You’ve only fucked up if you give up.
A farmer is sitting on his porch in a chair, hanging out. A friend walks up to the porch to say hello, and hears an awful yelping, squealing sound coming from inside the house. “What’s that terrifyin’ sound?” asks the friend. “It’s my dog,” said the farmer. “He’s sittin’ on a nail.” “Why doesn’t he just sit up and get off it?” asks the friend. The farmer deliberates on this and replies: “Doesn’t hurt enough yet.”
–Amanda Palmer/The Art of Asking
I was out having adult beverages with some of my family of friends, and we were talking about life and love, the way you do, and the various financial and emotional difficulties you encounter, and Jane very wisely pointed out that no problems are insurmountable until you stop working on them.
So I did what any scribbler does in that situation. I got out my iPad and told her I was going to be quoting her. Never be afraid to take notes during conversations with your friends. They know you’re an insane person anyway.
The solution might not be something you want to do. It might turn out that you should just cut your losses in some way, or you might need to give someone or something up that you would rather hold on to, but there is ALWAYS some sort of solution to every problem. If you give up, you never will find it.
My friends are all both exceptionally intelligent and beautiful. I’m not just talking about that profound inner beauty of the soul, either. Physical beauty. Did I say that the wrong way around? No, I don’t think I did. My friends are knockouts. Smart, funny, kind, gorgeous. Is it any wonder I love them?
Oh, and the men are all perfectly scruffy, handsome and give great hugs in addition to being smart, funny and kind. I don’t want them to feel left out.
What many of them are so good at is giving excellent advice from both from a practical and emotional standpoint. Advice which I know it doesn’t seem like I have been listening to. It isn’t that I wasn’t listening, it’s just that I wasn’t ready to act on it until now. I knew what needed to happen, I just couldn’t bring myself to admit it.
Like Amanda Fucking Palmer said, it didn’t hurt enough. Until it did, suddenly, Thanksgiving weekend, and I couldn’t convince myself that I could live with things the way they were anymore.
Here is a summary of just a few of the wise things I have learned from my friends in the last few years. I can count books as my friends, right? Right.
If someone is treating you like shit, it doesn’t really matter why. Don’t expect the universe to solve your problems. Don’t give up, but know when to let go. Work on things you can work on and try to keep in mind that you can’t change other people–only yourself. Don’t ever give up on yourself. Forgive easily. Respect yourself. Treat yourself as least as well as you treat your friends. Get a massage once in a while. Stand up for yourself. Try to mostly be kind. Remember to breathe. Sing or hum often. Look at the sky. Look at the ground. Even the most painful, awful, horrible experiences almost always get better. Relax. Smile. Laugh. Drink good beer. Trust in the goodness of the people around you, MOSTLY. Know that life is a wonderful, wonder-ful experience. Be grateful.
Enjoy as much of everything as you can.
That is what I have got.
It’s kind of a lot, isn’t it?
It’s been a win-some/lose-some Fall. Sometimes it has felt more heavily skewed to the loss side, but with the people I have in my life it is really impossible for me to not feel like everything will be fine.
Everything IS fine.
I know I have been a little trying lately, but I do feel the love.
2 thoughts on “The wisdom of friends”
Michelle I would love to be as amazingly articulate as you but failing that I will gladly continue to read your lovely and loving words
You are one of the most articulate and perceptive people I know and I value your advice more than I can say.
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