CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE STILL SOCIALLY ANXIOUS BUT WAIT: A letter to myself for the new year

Before we refrain from yellow bile goodbyes

Can we congratulate the shy?

-a line from a thing in a notebook

We are frozen, I guess. Right?

And all the experts and all the friends, I don’t think they can see us.

It’s like, we can only know our own world, a world created just for you. Like you’re in something that only you can see and the people you meet are just molecular structures you’ve engaged with along the way, like oxygen, or ski poles, or little pieces of you. Something like that.

It’s important to think of yourself as an independent ideology. You’ll do more things, and better things, if you expect absolutely nothing, if you engage with the fact of your creative strength and just open up to exactly what people are offering so that you can offer the same back.

I wish you could understand your exact ability to be an accomplished human being–to succeed at incredible things and work tirelessly at life like you’ve never been victimized by another person or some natural cause of misfortune.

Victimhood is the past.

Try to appreciate that victimhood is the product of something that is either gone or it is invincibly ever-present. But, you are the world you’ve been given. And as long as you have the privilege of survival (and, not everyone does), you can create a path around your tragedy.

Because, you have to appreciate the unique idiot that you are.

Someone lost and finding. Someone courageous enough to stay.

Relax and offer an indefinable version of yourself, whatever comes out in the face of another person: Perspective, experience, hope, or maybe nothing.

If it helps, imagine there aren’t any bodies around you, just colors, gas, bubbles. Accept the inevitability of culture clashing and social misconduct and hate. Watch for it and react accordingly. But within the chemical makeup of societal tragedy, forget yourself. Shame, guilt, regret—I promise you, unless you’ve damaged and hurt someone, no one cares. If it’s all about you, you can let it go.

Because, as long as you are living above the threshold of survival, all you can do is focus on gratitude and generosity. If you feel uncomfortable, it’s likely because someone else is suffering. So, open up and give what you can. There’s an answer in your own little world that only you have access to. I don’t know what it is. But, I know it will be awkward. Everything you do feels awkward because the people around you aren’t people. They’re just burps and hiccups. See everything. Take nothing personally.

After spending many years of a life in physical pain from stress, panic and depression, try seeing things upside down. Write down the circumstance and reverse it. Create a life for each person you meet in your head and allow them to be whatever they are.

For some reason, we put ourselves through pain.

And, we often mistake independence for alienation at the expense of creative energy.

But, that feels silly in 2022.

Maybe it’s age.

Or maybe it’s failure.

Maybe those are synonymous things.

Maybe it’s just a New Year’s thing.

But, I feel in awe of my private mind and grateful for my public freedom.

For the first time ever, I welcome the consequences of strangers.

Because, in some ways, that’s the only way to welcome change.

So, to the next person you meet, say, “Whoever you are, I’m not nervous to meet you. And, welcome to my world.”

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