The title of this post was almost “dedication” - it would have a double meaning, talking about both my dedication to my writing and the dedication page in my book, which I haven’t been sharing widely because the person in question hadn’t seen it yet. (He has now.)
I received a box of those books on Thursday.
This is a thing that happened.
18 months ago I actively tried to die. 3 days ago I held my life’s dream in my hand.
But in light of March’s Hamildrop combining two of my favorite artists AND songs (Ben Platt / Lin Manuel Miranda, “You Will Be Found” (from Dear Evan Hansen) / “The Story of Tonight” (from Hamilton) ) … I chose differently.
Because a year or so before I was sitting on the sofa, gross-sobbing over a pile of books with MY name on them, I was listening to Dear Evan Hansen and gross-sobbing as the lyrics flayed me open like a Bolton.
“…Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay
‘Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand
You can reach, reach out your hand
And oh, someone will coming running
And I know, they’ll take you home
Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
And when you’re broken on the ground
You will be found
So let the sun come streaming in
'Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
Lift your head and look around
You will be found…”
I was coming from a dark place. A REALLY dark place. … And if it weren’t for me “being found,” if it weren’t for my brother and my friends and family metaphorically “coming running,” I can absolutely 100% assure you that I would not be here today, geographically OR existentially. I was barely here for months even after what I generally refer to as “the exodus.”
But you know what I like most about the River analogy? She doesn’t stay damaged forever. What broke her also makes her badass.
And that’s the part I want to stress - to everyone, to anyone who needs it, to people who don’t think they need it, who think they’re fine, everything’s fine (while the narrator dryly reports: “Everything is not fine.”) You’re not alone. You CAN keep fighting. (Always, always, always keep fighting.)
Things WILL change, they CAN change and if you can’t make it happen yourself there are people who will help - not because they want anything from you, but because they CARE and you MATTER. Let them help you.
Damaged does not mean worthless. Broken doesn’t mean unsalvageable.
Dreams can rise out of nightmares.
One day you’ll be on the other side and you’ll make your own statement in your own way.
This was mine.
“For Jared, who reminded me to always keep fighting;
And for Simon, who picked up the pieces when I couldn’t.”