And here, I am, smiling through tears, figuring things out, slowly but surely.
I keep repeating this to myself when I feel myself slipping into that simmering, muted panic: a silent terror that everything that keeps my identity intact is gone, and that bit by bit, I’m turning into a stranger. Sometimes it feels even scarier than that: it’s as though I’m slowly erasing myself out of the life I’m accustomed to, and soon I won’t be anyone at all anymore. I miss being sure of who I am, and what I mean to the people I love, and I have a really hard time keeping faith in myself and what I’m doing. Shouldn’t it be the opposite? Shouldn’t I feel built up, enriched, strengthened? Perhaps, with time. With patience. Doucement, doucement, we’ll say. Schwiya, schwiya.
It’s so much easier to become disheartened here, because I still haven’t mastered the art of allowing myself to be me without judgment. If the above paragraph sounds a little crazy, well, okay. Sometimes we all get a little crazy. I just read an e-mail from a friend and felt as though I’d just released a breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding; as though I could suddenly remember what it feels like to have my feet on the ground again. It left me in one of those laugh and cry at the same time sort of moods, so I turned on some old Motown favorites and remembered how lucky I am to have friends who are so unapologetically wonderful—and who remind me that I can be that way too. She said a lot of wonderful things, like this:
Know that everyone you’ve ever looked up to has also felt stupid and clumsy and lonely before, too. Be gentle. Be you. You are doing something good by being there, because YOU are good.
Keep it real, friends. Keep faith. Second thing, before I fall asleep:
Remember the Ramblin’ Years? Yeah. Just spread love. It’s simpler than you think it is.
(To all ye non-SU readers: we were a band that Sean started as a Battle of the Bands side-project last year, and it unexpectedly turned into something special. It was just one of those things. Ya know. E-mail me if you want a link to the video, firstname.lastname@example.org!)
The four of us, scattered across the world, have been catching up via group messages that have reminded me how easy and important it is to spread love. Why be detatched and aloof, as I fear I can be sometimes? Why be afraid of being only human? Remember the good times, the good people, and the music that you feel way down in your bones. It isn’t so hard after all.
That’s all I got today, folks. So, in true Moroccan fashion (Moroccans love Bob Marley, it’s kind of hilarious. Every live band in any bar in this entire country knows at least one Bob Marley song), I leave you with this song.
Keep faith, spread love.