Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I Want You to Know Everything

Dear Boys,

I want you to know everything. Or at least everything that I know, which is far from everything, but it is more everything than you know, even though you're convinced you know everything.

1. It's okay to want something. Not stuff, but something that suddenly and momentarily reveals your meaning of life. Yes, there is danger in wanting something because:

     a. you might have to work for it
     b. you might not get it right away
     c. you might not get it at all

I promise you this, going for what you want and getting what you want will never look the way you thought, but the pursuit is oxygen and sustenance and defining. (This is basically my Oscar speech, which could still happen).

2. It's okay to give a shit about something(s). People. People and somethings. Yes, there is danger in giving a shit. Caring about stuff is a big old sloppy mess. It is thrilling, and panic-inducing, and gut-wrenching, and has the potential to beget great joy as well us ugly, snot pouring from your nose sobbing. Not caring is even more dangerous; easier for sure, but the risk of becoming a Cylon is too great. Remember the heart is a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. Don't settle for a flabby heart. Don't be a Cylon. Give a shit.

3. It's okay to fail. Not just okay, it's inevitable. You will fail. More than many times. Failure is not bad, it is just a universal truth. Don't fear it, be curious about it, welcome it, become friends with it. Suffice to say, how you embrace failure will determine your own unexpected path to what is possible next. I've already failed 34 different ways in writing this paragraph.

4. Bad things are going to happen. Most of them are beyond your control. For the ones that aren't, be a human being: own them, apologize for them, learn from them. Bad things happening will make you feel sucky to varying degrees from being kind of a bummer to the aforementioned snot pouring from your nose sobbing. It's okay to feel bad. It won't last forever, and when it doesn't, it's okay to feel good again. Han Solo is going to die, but two years later Episode VIII will be released.

5. It's okay to ask for help. It's imperative to ask for help. Not asking for help is not a sign of strength, it is stubbornness, and shyness, and fear of the truth being found out. You know, that truth that you don't know everything? Because you don't. Some people know more things than you. And you know more things than other people. Everybody needs help, but only the strong ones ask for it. Batman needs Alfred, Sherlock needs Watson, Jason Bourne needs....never mind.

6. Know your audience. Be who you are, but know your audience. They matter as much as you, and more so when they disagree with you. You are not perfect. That doesn't mean you're wrong, it just means that other people can be right too, and it is ok to allow yourself to be altered. Pay attention to Atticus Finch's advice and walk in another man's shoes.

7. Read To Kill a Mockingbird.

8. Keep laughing. Life is absurd. Take it seriously enough, but not too much. Most importantly, laugh at yourself. We are all ridiculous and lovely. Laugh with not at. And always remember, comedy comes in threes; I don't care about A's and B's, but do not violate the rule of threes.

9. It is not your responsibility to make people happy. Be the hand on their back, the shoulder for their tears, the listener they deserve, and the truth they need to hear. Let their happiness be their achievement.

10. Do what needs to be done, not just what's good enough. Not because it will get you fame and fortune but because that is the only way to live.

11. And now in rapid succession:

  • Do not get emotionally involved with other drivers
  • Put the seat down every time
  • Give someone a sincere compliment every day
  • Don't leave your whiskers in the sink
  • Never let your bank account get to zero
  • Be illogical sometimes
  • Go to a movie by yourself in the afternoon
  • Never swim in the ocean alone
  • Make your bed, you'll appreciate it it at bedtime
  • Don't be a loud eater
  • Let other people talk sometimes
  • It's ok to eat a donut
  • Try new things
  • Say excuse me every time you burp

12. I will always worry about you. Even when nothing is wrong, I will worry. It is never because I don't believe in you, it is because I give a shit about you. You are not responsible for my worry, that is my shiny medal to show off. It will make me say and do stupid things (reference 1-11 above). It is part of the privilege of love; and in its purest form, it is a true indicator that we are alive.

13. Appreciate the past, look forward to the future, but live in the moment.

14. This list will never be complete.

15. Never get rid of my VHS of the original Star Wars: A New Hope. I saved the best for last.