Last Wednesday evening I received a Facebook event invitation to an Audrie Potts’ Remembrance Day at Saratoga High. I glanced briefly at the description of the event and read the words “passed away.” No one ever really likes to use the word “suicide.”
I wore teal last Friday but said nothing about it to anyone. I didn’t even have class that day. I won’t pretend to have been touched by Audrie’s death or claim that she had potential or that she was a beautiful girl. I won’t use this post as a rant against bullying or to demand that people stop committing suicide already. I’m not going to claim that life is worth living and would you just look at that blue sky and that green grass, etc, etc.
This is for you, in particular.
Life sucks a lot. People tend to suck a lot, too. The universe is a bit kooky as well. You and I could sit on a park bench and list all the things that are wrong with all the world we live in and we would be sitting there for a long, long while.
Know, first, that you have choice. Life or death is a basic one; I know that it’s a decision that some people have to make at every moment of every day. Yes or no is another. There are so many things within your control. There is such a thing as free will. Do not put yourself in a situation that you do not want to be in. Do not dig yourself in a hole if you can use that same shovel to prop yourself out or hit someone else with.
Now, some things are truly out of our control. I know this well. The key, then, is not to worry about the things that are out of your control. Why would you do that? Your life can be spinning out of whack or someone might be making your life hell or you’ll find that the universe just feels like fucking around with you. If you can’t do anything about it, let go. Please. This can be one of the hardest things in the world to do ever. This wrestle with life’s natural course is what causes much grief. Don’t be stubborn about it. This, too, shall pass. Forward now. When you find that you’re headed toward a cliff and the gears are stuck and everything is moving too fast and you know you’re going to hit rock bottom anyways, don’t jump out. Keep your seat belt on and check the map to see what’s next.
Rid yourself of guilt. You do not have to please anyone. You do not have to be good. You don’t even have to be happy. Dole out the appropriate forgiveness and/or apologies then be done with it. The person who you should be most concerned with gaining forgiveness from is yourself. That sounds cheesy, but some people spend their lives trying to extend their love to whoever will receive. They fight for all these causes without realizing that their own selves are the worthiest causes there are. They leave nothing for themselves. Don’t do that. You are your own top priority. If you are cast out of the community that you are a part of, if you are homeless and unemployed and sleeping in the gutter but you have a healthy sense of self-love, you have more riches than the grandest treasures. You have to make this confrontation with yourself.
Do not put yourself in a box. People talk a lot about YOLO and being infinite and existentialism, but these are the same people who tell me, “What if this is the best person I can be? What if I can’t be any better than this? What more can they expect of me?” The answers, respectively, are: “That’s bullshit. You can. A whole lot.” Stop with the excuses. You are you, but you can be more. If you really don’t want to contribute anything to this world, if you really don’t care for anyone on this planet, if you really don’t care for leaving anything behind, then at the very least seek something for yourself. You can keep this a secret if you want to.
Sadness is addictive and it is romanticized. Some people, myself included, will genuinely enjoy that comfortable rut, indulging in the self-importance. I am feeling so much sorrow. I am going to consume innumerable amounts of fat and sugar to make myself feel worse and better at the same time. No one understands me. Heck, I don’t understand me. I am going to read and write and post self-pitying things and cry myself to sleep. Don’t do this to yourself. Allot a few hours or a few days for moping then get on with it.
Do not judge pain. Oftentimes someone or something will hurt us in horrid ways. We think: I don’t deserve this. This person shouldn’t have done that or they shouldn’t have said that to me. They are hurting me. I cannot function properly thinking about this. Now I can’t do anything right. This is unfair. I hate this. Sometimes we will hurt someone and feel horrid afterward. They don’t deserve this. I don’t know what to do. They would be better off without me. I am only causing hurt.
No. Let the pain come and go. Recognize this pain for what it is, use it as fuel for the journey, watch the scar form and remember why it’s there, then let it pass on through.
This isn’t about self-confidence. It’s about humility and recognizing self-worth.
It’s not easy. It’s not necessarily worth it. I’m not good at this whole hope thing. I make no guarantees for anything, but I do believe that there’s no point living life half-asleep.
*note: I know that I’m not the cuddliest, most approachable person in the world (whether because you know me well, don’t know me at all, or you can just tell by my writing style. Do not waste your time by trying to contradict me with this point). BUT even if I have ever told you I hated your guts (or you can just tell), or if we haven’t talked in years, or if you don’t even know me please do not hesitate to call me, Facebook me, send me your anonymous messages, leave letters at my door if you just need someone to listen or to have knock some sense into you or even if you feel like letting me know that this blog is a load of crap. That is all. Take care.