“You really are truly breathtaking. Make sure whoever gets to kiss you on New Year’s Eve knows that. Remind them, because they should feel lucky.”
Upon hearing this, I felt my cheeks flush. I felt both seen and called out at the same time.
While I didn’t kiss anyone at midnight with the countdown to the new hope offered by 2021 — a relief, truth be told — I knew I’d been needing this reminder. I’ve spent so much of my time getting accustomed to being taken for granted that it’s alarmingly easy to slip back into that mentality.
I’m a powerhouse, damn it, and this person was right — its special when I let someone get close to me. I’d want us both to feel lucky: it’s got to be a fuck yes. Wouldn’t we all prefer that every kiss, each glance exchanged, and any romantic interlude be electric with fervor?
Too many people settle for less because we’re afraid of loneliness. Passion cannot endure 24/7, but there’s a difference between the normal ebb and flow of daily life and the disintegration of care which embeds itself in relationships that are built on novelty or convenience.
Another friend recently told me that I’m bound for Georgia O’Keefe levels of no-bullshit feminine strength — another useful reminder — and I thought back to my time in the desert. I’ve never felt so at peace as I did then, but I still would’ve preferred a true companion as a bonus.
(So did Georgia; even hermits want love.)
It takes a certain kind of person though, and I’m not truly compatible with many. When it does happen, it’s extraordinary.
In the meantime, I have some new rules for living fully in the realm of personal growth and connection.
An equal partnership can only begin with respect, and people who don’t feel lucky to be with you don’t respect you.
Let them go. They’re not for you, and you’d be better off creating joy in the art of painting barren landscapes.
Marinate in someone else and let them do the same in you. Be whoever the fuck you actually are, because performances always come to an end anyway.
Learn how to find comfort in liminal space.
Some people will want to pry you open just for the thrill of the hunt. Let them starve.
Feel your pain as deeply as you let yourself feel your love; it has at least as much to teach you.
Harvest courage out of that pain.
There is no such thing as the perfect choice.
Say yes to more things.
Kiss someone who feels lucky to be with you; recognize their divinity and you’ll feel lucky too.
Be as real as the Velveteen rabbit.
Don’t put more energy into another person than they’d ever put into you. Your time is precious and better spent on those who would jump at the chance to share it.
You have incredible value as you are right now.
Set aside time to be with yourself.
Hold yourself sacred. Make sure those closest to you do the same for themselves.
Be gentle with yourself.
Allow room in life for grief. We have all lost plenty.
Vulnerability is a goal, not a weakness.
“You haven’t yet opened your heart fully, to life, to each moment. The peaceful warrior’s way is not about invulnerability, but absolute vulnerability — a warrior’s life is not about imagined perfection or victory; it is about love. Love is a warrior’s sword; wherever it cuts, it gives life, not death.”
Lunge forth with your sword in hand and love unabashedly.
Don’t tolerate lukewarm.
Be transparent. It’s genuine and attractive to the right people.
Don’t “someday” your life away.
Now more than ever, everyone on this planet is grasping the importance of a moment, because we will never be able to know how many we have left. Embrace these moments with open arms and appreciate them for whatever they are — don’t focus on what they aren’t or what they could be.
Similarly, don’t think of other people in terms of what they can do for you. That’s a disservice to you both and takes away their ability to truly shine near you.
Don’t fucking lie.
Be okay with changing your mind and your path. Stability does not always look like determination, Sisyphus.
Know your boundaries and enforce them. In doing so, you will empower yourself and lead by example.
Never stop learning.
Look deeply into someone’s eyes and let them gaze back into you.
If you can’t decide, ask yourself if future you will regret not having done the thing. You’ll know.
You are the only authority on your own well-being.
Read that again.
Walk outside with your bare feet and look up at the sky. When you feel the rain kiss your face, remember that the iron in your blood was forged by stars.
Never give someone a shitty hug.
For the love of all that’s sacred, hold each other often and as much as possible.
(But wear your damned mask.)