at home, in my cubicle at work. I need to inhabit a life-sized cabinet of wonder and curiosities that I can hang onto when I find myself listing toward despair. Despair that the narratives I tell myself refuse to tie-up neatly with a curlicued “The End.” Or perhaps, it’s less about tying up a single narrative and more about remembering that there are other narratives, not just the one my parents wrote into me. In the show, our loveable British hero (who had several of us close to tears including one young woman who was sobbing as we all filed out of the theater) penned his list up to 1,000,000. I can offer you this by no means definitive and only-a-starting-place list of 20:

Every Brilliant Thing

1. My sister’s smile

2. Photographs of my sister as a child

3. Virginia’s Woolf

4. the sound of rain late at night and in the early morning

5. the silence when you wake up before dawn and no one else is awake yet and it feels like the whole word belongs to you

6. laughter

7. French vanilla ice cream

8. that scene in Inspector Lewis “A Life Born of Fire” when Sargent Hathaway first kisses Zoe Kenneth

9. “Feel Like Making Love” by Bad Company

10. Maxim Vengerov’s interpretation of the cadenza in Tchiakovy’s Violin Concerto in D

11. when you make yourself giggle writing a status update on Facebook

12. the look on my brother Raul’s face when I make him laugh

13. how soft and drapy my favorite gray blanket is

14. that deep blue the sky goes at night right before it turns black

15. seeing the constellation Orion overhead

16. when the moon is still risen in the day time

17, Fage Greek yogurt

18. people who hold on to you with their entire bodies when they give you a hug

19. replicas of the Eiffel Tower

20. Michael Fassbender’s toothy smile

I should add that one of my brilliant things is making lists. But that one’s fairly obvious, isn’t it. As is, perhaps, that my heart isn’t quite in this right now. But you have to push through. We’re all phoenixing through our lives more times than we want to admit.

Open Letter to Marc Maron (Day 13)

…(Hmmm, have you ever made a list of what you need to be happy?)

Today I was re-reading an interview with the late actor Taylor Negron in which he said, “By letting go of what you thought was going to happen in your life, you can enjoy what is actually happening.” It made me realize my happiness list needs a #11: To be able to let go.

No one likes to give up, to feel like they’ve been defeated, but I don’t think that’s what letting go is. Letting go is more like shedding a skin (a situation/a goal/a desire) that just doesn’t fit anymore. Letting go is a phrase ripe with possibility; if you let go your hands are free to be refilled. My Pastor says (and you can see it throughout the Bible) that God never asks you to sacrifice anything without giving you something better in its place and I truly believe that, even if the “better” is simply a new perspective on a situation.

I’m working on letting go of having natural children, of getting married, of having a big publishing career with a huge readership. I realize this is the kind of thing that causes people to start patting your arm and telling cheery stories about their friend who didn’t get X until they were 50 or 60 or one foot in the grave. But letting go isn’t to me the same as giving up. For one, it’s an acknowledgement that there are just many things that are out of my hands. Letting go is also a bone-deep acceptance that not having those things–marriage, kids, whatever your thing is–may be disappointing and even, sometimes, heartbreaking, but there’s no checklist for a happy life that says you have to have all or any of those thing. I mean, as far as I can see, I don’t actually need any of those things to be happy and, quite honestly, I’ve been doing pretty well without them. Maybe tomorrow I’ll write a better list of what I need to let go of… maybe… cause who doesn’t love a letter that suddenly turns into a listicle?

To be continued…

Open Letter to Marc Maron (Day 12)

… I’ve stopped looking at disappointment as an inevitable downswing triggered by happiness and have come to understand that sometimes disappointment follows happiness not because I don’t deserve happiness but because life is ups and downs, and we have limited control of when those ups and downs fall. The relationship between happiness and disappointment is not one of causality; they merely throw each other into relief.

My friend sent me this link to a teaching her church did on happiness. It includes a list Pope Francis made of ten things that we need for happiness. So I thought I’d share my own list of what I think I need to be happy. I am, of course, a little terrified. What if I list the wrong things and appear shallow? What if I forget the most important things? But I’m going to go with the theory that this isn’t an exhaustive list nor is it written in stone. It’s just the 10 things I can think of right now at 8:29 pm Eastern time on Tuesday, January 13.

What I Need to Be Happy

Time by myself on a regular basis. While I’m a particularly social introvert, I’m an introvert nonetheless. And I need alone time to recharge.

Time by myself without an agenda. See reason #1. Also, so much of my life is about output and schedules and what I have to do, that it starts to feel oppressive. I think it’s part of my hidden perfectionism. (I say hidden cause I continually tell everyone I’m a slacker, and far too many people are like, uhm, you’re actually a perfectionist. Sigh…) And I can make myself crazy trying to hit all the deadlines and follow all the rules and arrive places on time because my natural state is chaos. So I guess actually #2 should be I need time by myself to just be chaotic.

