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Watch me talk about my debut as an author, Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays, in this Q&A with my publisher Thought Catalog Books

Saturday, December 10, 2011

So fucking true, so hard to live by

"You don’t discover courage right away…You discover a tender, shaky vulnerability. It takes courage to be vulnerable. But when you live with a genuine heart, unarmored, you can trust the basic goodness of yourself and humanity."

Pema Chödrön, quoted in Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life by Priscilla Warner. I actually responded to someone on OkCupid because they listed Pema Chödrön as one of their favorite writers, but the more I get in touch with what I'm supposed to be doing right now, who I'm supposed to be, the time I'm supposed to take to sit and focus and feel and explore, the more I realize that looking for external validation like that is always, always the direct road to self-hatred. Giving over any part of myself for someone else to judge and find wanting, when I do the very same thing every day? Not helping. Never has, never will, and yet, I'm weak too, sometimes. I want things I can't have. I fail hard at the Serenity Prayer almost every day. I can only pick myself up from those failures and keep trying. I can't undo the book that's not on the shelves, the essay that never was, bounced checks, whatever. I can only not doom myself further by assuming that once a failure, always a failure. I don't think (and certainly don't hope) life works like that. Every day is a chance to remake myself into someone I can be proud of, someone who can live up to being vulnerable in all its utter shakiness.

So instead I'm trying to find ways to live this unstable life as best I can, with all its stops and starts and ups and downs and recognize that sometimes the greatest moments, the biggest lessons, come when everything is on the verge of falling apart, or feels that way. Being financially, emotionally, physically vulnerable, fearing that I have no words, especially when I've made a promise that I will have words, have done the ultimate hubris and called myself a writer and staked something on that...well, it's fucking hard. Some days, impossible. But thankfully, there are more days. Like today.

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