Weekly enthusiasms

A weekly review of something I love.

Time!

  Screengrab from No Reservations

Screengrab from No Reservations

A late entry: I was in Spain this past week, traveling. I was especially sad to learn about Anthony Bourdain, given I was out doing just what he'd inspired me to do so long ago, sitting in my parents' living room watching him on TV. So, this is TIME. 

That some people do not seem to get enough time is an iniquity solely for the still-living. I can't claim to know what happens after you die, but I assume whatever it is, you don't get much of a say in the matter. Meanwhile, those of us still around are left to gather as much of the person as we can get somehow, like wringing water from a damp cloth. In my short while, I've known people who've left much too soon—illness and accidents and also suicide. The simplest thing you could say about any of it is it all fucking sucks, but it is, of course, all more complicated than that. 

Still, TIME. You probably think that it is an "every moment matters!!" thing, which in some ways it is. It's both an incredibly cheesy and very true thing, and an almost impossible ideal to uphold. Adult life sometimes feels like that episode of Spongebob Squarepants in which Squidward moves to the town of squids, cycling listlessly through once-loved activities until his face is practically melting from frowning so much. Time can be brutal in its sameness, but there are moments of joy, I hope, big and small. 

With all the recent talk, I think it's important to say that depression isn't a battle you win or lose. The people who are still here are often glad for it; the people who are not fought every day—maybe their whole lives!—against a feeling that's impossible to comprehend, really, if you haven't felt it yourself. 

But if I've learned any enduring lessons here on this planet, it's this: Time is like the most boring magic. It's imperceptible, day-to-day, how things change. I don't mean that everything necessarily always gets better, but it always gets different, which in itself is no small thing. You'll look someday back and think, wow that was incredible. I don't believe in a whole lot, but I believe that—and the only way to disprove it is by sticking around. 

We can also keep alive the people who've left us, by using our time they way they taught us. Be curious; gracious; joyful and messy; a friend; a critic; a big, open heart. We are all incredibly lucky and completely fucked in equal measure—that I know for sure. 

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Ed. Note: Mental health care is a privilege for which I am endlessly grateful. Confronting the fact that I had soul-crushing anxiety was a terrible and scary and necessary thing, and it totally changed my life—but that kind of care isn't easy or available for everyone. If you are here and not sure what to do next, there are some resources here in Massachusetts that I know about, and I am always forever available to talk about getting therapy. It is my #1 most-offered piece of advice.