A room of my own. Are you sensing a trend? I’m a nester. Always have been, always will be. I’m grateful to have a whole big apartment to myself filled with books and “my treasures,” but even if I really only did have a bedroom, I’d need to feather that one-bedroom into my own safe little nest.

To be able to put things in perspective. It’s not about being a Pollyanna or always seeing the silver lining. It’s just about right-sizing things. It’s easier to be happy when you’re not letting yourself be overwhelmed by all of the overwhelming stuff.

To feel connected to people. Not in a barnacle on a boat kind of way, though some times that’s nice though eventually that comes into conflict with #1. But just having a general sense that I’m loved and cared for. That there are people in my life with whom I share a love of Benedict Cumberbatch, for example, or emotional and physical DNA, or a deep understanding of what it was like to attend a soccer party at BU between 1987 and 1991. I’m being a little flip with my examples but the point is that I need to affirm that the pitch lake doesn’t exist inside me, that I am someone people want to hang out with and on those days when I can’t find anyone to hang out with it’s about circumstance and not about who I am as a person.

To laugh every day. There’s nothing like laughter to put things in perspective and/or to help you feel connected.

To write. In my journal. Poems. Lists. Texts to my sister. Just to somehow put language around whatever I’m experiencing. And as a corollary, to read.

A relationship with God. This list is not in priority order but if it were, this would be at the top. I know, I know, religion is the opiate of the masses. But really, if you’re looking to be anesthesized through a relationship with God, then you’re not doing it right. Because it’s about relationship not religion. It’s about having that one friend who never ever ever EVER lets you down. And that’s something.

Money. I don’t need to be a millionaire, but anyone who says money isn’t important is lying. It’s not just about buying stuff for myself, though I do enjoy that—at the most basic level (rent and groceries) and at the indulgent level (a million different types of mascara till I find one I love, more art to hang on the wall). But it’s about being able to support my local theater company, to treat a friend to dinner, to buy people I love gifts that will delight them, to help out my mom.

To make a difference in someone’s life. I don’t think I’ll cure cancer, and I may never have a wide readership as a poet. But if one person gets something out of something I’ve written, or if I make a stranger smile because I compliment her outfit, or if I help a friend get an interview for a job or if I make someone laugh or as the poet Karen Craigo put it on her blog today, if I practice “focused kindness,” then what’s better than that?

Open Letter to Marc Maron (Day 11)

In other words, I had a very happy day.

The other week you told Melanie Lynskey, “I don’t know if I’m happier but I’m older.” Why are you afraid to be happy? And why do I feel like I have to justify having the exact kind of day that makes me happy? I understand why happiness scares me. It’s still that kid protecting herself. Childhood happiness meant exuberance, an explosion of all that joyous energy that kids are expert in. It generally only lasted a moment, however, before I got told, “Don’t get carried away.”

And then there were those times that I thought I should be happy—I earned one of the lead roles in my high school’s production of Guys and Dolls or I was accepted to every college I applied to or I was in the top 10 of the 746 students I went to high school with. But when those moments were met with a “meh” or scant acknowledgement, I was plunged into disappointment. So not only did I learn to associate happiness with disappointment, but I learned to mistrust happiness and to not think I deserve it. Happiness became a quagmire of, “What’s the right way to respond?” with the underlying fear that no matter what I just wouldn’t solve for the right answer.

And perhaps that’s what you were talking about with Melanie Lynskey. It’s hard to have perspective on happiness for those of us for whom it’s a little bit of a shape shifter. But as I’ve grown older I’ve grown more comfortable with the idea of it. I will even admit to joy, which I think of as even deeper than happiness, a sort of bone-deep contentment and perspective even in the midst of struggle. I can revel in happiness and feel safe. I’ve stopped looking at disappointment as an inevitable downswing triggered by happiness and have come to understand that sometimes disappointment follows happiness not because I don’t deserve happiness but because life is ups and downs, and we have limited control of when those ups and downs fall. The relationship between happiness and disappointment is not one of causality; they merely throw each other into relief.

To be continued…

Open Letter to Marc Maron (Day 10)

….I think maybe that it might not even be because you or I are particularly broken—though we are broken in a particular way. For all of us, maybe, there’s some lesson we need to learn over and over again and maybe we are still learning even as we transition to the next life. What do you think?

I don’t know what to write next. And really what I want to do most right now is make a cup of decaf, pop some popcorn, and then lose myself in a movie. Today I read most of Michael Cunningham’s Land’s End: A Walk in Provincetown. And I watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. And I washed dishes. And I figured out that if I didn’t do laundry tomorrow—a chore I’ve put off now for a couple of weeks—I would have absolutely no clean clothes to take to New York next week. I also texted my sister a bunch of times to wish her happy birthday. I also put a bunch of silly things on Facebook to make my sister laugh. I fixed my shredder and did some filing and picked all the clothes off the floor and hung them in my closet though I’ve yet to do anything about changing the flickering lightbulb in said closet.

