To the People I Love

Friday, June 07, 2019

celine murillo


What’s up?

This here is an attempt. An effort to explain how much each of you means to me. Because I fear I may not be doing enough.

Let me start by saying this: every night I go to bed secretly wishing I wouldn’t wake up. To be offed in your sleep – that’s not a bad way to go, is it? Just – poof – it’s over. 

Every morning, I wake up disappointed. I get up, begrudgingly, knowing that I have to go through the process of living again, to navigate my minefield of a mind and do my best not to disintegrate.

I wish I could let you see and feel how it is in here, but at the same time I don’t. You don’t deserve that. 

I’m not suicidal.

I don’t think much about killing myself so I want you to not worry about me jumping off a ledge or hanging from the ceiling or overdosing on pills or ending it all with a knife. I spend too much time taking care of my body to disrespect it like that. That's not how I would go. 

This is what I want: to not exist. To stop being, and just be done with all this.

I used to fantasize about immortality when I was young. I thought I could do it. But now? Tell me I would live forever and I will punch you in the throat. This life is a joke and I don’t want a perpetual running gag. It’s not funny anymore.

But let me say this: you, all of you, make this mess of a life bearable

When you care about others, I find, it takes the spotlight off of your own drama. And that’s when I figured: hey, maybe this life wasn’t meant for myself. 

And so here I am.

Still here. Getting up. Getting through. Because of all of you. 

I may not be good at showing up. Let’s be honest, I suck at it. Pushing through with plans consumes a huge part of my emotional and social reservoir. Physically being there drains me out almost completely. That’s why I retreat from time to time – to recharge. 

It’s also why it means so much to me when you are there. I know the effort it takes to show up. This must mean you really care. Am tearing up just thinking about it.

I also blame this for my personal terror of overstaying. Because I empty out easily when my physical attendance is demanded, I assume people feel the same. So if I tend to watch my presence, to try and limit it at times, it’s because I fear you would get tired of it.

If I’ve asked you if you’re tired of me, or if I’ve expressed worry about something along the lines of diminishing returns, please know that it’s just another convoluted way of me saying that I like hanging out with you and I hope you do, too. 

If I pester you with words (or any of its reasonable facsimile), please know that this is my language.

I believe in telling people how I feel. My I love yous and Miss yous are not throwaways. I mean every word. 

The way I deal with emotions is through locutions. I verbalize – in poetry, in songs, in stories. If I love you, you’re going to get a long-ass essay on your birthday. Or a poem on a random day. Or end up in my stories. Or be associated with a line I’ve read from a book. And if I love you, I’m going to dedicate a song to you. Or even write you one.

Words are the only thing I’m sure I’m good at. And this is all I can give. And so I give it as generously as I can. And I know this can be a bit much for some of you, but, well, you have no choice. I love you. And you’re going to be told that and more every chance I get.

See, my greatest regret involves not saying things that were needed to be said. And now it’s too late and the words are meaningless even if I say it, for the person it was meant for is gone. 

I vowed to never let that happen again.

I know our languages differ. And I promise to learn how to speak and understand each one. Because love is about learning the details. It’s about taking time to unearth the particulars of one another, for in this process of excavation, we discover things that we take as our own, to share and to partake, so there’ll be more to bond over, more ground to drop the anchor on.

What I'm trying to say is that in this day and age where all is grim and everything seems to be ending, I just want you all to know that I’m glad I have found you. I’m glad that you are all in my life.

And we hurt and we hurt and we hurt. But to know that there are people sharing in this hurt, willingly taking pieces of this burden and carrying it as their own, well, how wonderful is that?

To have people look at you and not past you. To be seen. And heard. And listened to. To have someone laugh at your jokes, and tell you jokes.

To have someone say: I heard a song today that reminded me of you. Or “you might enjoy reading this e-magazine.” Or simply: hey, thought of you.

To be gifted thoughtful things. To warrant the spending of money. To be allowed the decision of where to eat. And to merit trust to come up with hiking trips.

To have someone tell you what to watch on Netflix. And send you YouTube videos. Or make you an entire Spotify playlist. Or lend you a bunch of random books, not necessarily because they think you’d enjoy it, but because they want to discuss it with you. And you oblige because you love them and every single one of their quirky details. And you know they’d do the same for you.

Oh god, I love when you all share these things to me. When you share anything with me. These are glimpses of your souls and they are magnificent. I feel affirmed. 

“Be ashamed to die until you’ve accomplished some victory for humanity,” Neil deGrasse Tyson once said. 

And that’s the secret right there. That’s it. 

To live beyond yourself, to see purpose in something bigger than your own existence. The “maintenance of the world”, the Hindus call it. Or the “betterment of the world” as I do. 

Simply: to live for others.

We keep telling ourselves to live in our own terms, to define our lives based on our own standards, only to realize later on that a life lead in service of something other than yourself is the best kind of life.

Generativity. Community.

To know that you are valued not because of what you can do but of who you are, to have people rely on you and to rely on, and to know that you are loved and that you will be missed – there is no greater motivation.

And so, my loves, I write this with no consideration for cohesion. I simply write to let you know. To make it clear that I will live to try and score a point for humanity. Score a victory for you. That I will fight and keep on fighting. Because I have a family. A family I chose. 

And that family is all of you. 

With all the love in this miserable but beautiful world,

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