Self loathing can only get so much traction when I look around. This argument that the dark, sad self comes up with, suggesting that there is an inherent unworthiness we aren’t acknowledging is so easily refuted when I consider people I love, who love me back. It’s not always so easy to remember to do so, the shadows have such convincing whispers when I haven’t been eating good food, drinking water, taking time to ensure that my perspective is coming from a place of balance. Reality is subjective and in the moment, something really ridiculous can feel so true.

I know a lot of people. I know a lot of really really good people. Talented, creative, hilarious, compassionate, mindful, sincere. People that, when I’m with them, make me worry less what’s happening in the world. And we make each other laugh. We dance with one another. We stay up late talking and wake up early to take roadtrips. We ride bicycles with abandon and own the streets, yelling joyfully through intersections. We high five over a parking spot and we console each other when that parking spot turned out to be a loading zone and we makes jokes in the cab on the way to the impound yard. We play music that makes us laugh and cry and look at each other with surprise at how fan-freaking-tastic we sound. We share secrets and jokes and recipes. We make the world smaller, less scary, more fun, more interesting.

Here’s the sad shadow self head talk. For a really long time, I had a small voice in my head that tried to convince me I was fooling all of these awesome people, that I didn’t actually deserve to have such good friends. I imagined over time, I would have less and less as people worked out that I wasn’t as worthy of their company as they had originally thought. But completely the opposite has happened. As I grow older and more comfortable in my skin, I’m learning that I’m just as dear to them, as they are to me. The person I am is good, but the person I am with them is much more. And I like to think this goes both ways. I have to think that, why would we seek each other out, unless it was so? How do I know I deserve to have such wonderful people in my life? Because you’re there. It’s exactly the same, in my mind, as any kind of existentialist conundrum.

The very fact that I exist is justification of my existence. The odds that the me who is here typing this, the me who loves being barefoot with red hair, who believes a thumb is the best form of transport, who thinks that engines make sense and math is sexy and hulahooping is a perfectly acceptable form of meditation (along with writing and piano playing) would have been born are an unbelievably high number to one and since I’m here, it’s no accident. A mystery perhaps, but not an accident. And so that leads me to believe that I was in exactly the right place at exactly the right time when we encountered each other. Because we did and you’re lovely. And I’m so glad you’re here.

This is as close as I can come to saying this to you in person, right this second, so that you know how much you mean to me and can carry that around with you in those times when sad shadow feels like it’s winning. You can say, ‘hey sad shadow, back off! I am loved by good people because I deserve to have awesome like them in my life.’ And if nothing else, me writing this to you is proof of that, documented.

love you
miss you
kiss you