I didn’t call my stepmother. I didn’t figure out what to wear to my father’s memorial service next weekend. I didn’t shower. I didn’t count calories (Greek fries and chicken wings from my favorite take-out place were on the menu), I didn’t exercise (most likely cause I’m ashamed that I’m so out of shape that a 30 minute walking tape sets me panting). I didn’t comb my hair though that could probably be inferred by the whole not showering. I didn’t do one single thing that I didn’t want to do with my whole heart.

In other words, I had a very happy day.

The other week you told Melanie Lynskey, “I don’t know if I’m happier but I’m older.” Why are you afraid to be happy? And why do I feel like I have to justify having the exact kind of day that makes me happy.

To be continued…

Open Letter to Marc Maron (Day 9)

…. And today, as I start year 45, I’m profoundly grateful that I’ve found some quality people to connect to, people who—to borrow from Colin Firth in Bridget Jones’ Diary because, well, Colin Firth—like me just as I am. And that is both glorious as hell and profoundly uncomfortable, don’t you think Marc?

(I wrote that last bit when I got home from my birthday revels last night, which consisted of tapas, two margaritas, and a solo shot of tequila for sipping. Which isn’t to say I was drunk. Or tipsy. But things were a little shaky moving from the couch to my desk and so forth.)

I’m thinking about what I mean by the fact that being loved “just as I am” can be profoundly uncomfortable. What is so scary about someone loving us even with all our flaws intact? Is it that if they accept us no matter what we don’t have an excuse to escape when feelings get too intense? Is the fact that knowing that someone accepts my flaws can be a catalyst to work on them problematic because my perfectionism kicks in and I live in constant fear of disappointing them even though I’ve already established that they’re going to love me anyway? There’s some sort of pressure I feel with close relationships that I can’t quite explain or articulate. When I feel myself getting close to a person, it can feel like a vise closing, like asthma attacking my lungs.

I want to write this in the past tense—when I felt myself getting close to a person—and I do think that feeling has grown more muted over the years, but there are definitely times when a maelstrom of doubt rises up regarding whether even my closest friends really care for me, and, of course, I’m always the bad guy. “It’s because I said that thing at breakfast.” “It’s because I didn’t go to that party.” “It’s because I told that joke.”

That doubt, that overdeveloped willingness to take the blame—isn’t that how I survived childhood?—has led me to cling on to some very toxic friendships. I’d blame myself for all the bad feelings, all the bad times, and keep hold of them and never notice how that person was undermining me, never supporting me, never going out of their way for me. Which I’ve slowly and painstakingly had to learn is what a normal relationship is like. I’ve also slowly and painstakingly had to learn that even the most devoted friend can’t show up every single time. And that’s also what a normal relationship is like.

I say “had to learn” but the truth is I’m re-teaching myself that lesson more days than I’d like. You asked once on air why you always seem to have to relearn the same shit. My answer? Just because. I think maybe that it might not even be because you or I are particularly broken—though we are broken in a particular way. For all of us, maybe, there’s some lesson we need to learn over and over again and maybe we are still learning even as we transition to the next life. What do you think?

To be continued…

Open Letter to Marc Maron (Day 8/Birthday Edition)

“He likes me yes/no more than that. The one he really loves/is you.” “I’m the one he’ll leave after a while/I’m the girl.” I suffered. Which was all I knew about love. All I’d been taught.

That last sentence is incomplete. It should say “All I’d been taught up to that point.” Cause I’ve learned a lot about love since then. Like that I deserve it. And there are people willing to give it to me no strings attached. Today’s my birthday. And one of my favorite parts of birthdays is reading well wishes on Facebook. While I realize that not every one of my Facebook friends is a capital F friend for life, I can say that for the most part every single person who wished me happy birthday has touched me in some way, and I’ve, hopefully, touched them in some way. (Get your mind out of the gutter Maron!)

Which is to say that while a lot of this letter, well, all of this letter to this point has been about damage done, I also know, without a fact, that that damage can be transcended. Though the giving and receiving of love can be a tricky terrain to navigate for me, I’ve somehow managed it. I’m much better at it now than I was 30 years ago, but even so, I have close friends still from high school, from college, so I must have figured out a way to push past the damage even back then. Not consistently, not perfectly, but enough.

And I think that’s the heart of why this open letter is to you. Not because I think you’ll read it, or mention it on the air (though c’mon, let’s be real, I surely wouldn’t object if you did) but because that’s what you consistently show in your podcast. That we can be damaged as all heck and still manage to connect. And that we can push through our anger and bewilderment and areas in which our emotional growth is stunted and honest-to-God connect to other human beings. The one thing we weren’t taught to do by our parents is something we can actually figure out for ourselves no matter how often we get in our own way, stumble over our own tongues, try to sabotage ourselves. We may not have been taught to connect, but that urge is always present. And today, as I start year 45, I’m profoundly grateful that I’ve found some quality people to connect to, people who—to borrow from Colin Firth in Bridget Jones’ Diary because, well, Colin Firth—like us just as we are. And that is both glorious as hell and profoundly uncomfortable, don’t you think Marc?

To be continued…

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