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My Truths

There are moments in life that will re-invent your wheel. Experiences that will be revolutionary to your entire foundation. Unexpected epiphanies packaged in overwhelming emotion. Emotion that you didn't know you had in you. In the 34 years I have lived, my truths about myself, life, love, humanity, religion, and friendship have evolved beyond my complete understanding. Here are the things I believe today. My truths.

  1. Grief is love.

  2. Friendship is magical.

  3. Life deserves more attention.

  4. Pain is not relatable.

  5. Human capacity for love is infinite.


Grief is love.

Oh, how I have been struggling to understand this feeling. For the first couple of weeks, I whole-heartedly believed that grief was the closest thing to hell's torture that we could experience. I named it cruel, vicious, and unbearable. Then the internet gave me a new perspective in the form of Andrew Garfield talking to Stephen Colbert about the loss of his mother. He said that grief is all of the unexpressed love. What a game changer that was for me. In that statement, he turned my unimaginable grief into something positive. He turned sorrow into love. I'll admit, i'm still not ready to fully accept this as intuitive but i am absolutely open to the idea that all of the emotion pouring out of me is not bad. Right now, I do still find the spontaneous and uncontrollable emotion to be tortuous. I think because i've still got quite a bit of anger tied up in the loss. Which brings me to another opinion - the real torture might just be the actual loss. The disappearance of someone who was once so concrete and so phenomenally a part of my life. And maybe I am not mourning the loss of my ability to love him, but of his ability to love at all. I want him to have the full life that we all know he deserved. I want him to be able to walk his babies down the aisle, to spoil all of his grandchildren, to live in the house he worked his entire life for - to just be able to live the part of his life that he spent so much time dreaming about. The real painful torture is in the inability to give anything more to the man who gave me everything. That's an entirely different blog post though. The point i'm trying (and failing) to make is that while it may not have been clear at first, I have come to realize, know, and believe that grief is a sub-category of love. And in my opinion, you will not find grief where love did not once exist.

Friendship is magical

I will completely believe in this statement until the end of my time. When I speak on friendship, I am referring to the unbreakable bonds that we grow with strangers over a course of time that give us nothing tangible. The relationships that we have purely for the emotional companionship that is sometimes momentary and is rarely lifelong. And friendship.... friendship in any capacity, be it fleeting or forever, is a beautiful and magical gift. Those lifelong ones though, those are the unicorns. In the moments of my life where I have questioned what I have, where I have wondered whether my heart was ever meant to be full - in my hardest and darkest spaces, I have been saved by friendship. I continue to be saved by friendship ... over and over and over again. It reminds me to be grateful. To take the time to feel loved, appreciate it, and believe in it. These people have purpose, all of them - even the friendships that were short-lived. I have had a lot of people come in and out of my life and those relationships were so incredibly meaningful in specific phases of my life. I would argue that my entire life could be documented by the people who have carried me through it. I am absolutely not a person who can live without people. And when I look back on the moments in my life where my heart has been shattered, I see them. The faces and the hearts of the people that chose me. The ones who decided I was worth mending. The ones who gave me hope for happiness on the days where I had no light. I have said many times on this blog that my friends feed my life. In truth, mine not only feed my life, they bring me back to life, they give me life, and they cherish my life in ways that i can't even begin to show gratitude for. These humans are pure and absolute magic.

Life deserves more attention

Not the life you think you're supposed to be living. The one you are living. Please for the love of all things, pay more attention to the parts of your life that make you happy. I can accept that for some people, that is work. But it's definitely not work for everyone and the fact that we spend so much life working hurts me to my soul. Fact: my dad worked and worked and worked ... and then he worked some more. He couldn't wait to retire, but kept pushing it off - the goal was 70 and he was the most excited i'd seen him in decades when he reached it. I have never seen him so ready to just live. As he neared his 70th birthday, he was going on daily walks, he got his sense of humor back, he was suddenly chatty all the time, he was just genuinely happy again. It was such a beautiful thing to see. Looking back, I wonder if what we thought was exhaustion from working so hard all those years was actually exhaustion from cancer spreading through his body. He never got the chance to truly enjoy all that he had worked so hard for. He "officially" retired at 70 and was in bed sick two weeks later. I have always believed that for me, personally, my work is the thing that pays the bills. Im not super attached to the idea that my job should be my passion. Nor do I get inspired when i hear someone say "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life." There we go assuming that nothing will ever change - that we as people will never change. The thing i love doing today will most certainly not be the thing i love in a year, let alone in ten years. And I wouldn't want it to be, that sounds so boring. Have i had jobs that i loved, absolutely. Have i been passionate about my work, hell yes. But right now, I want a job that fits my lifestyle. I want to make enough money to be able to do all of the things I love. I do not want to be so invested in work that i forget to live my life. I am not the person who will miss a weekend with friends because I have to work - not to say i'm not committed, if I say I am going to work, I will work and I will do an amazing job at whatever I decided to spend my life on. But I will always live the parts of life I want to live. I will not say no when I want to say yes and I will not say yes when I want to say no. In my opinion, my life is my greatest asset and I will treat it with every ounce of attention it deserves. At some point, when my dad's entire idea of a future became uncertain, he said, "Promise me something? Promise me you won't wait to retire. Don't wait to live - just do it when you want to. Before it's too late." And with that, now more than ever - I will spend the money I make on the life that I want to live. I will feed my soul with every idea or experience that sparks joy. I will create memories and I will do everything in my power to share the very best version of me with every person willing to embrace her. I will live with intention and love with my whole heart. Because I know deep down that my life, my soul, deserves to be seen.

