Once upon a time, I spent the last month in San Francisco as a nanny. Good, good. First time I lived out of state, ever. I guess this should have made some kind of impression on me, but really I feel like I’m just in shock that I’m home again. I spent the greater part of June/July feeling nervous that this was my last day, and I wouldn’t even die near my home or with my family.
I appreciate that for others, a quick jaunt to the beach for a month wouldn’t be a really big deal. But for me, it was. Maney, you think, you sound like you were sent to fight in a war. But you forget, dear Reader, that for people with anxiety/depression/PTSD, every day is a battle against yourself and the world. It’s exhausting. I reiterate Seneca’s words: “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” (This is something I tell myself on bad days.)
So the lesson I learned in San Francisco wasn’t very grand. Kind of boring really, and definitely oblique. And frankly, I don’t even know if I’m right. But over all those hours and days and weeks of fighting to live and love and just exist, I found that when we go, we only have one thing left on this earth. We only have the good and bad things we did that affect those who live on. The letters we wrote, the hugs we gave, the insults we shouted, the isolated days we folded our arms and hid ourselves. And maybe those stupid, stupid things we said are all that get remembered. One of the brightest quotes in my memory of my best friend is “No one cares if you blow your nose.” How could he have known?
Hate cankers the soul, Readers. If this is your last day, I hope you show someone how much they mean to you. Even if you’re quiet about it, at least recognize the beautiful change within your own heart. Tell yourself that you can love, and just keep choosing to love everyday. Notice your gift.
And share it.
In closing, this is a song about love that I think is just really pretty. (Mat Kearney covers “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen.)