It’s mind-boggling, really. I’m just sitting on my couch in Los Angeles, a day after my 36th birthday, reflecting on the thousands of millions of lives it’s taken to create exactly who I am, at exactly this moment. All of YOU. All of your ancestors. The entire history of humanity courses through each and every one of our veins, every second of every day. We forget. I forget. I judge. I go online and feel insecure and powerless and less-than. I lash out. I escape. I lose sight of the miracle of life that we get to co-create.
But today, I feel nothing but humility and love and gratitude. I bow down before all of you in appreciation for your mercy, your grace, your honesty, your humanity.
THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.
Yes, YOU. Random reader on the internet. Stranger on the bus in India who, through the use of language books and broken English, shared the story of his uncle’s suicide. Couchsurfing buddy in New Zealand who nursed me back to health. The “snorter” in the audience. My German horse trekker buddies in New Zealand. Tour guide in Egypt. Traveling companion. Friend from my past. Friend in my present. Person I went to grade school with or junior high or high school. Ex-husband, former lover, current lover. Sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, dad and mom with whom I share rooms, memories, holidays and blood.
Some I know more intimately. You put me up, opened your homes, your lives and your hearts to me. This is precious and I will never forget the hospitality. We giggled. We dined. We danced. We divulged secrets. We've broken bread or rice curry. We’ve performed together. We’ve sat in class together. Or on a beach. Or in a bar. Or a meeting. Or a treatment center. Or climbed a mountain. Or swam with turtles. Or waited tables. We’ve been through trauma, whether virtually or actually. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried (okay—usually I cried). We’ve shared rainbows and sunsets and bathed in showers of golden sunlit raindrops in the Indian Ocean. We’ve trimmed weed for countless hours. We’ve shared planes, buses, trains, weary looks of recognition and compassion as we are forever stalled in the tireless pursuit our dreams. We’ve exchanged passion, lust or mangoes at Burning Man. Ambitions. Fears. Dreams. Numbers.
Some of you are generous in ways I cannot comprehend. Offering financial support when I can't afford to eat more than soup and toast. Or a roof over my head when my life is in turmoil. Or a means to go home. Or wisdom on my path, spiritual, career and otherwise. Or notes on a script when you're buried in your own writing work. Or a massage. Or sneaking me into your yoga class when I'm too poor to pay. Gifting me tickets to festivals, operas, or continents. Sharing emotional support when you are going through your own personal Hell. Giving me experiences of a lifetime I would never, ever be able to have without your huge, generous spirit and big heart. You are legends to me. You are the reason I am still here. You are the unsung heroes of my life.
Some of you keep me going remotely— offering guidance, motivation and wisdom from afar via the modern miracle of technology; sharing your stories, experience and strength in the hope it will help another random stranger out there. We may not know one another in person. We may never meet. Or we may have met but briefly somewhere along the way, at some random convention, event or when I sold you a t-shirt on the beach in Miami. Just know your encouragement, honest words and random comments are what keep me going. It never fails that when I’m down and out, feeling sick and sorry for myself, one of YOU will always come along to remind me why I’m putting myself out there, why I’m beautiful, why not all is lost.
You come to my shows. You share my blogs. You've been my cheerleaders, my support group, my tribe. You’ve all seen me through anxiety and depression. Exultation and defeat. You’ve picked me up from airports, from ferry landings or from the rock bottom when I was too depressed to see my way out. You’ve seen me at my most delusional, exceptional, open-hearted and bitter.
You’ve all seen me naked.
Thank you for loving me just the way I am or hating me for it. Thank you for embracing me and judging me. THANK YOU FOR BEING HUMAN WITH ME. This journey is sacred and we tread/trudge/dance on sacred ground together in these fleshy, doughy meat-suits with our loud, confusing, lying minds doing our best to embrace and deny our puny, fleeting mortality.
Thank YOU. YES, YOU.
I don’t say it enough. I can’t
say it enough. Wherever our journeys intersect, or even if they never have or
will beyond your eyes reading this sentence, know this:
YOU ARE IMPORTANT.
Not just to me, to the world. You shape everyone and everything around you, for better or worse. Never underestimate the effect you have on someone’s day, life, and humankind.