There is no reason we can't be the things we want to be. Life just isn't that big of a deal, and it's everything, too. The only reason we aren't the things we dream about being is because we won't.
I want to believe that. Sometimes it seems so clear and so easy. It was easy to be a junky. It was easy to risk my life and to disappear. It was brave, even, and interesting and dangerous. It was the ultimate cop out. It wasn't really any different than what most sober people do to themselves every day. I just had a tangible reason for not being great. I was a junky. Of course I wasn't a writer. Of course I wasn't powerful. I didn't have a mastery over my life. I wasn't the things I dreamed about being. It was easy.
Why can't you be something?
It's not so easy to explain it away, now. Why are there things we want for ourselves but don't have? It's because we're afraid of being powerful and in control. It's so much easier to believe that we don't have dominion over our circumstances. We like to believe that things just happen to us. If we believe we're not in control of the things that take place in our lives, we don't have to be hard workers. We don't have to be responsible.
We walk around all the time, pretending like we're really afraid of not being good enough, but that's not really true. We're really afraid that we are good enough to be awesome. It scares the shit out of us, because what if I really am capable of being everything I want to be? That means that I'm choosing not to. And that means that I'm just another stupid asshole. That's what really scares us.
Not being an asshole means that we have to wake up every day and align ourselves with our purpose. We can't stumble through our lives, defaulting to a comfortable numb sadness that we're not brave enough or outgoing enough or attractive enough or thin enough or educated enough or smart enough or capable enough. It takes a tremendous effort to be worthy of happiness. We go around crying because our lives don't make us happy. We don't have enough money or enough space of our own. We don't have a partner to share things with, or we do have a partner and he treats us mean. We're too tired and our lives are too cluttered. We're too busy or too shy to have friends. Poor us. The things we want just haven't fallen into our laps, and that makes us feel anxious and depressed and small and very, very sad.
But, what are we capable of?
I'm not insinuating that we could sprout a pair of wings and fly, or like... be a professional football player or something. We're not ten. But really, why can't we just act like we're not a bunch of sorry assholes? Why can't we be friendly and brave and creative and assertive? Why can't we use some of the time and energy we spend feeling bad and use it to write or build or grow something? It doesn't make any sense, really. If you're too fat, go on a diet. If you're too lonely, talk to people. If you want to find love; be lovable and willing to love perfectly. We like to pretend it isn't that simple, but it really, really is. It's only more complicated than that when some part of us is willing to come to the end of our lives without trying.
I asked Kurt to write me a letter about death and he said:
Holy God, even writing that little bare bones description has turned my nerves into a bramble of loose and bare electric wires. You are a fucking genius, honey. You are the most spectacular thing I’ve ever heard of. And I love you, and I’m proud that you’re mine. That I’m yours.
I wrote a book and it's beautiful and it's just been sitting here for a year, while I had another baby and started not having enough time to clean my toilets. While winter set in again and I started to believe its coldness. I started to lose track of what I want to be when I'm dying. I want to be my love. I want to become my love, and I want to remember it when it was living. I want to have something to miss.
I have everything I need to be what I want to be. There is nothing standing in my way, except that I take the easy way out, sometimes. Sometimes I endeavor to just get through the day. Sometimes it's just too grey to be happy, or too cold, or too much responsibility. Sometimes, I have way too many excuses. It's almost spring. Let's shake ourselves free and see what we can really do, when we try.