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 don’t realize, I am in their thoughts. Sometimes when they go to the grocery store or they’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 don’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.
It’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 it’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 friends—mo pie and the cute brigade (a jug band), Trixie and Penny and the geese who bite, Magnus the littlest tattoo artist. There’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.
There’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.