I know it’s been awhile since we’ve had a proper conversation — that is, a true one-on-one that doesn’t include me begging you for a favor, or bribing you with those tootsie rolls in order to acquire said favor, or coming to you in the midst of an emotional crisis when I’m seeking comfort or understanding or trying to figure out where my life is going.
I know it’s not always supposed to be that way; I know I shouldn’t just come to you when I need something.
But I need something. Because I’m in the midst of an emotional crisis and I’m seeking comfort and understanding and trying to figure out where my life is going.
So…Can we talk? Universe?
Um…Where were you just now?
Tending to the ill and injured.
Fine, fine. I was watching Dawson’s Creek reruns, too. I’m great at multi-tasking.
I don’t judge you, you don’t judge me.
Anyway, I was wondering if we could maybe talk. Because my mind is kind of confused right now and my heart is —
Yeah, I’m working on that, remember? It’s just that there are so many emotions and changes and realizations happening all at once that I’m having a hard time sorting through it all and figuring out where I stand in the midst of everything…Like, what does it mean to leave what was a home in order to build what’s now your own home? And how do you deal with realizing that the people you love so deeply, that you want to protect so fiercely from anything negative, are only human and that they will get ill and injured and grow old and what comes after that? And how do you so selfishly keep wanting something good for yourself when so much good has already happened? And–
Whoa. Ok. See, this is where I need you to stop. This thinking thing? You do it too much, and it’s not going to get you anywhere or do anything for you but give you a headache and leave you way more confused than you already are.
Susan. Life is chaos. Life is confusion, life is emotional, and life is full of change, and you’ll never, ever be able to figure it all out. You’re not supposed to. What you are supposed to do is just let it happen, let it be every once in awhile.
Look, you’re a smart, intuitive girl. And you don’t give yourself enough credit for your strength and perseverance. But you’re taking on way too much. Your heart is in the right place, but the weight of the world isn’t yours to carry, Susan. That’s my job. That’s what I’m here for. You need to relieve some of that burden. And you need to realize that you, too, are only human.
But I don’t know how to stop caring so much. I don’t know how to stop worrying about the people I love so much, and I don’t know how to stop wanting to be there for people, to make everything better for them. I just…I don’t know how to turn it off.
You’re going to have to figure that out. It’s not about turning it off, Susan. It’s not about caring less, and it’s not about not doing for others or not worrying — that comes with the caring, which comes from the loving. But you do have to let go a little, to let people make their own mistakes, for better or for worse. I know that’s not the easiest thing for you to do.
I know you’re right — you’re always right, annoyingly so. But I can’t help but feel that that’s my role, that that’s who I am. And that I should be doing something more — loving more, caring more, helping more.
Than you already do?
Yes. Way more.
Listen, that may be who you are, but that’s not all that you are. Trust me, I should know. And the sooner you realize that, the sooner you learn to let go a little. And the sooner you let go a little, the better you’ll be. And the better you are, the more you’ll be able to help others. Do you see how that works?
You’re overwhelmed now, and no kidding, look at everything you’re doing. By taking on all of this responsibility, you’re trying to prove something — you’re trying to prove to yourself and the world your worth, and you don’t have to. You’ve done it already. You do it every day. With every person that you love and everything that you care about, with every small, kind act you share, with every step forward and good thought, you’re changing your world. And that is always, always worthwhile.
I know I sound ungrateful, and I know that I’m all emotional and whining–
I’m used to it.
But I can’t help but think that there’s something I’m missing and that maybe that’s part of it. Like, there’s a reason for everything, only I can’t figure out what it is. So I’m taking all of these steps on my way to somewhere, only I have no idea where that is or when I’ll get there and I really, really hate not knowing.
So, what I’m sensing is…You don’t wanna wait.
For your life to be over.
You wanna know right now what will it be…
Ok, can we stop with the TV theme sing-a-long and focus for a second?
You have no sense of humor. Did I leave that out on Let’s Make A Susan day?
Fine. Ok. Here it is:
You? Are an amazing person who is on her way to doing amazing things. But you’re young yet. In the great, big span of things, you’re still a child taking her first steps. You’re learning, Susan. With each and every day, you are learning more and more and with that learning comes living.
You think you haven’t done enough, but look at where you are, look at that wonderful story you can call your life, the one that’s individual to you and only you. Look at everything you’ve been through, accomplished, and experienced. I don’t just mean the good things, the successes. Successes mean nothing unless there have been failures, unless there have been mistakes, and unless there have been a few tears.
Or a lot of tears.
I’m in the middle of a monologue here…
Yes, a lot of tears. I know how you work, it’s that whole “get it out, then figure it out” reflex of yours. And you know what? That’s ok, too. Because this life? It’s not easy. It’s not designed to be that way. If it were easy, we’d all be partying it up with cheesy popcorn and Chex Mix and those really, really spicy Doritos and tootsie rolls.
Yeah. Can’t forget about those. Speaking of which, I’m running low…
So life isn’t a party. I’m kind of figuring that out.
But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good, do you understand? Life is hard work, yes, but that’s also what makes it so rewarding, why those accomplishments make it all worthwhile. Susan, you have got to relax and give yourself some credit for the life you’ve built for yourself, for everything you’ve done and experienced. You’ve made that happen.
It wasn’t all me. I couldn’t have done it without my family, without my friends…
Yes. And it’s beautiful that you’re giving credit where credit is due, but you’re the one who took that first step; they’ve been here as the wonderful souls they are to help guide you along the way, to where you were always meant to be. But this is your life, just as they have theirs, just as you are there to help guide their way when they need it. See how that works, too? I love all this interconnected stuff. Makes my heart giggle.
Love, Susan. Love deeply, but never to the point that you begin to confuse that love or overpower it with fear.
Learn to loosen up on the reins a bit, to ask for help, and to lighten the load. That weight of the world? Somebody’s got to carry it, and it’s a dirty job, but that somebody is me, not you. You’ve got enough to do with just this whole living thing.
Be humble, yes, and have humility. But you’ve got too much. Listen, it’s ok to be proud of what you’ve accomplished as long as you’re also proud of who you are. Two for one. Booyah.
And please. Please, please, please, please, please. Every once in awhile get out of that head of yours.
Alright, are we done here?
Thanks, Universe. You always have a way of…kicking my ass.
Yeah…You know what kicks more ass? Tootsie rolls.
How about that?