Reaching out and being human

Most of the time, I’m on the top of the world. People wonder where I
get the energy to be so enthusiastic and positive almost all the time.

Here’s the secret: I get that energy from other people. Being around
loving people fills me with great love, which spills over into
everything else I do and everyone else I meet. People don’t have to be
perkily happy. They just need to be real, and I’m lucky to be
surrounded by very real friends.

I get that energy from all the wonderful things around me, too. A
singing streetcar conductor. Sunlight glinting off a sign. Sentimental
letters. Crazy coincidences. My parents observed that it was very rare
for me to be disappointed or sad for more than twenty minutes or so.
What can I do? The world kicks in. =)

For longer-running, deeper-seated issues, though, sometimes I end up
returning to what threw me out of whack in the first place. Sometimes
the issue’s too big for me to deal with. When I’m running on empty,
that’s when the most amazing and wonderful thing happens: people and
the universe just infuse me with love (and, occasionally, vast
quantities of hot chocolate).

It never fails to amaze me how my moments of weakness are those which
draw me closer to other people. This is why I do not fight being sad,
do not deny it, do not hush it away or starve it of sunlight. The
other day, as Dan Howard comforted me, he said that he was glad that I
shared this with him. Before that day, I had seemed to be some
unapproachably, inhumanly happy person. Now our bond is stronger for
those tears: he knows more of me, and I know that he can know that me
and still be there.

The outpouring of warm and fuzzy thoughts from people I’d never even
met fills me with great gratitude and the determination to give even
more back to the world. My life has been too short and my work too
small for me to deserve the smallest fraction of the love I have
received, and so I am driven to be more and love more in order to
repay this tremendous debt—one of gratitude to the world. Not that I
ever can. The interest on this debt grows and grows. The principal of
it grows and grows. But it is a debt I am happy to labor under!

I am human, and these are the moments that make me love being so. I am
flawed, and as Quinn pointed out, that’s a wonderful opportunity for
others to show compassion—and for me to learn by their example.

Tim Sanders told me the story of how a reporter
once asked Albert Einstein what question he would ask if he knew he
would get an answer. Immediately—as if he had been thinking about it
for a long time—Einstein said, “Is the universe friendly?” To him I
would say: the world is not only friendly, but loving. To the world: I
love you too. I love you too. I love you too.