Like, a lot. I am lucky to be liked, loved, cared for, considered carefully and well by a significant number of people. I am important. I mean something to their lives and to their hearts. Sometimes, more often than I know, usually when I donâ€™t realize, I am in their thoughts. Sometimes when they go to the grocery store or theyâ€™re driving or on the subway or sitting on the couch making noises at their beautiful baby, they think about me the same way I think about them. My heart is full of them, and their hearts have room for me too.
I am an incredibly lucky woman.
I forget that, sometimes. And that is selfish. To think you are invisible? To think that you donâ€™t matter? It is unfair. All those kilowatts of heart-power going wasted? It could power a small city, the love you have in your life. I promise you.
Itâ€™s taken me so many years to figure this out. So many! Too many! Really a ridiculous number of years. My god, I am the worst learner in the world. I never remember anything for more than the space of approximately five minutes. I am a May fly. So I have to keep relearning, over and over, and it is painful every time, the cycle. I can forget in the instant of a bad day, or it can be ground out of me over the course of a long week and then I have to figure out all over again why I feel wretched, why that wretched feeling is a lie, why I am utterly crazy, why I need to stop doing this, for the love of god.
Some day itâ€™s going to stick, I swear.
Right now, right now I remember because I have palpable reminders that I am loved. Every time I go to the fridge there are the cards, the beautiful families of my beautiful friendsâ€”mo pie and the cute brigade (a jug band), Trixie and Penny and the geese who bite, Magnus the littlest tattoo artist. Thereâ€™s the desktop photo I try to remember to look at every couple of hours, my little bright-faced nephew tucked into the arms of his dad, one of my favorite people on earth.
Thereâ€™s the leatherwork pencil case on my desk, stamped with my name and perfect for a writer, from A. The utterly gorgeous, painstakingly hand-painted matroyshka dolls from Karen that made me burst into sobs the moment I unwrapped them. Each one is perfect. Each one is the work of hours and thought. Each one is utterly humbling.
I forget that being overcome with sincerity is no bad thing. I forget that I am loved as much as I love.