don’t forget: you are human
I see you now.
Fear camouflaged by counterfeit extroversion.
I see you.
You can’t see me, as I’m years into your future; in fact, you can’t see much more than this, your neon present cluttered with empty beer bottles and cigarette ash. You can’t see past instant gratification. You can’t see past the terrible way your heart feels when you’re alone.
I’m going to speak to you and hope you hear me; not just the words, not just the sentences. I hope you honestly, truly, fearlessly hear me.
Remember this, child: you are human.
You are human, which requires you to have a past.
There are millions of pasts out there, floating around in the universe, but no other past is your past. So however unfair, however burdensome, however slippery it may feel, this past is yours to care for; you must honor it as such.
Memories will bubble up, child. One day, amidst roaring laughter and friends and drinks and drugs and adventure, those memories will step into this circus unannounced—betrayed by your very own mind. So you’ll pack your whole world back into that Volkswagen, and drive to another new city, to invent another new life.
Hear me now: That past will follow you. You must believe this. And even though it is a terrifying thought, you will reach a point during this precious lifetime when you’ll have the strength to face it all. You’ll marvel at how brave you are, how far you’ve come. And you will be so unbelievably proud.
You are human and you’re going to make mistakes.
You are a fumbling, tripping, stuttering, spilling, lying, hesitating, mischievous fool—yes, you are. And it’s wonderful.
You are here to screw up, child. You are here to fail. And you will fail. Goodness how much you’ve failed already. Just look at your track record. Look at the failed relationships. The broken promises. The endless trail of self destruction. But you will see, I promise, that these fuckups were beautiful. These mistakes were priceless. And you will be a better person, a more compassionate, humble person for it.
You are human and your vessel is fragile.
Tread lightly, child. You live so hard and so fast. You say yes when your heart says no, bending so easily at the will of others.
You are young and free and have a body that never seems to fail you, but you must care for it as if it can be taken away. Honor it as if this life of yours is only temporary.
This life of yours is only temporary.
You will face an illness you believed to be reserved for others; and it will wear you down and nearly snuff out the flame of your untamed heart. But you’re stronger than you can comprehend, child. So save that strength. Learn your limitations. And for goodness sake, nourish yourself.
You are human and you’re going to hate that sometimes.
As far humans are concerned, you’re the deep-feeling variety. A burden and a blessing like no other.
When you experience joy, you feel it in every breath, every movement; you pump shimmer through your veins. You love people and places and emotions and scents and sensations fiercely. As if your very life depends on it.
But you’ve also known a life of terror. Afraid of stagnancy, afraid of boredom. You fear being found out and being left behind.
The fear will stay with you child, but not forever. Because sometime after you’ve stepped into your third decade, you’ll make a remarkable discovery. There’s a piece of you, buried, that’s part wolf. It is this wild part that will keep you free, so you mustn’t worry so much.
You are human and that is absolute magic.
You will know forces much, much greater than yourself. You’ll learn to trust them. For now they seem far-fetched, but you’ll see.
You will see more than “coincidence” in the everyday. You will have your own awakenings. You will allow the universe to guide you—and you will not be let down. Things seem hellish and chaotic right now, child. I know that. But this spirit of ours is stronger than you can comprehend.
You will know the greatest magic this world has to offer: love. You might scoff at this idea, I know. But if you’re honest, just for a moment, you know it’s the one thing you’ve wanted all along. He’s out there right now, child. He’s in Hollywood, remembering you as a little girl from time to time.
And someday—sooner than you think—you’ll head back to the east coast to get back on your feet once again. And there he’ll be, dancing his way across a crowded bar, back into your life, just when you need him most. Let him in, child. Even when you feel crazy for trusting him, even when it feels hopeless. Because he’s yours as much as you’re his. He’ll be a major player in a kind of personal renaissance—during which, you’ll find enough self love to reach out to your younger you with a reminder: You are human, child. And everything is going to be OK.