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…