Pain is not relatable

I am going to say this here because, well honestly, I don't think anyone even reads it. But also because it feels safe and necessary. You do not know how I am feeling. Pain is not universal. Just because we are going through the same thing, it doesn't mean you know how I feel. I appreciate that you are trying, but please know that there is a difference between telling me about your experience and dismissing mine by saying, "i know how you feel." I whole-heartedly want to know how you dealt with similar feelings during a difficult time - I want to know every detail of how you healed your heart and the things that made you feel at ease. I want to know how you got through when life was hard. But I cannot accept that "you know" what I am going through if I have not told you. Do not assume that you feel my pain. I can assure you, you don't. This goes for physical pain as well. We do not all hurt the same and we do not all heal the same. And if my expression of pain, sadness, guilt, and heartbreak is too much for you to receive, I would so much rather you tell me that you don't know how to respond than to assume that you know how I feel. Nobody knows how I feel because nobody has done my life. Nothing is universal. We are not the same and we have not lived the same. Support each other by listening and asking "how can I be here for you." The only way you could know how I am feeling is if you listen. Let's listen to each other more and try less to relate. We do not have to be relatable to love someone through a hard situation. We just have to be willing to love them through every stage of their pain.

Human Capacity for Love is Infinite.

This one feels like it needs no explanation, but might also be one of those things I couldn't possibly make anyone understand. I'm not sure how to write the words that express what this truth means to me. We are so capable of incredible and insurmountable acts of love. We can love everybody with every fiber of our being - as magnificently and openly and beautifully as we want. We have the ability to change the course of an entire life with love. How remarkable is that? When I think about how much I want to openly and unapologetically give my love to these humans in my life who make me feel seen, I don't know how to contain the emotions that my heart makes. I think that love is the one thing we can never ever have enough of and the thing we can never overshare. We can give and receive infinite amounts of love so long as we are given the space and the avenues to do it. The trend in love and relationships in finding your "language". I have believed for some time now that my love language is words of affirmation. And I know this is true because I feel loved when someone says "you are worthy". Without hesitation, a houseful of humans showed up to carry me through the greatest loss of hope i've experienced in my lifetime. After the thank yous, all I could continue to say was "I can't believe you guys are here". They eventually got tired of hearing it I think and they said, "why? - why wouldn't we be here? If any of us were going through this, you would have been there. We are here because you deserve to feel supported and to feel loved. And because you would do whatever it takes to make us feel that way if we needed it." Just like that, my existence was affirmed and I felt more loved and more seen than I have in my lifetime. I felt like all of the love I have given over the course of my journey, was to the right people. That being said, I do not believe that our abilities to give or receive love can be summed up by a single trait. I know that love is not universal, but I think that love is the one thing that we can produce and receive limitlessly. I feel in my soul that even without a physical presence, my dad's love for me will not stop growing. And mine for him has only become more and more substantial since the day he looked at me with all of the sadness a man can carry in his eyes. Im not even sure I knew I could carry more for him in my heart - but it happened. And that was the affirmation that led to this final truth - our capacity for love is infinite.


To the me who hopefully comes back to read this someday. Allow yourself the freedom to evolve. To believe something one day and gain new perspective on it the next. People don't always have to agree with the things your heart believes in - and you don't have to agree with people. What matters is that you know what truths you live in. And you keep listening to the world as you both grow. Keep learning, process your feelings, embrace new angles, and please, please, please, open your heart and let all that love out into the world. You do deserve to be happy. Oh, and stay hydrated

1 Comment

Salimah Handa
Salimah Handa
Aug 09, 2022

I love you and I’m proud of you for putting this out into the world.

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