By the time you read this, I will have turned 30 years of age and might very well be in no certain state to write, legibly or otherwise. My birthday is right after Lent, so there will have been plenty of alcohol to catch up on. At this moment I am probably hungover.
So I am writing a thing in advance that I hope resonates with you.
I am sure most of you have read those list of things that you should experience in your 20s. I think they are all bullshit. Yes, your 20s are important, and you need to prepare yourself for the future, but not for the reasons often listed. If you will allow me the hypocrisy, here is my list of what you need to do in your 20s:
That’s it. Be kind to yourself. For the love of all that is good on Earth, realize that you are a good and worthwhile person. Spend all 10 years of your 20s, if you must, to figure out that your existence as a human being, in and of itself, is worthy and exciting; that you are valuable, in and of yourself.
I think this is single most important thing I wish I had been taught before I turned 20. I allowed myself to be taught that I had to compete and that I had to improve, and I was left with constant dissatisfaction about myself.
Fuck school. Screw careers, achievements, abilities, talents, fashion, and all that noise, ESPECIALLY if you pursue these things to hide the fact that you feel worthless and incompetent.
You don’t have to travel, read, write, or create art to have a rich life (though you certainly can). What if you can’t, in the first place? Does your life then lack richness? Hell no, don’t believe that lie. Don’t believe those lists. Your life isn’t a bucket list that you need to pursue in order to forget the anxiety of being mundane. You aren’t mundane in the first place. You’ve only been told that you are.
So cut yourself some slack. Be kind to yourself. Admit your faults and forgive yourself. Celebrate your small victories. I promise that, more than travelling, reading, creating, or whatever, doing so will prepare you most for a fuller and richer future. Everything else that needs to fall into place will, everything that you pursue will be passionate and sincere, all the pain and pleasure you feel will be true and worthwhile, and all the people worth loving and supporting will receive 100% of your love and support.
Be kind to yourself.
I clip the flowers inside me.
It was always in the silver silence of morning that I would awaken.
It felt a lot like love.
I am no fucking poet.
I am not a wordsmith,
I am not a story-teller,
I do not weave words to describe the mystique and intrigue,
Behind experiences that hide so simply in plain sight,
The way I know my heart beats behind my ribs.
I am a simple man,
I live in New York City (it is a complex city).
I am no fucking poet.
I don’t use these words to clean up the earthquakes of my soul,
Or give meaning to the tsunami on my lips,
Rolling through me with brutal force.
These words are not art.
I write to give meaning to the gentle lily pad that remains rooted to the deepest
floor of the ocean,
Grappling through each wave, torn with salt.
I am a lucky man,
I live in New York City (it is a broken city).
But I am no fucking poet.
I do not see the galaxy in my eyes, and the universe is not my friend.
There is no mystery in deep space within my orbit,
Within the elliptical bounds of what I desire.
But I am a bajillion atoms colliding at my fingertips like silent fucking supernovas
in the cold, sound-less depth of space that ignites as they trace constellations on
your warm, naked body,
Every night, every dream, every morning.
But I am fire and magic in a clenched fist punching through the collective
unconscious veil and searching so madly so fucking madly for you,
To gather you with my open palms, because,
I am but a man,
I live in New York City, and I need you.
Still, I am no fucking poet.
I scratch silent words on paper,
A cursive discursive discourse,
With my head to the table,
Forming loops, lines and (hopefully) meaning.