A letter I wrote to a friend that will probably help you, too.

So, there are a lot of people of whom I am a huge fan. And I think it would be fascinating to read a long, heartfelt, personal email they wrote to a friend. I just wrote an email like that, and as I was writing it, it helped me cheer up from the crappy mood I was in. I think this letter contains a lot of helpful advice, and I often find myself doling out this advice to friends who appreciate hearing it, so I thought, why not give it a wider audience (by about 10 people) and put it on this blog. I hope it goes viral because I think it could cheer a lot of people up. Feel free to pass it on to your friends.

The Letter:

Hey girl, thanks so much for that beautiful email. I’m going to put it in my “nice things people have said to me” folder in gmail, but really it deserves its own folder entitled “life affirming, validating things people have said to me that help to put things in perspective and stop me from forgetting that I do matter to some people even if I forget it a lot” but I already have too many gmail folders and that title is too long, LOL. Anyway it was really really helpful and wonderful to read everything you said because I didn’t have the greatest birthday yesterday. It really wasn’t bad as birthdays go at all, and a lot of the reason it wasn’t the best was my fault that I could have corrected, but I just feel like I’ve been on a bullet train this whole month with not a second to stop and plan and prepare for the shit that’s important to me. Ugh. So I never asked people to hang out with me at night on my birthday, so I did the parade alone and got soaked to the bone in the rain and was freezing when I got to my friend’s party, and spent most of that party drying my costume with a hair dryer, then fell asleep before I could get to the party I wanted to go to, partially because I didn’t want to go to it alone, even though I really really wanted to go to it, and now I’m all upset that I’m already 26 and I didn’t go to that party and all my gay friends are moving out of the city and blah blah blah. So I’m glad that I give off this veneer of everything being great, but rest assured, I think it’s physically impossible for us to show everything that’s going on inside on the surface, so everything always looks simpler from outside. Don’t ever think you’re the only one going through some shit, and don’t ever think your shit is ever the worst, because it never can be. With all the horrific things that go on in this world, the fact that we have time and the ability to pity ourselves for our stupid little failures is a fucking miracle, LOL. I am laughing at myself right now for actually being sad about my stupid, meaningless, first world, upper middle class, well-educated problems. Fuck me, I am so lucky. And so are you. And so is everyone who isn’t in a war or a North Korean work camp or a Calcutta brothel right now. At least you are free to pity yourself in private, for god’s sake. What a bunch of idiots we are. Anyway.

I was able to cash the check, and seriously, don’t even worry about the whole thing! Money is just money. It comes and goes and we make it and spend it and lose it and it appears and it will never matter as much as friends and wellbeing.

Damn girl, I am so glad we had that walk in Central Park!!! Of course I remember it too, and I’m so glad it was so helpful to you. As you know I care so much about you and I really sympathize with where you’re at emotionally right now and I’m so glad and grateful I was able to help. That’s the only comfort you have when a friend is not feeling well, is being able to help, and I want to help as much as I can! I’m glad you’re feeling a little better now, and please trust that things will continue to improve if you keep working at it. Life is one big mindfuck after liberal arts college and we just have to take it one day at a time and do the best we can with it. We have to remember to forget about the idea of “success” and whether we have it or not, and just do what makes us happy and take care of ourselves and our friends. Everything else is pretty well out of our hands anyway, isn’t it?

You really ought to start loving yourself the way other people love you. 🙂 You are beautiful and wonderful and loving and caring and creative and talented and interesting, and you always have been. There is nothing in you to hate. And there are so many things about you that other people would love to have. From stupid superficial crap like looks to more important things like family and friends and education and opportunities. I prolly talked to you about the whole “The Secret” message of remembering to be grateful and express gratitude for all the things you have rather than fixating on what you don’t have. Start with the basics like the fact that you have a normal body that functions properly and allows you the freedom of being self sufficient and independent, and don’t forget all the other things that are going well, like the fact that you’re not isolated and you can choose what you want to do with your life and you live in a free country and you’re a citizen of another free country and you know what your options are and you’re not being forced to spend your time killing or oppressing others, etc etc etc. Once you start thinking about it you’ll see there are an infinite amount of things to be grateful for. Every single thing you have, there are lots of people out there who don’t have it. No matter how bad you feel mentally, gratitude can help that, and you still have a lot to be grateful for. If nothing else, this sadness will teach you to be grateful for happiness, and not take it for granted, and do whatever you have to do to find happiness and keep it. Also, something I try to remind myself of is that happiness is not dependent upon other things. It’s its own thing. No matter what you have or what you’re doing or where you are, you’re either happy or you’re not. Things and people and places can’t make you happy if you’re not. And you can be happy without things and places and people. You have to figure out how to cultivate happiness for happiness’ sake. Also living in the moment is helpful. Most people are sad because they’re regretting the past or dreading the future, but if you forget about that and focus on the present, the present usually isn’t that bad. I dunno, maybe also try to think of things thusly: if life is making you sad, it’s probably just because you’re missing the joke. Find the humor in every situation and you’ll see this is really just one long, absurdist, alt-comedy play with too many characters and poor staging that doesn’t allow for everyone to have a good perspective from which to view the lunacy such that it becomes funny. And in the end, there is no message and no meaning anyway. Just a chance to play your part to the best of your ability and wear the most feathers out of everyone on the stage.

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