The Incredibly Stupid Lightness of Being

The last few weeks or months I’ve been having this conversation with myself, with friends, with my therapist about how I would like to find some “lightness,” some way to experience things with a little less gravity. I wish I didn’t take everything so seriously. That’s what I’ve been saying, at least.

I think that’s all bullshit.

I’m trying to like myself. Even love myself. And right now, tonight, one thing I accept about myself is that I am not graced with “lightness.” I don’t take things lightly. Most things seem stupid to me. A room doesn’t brighten when I enter it. I like dark comedy, inappropriate jokes, depressing fiction, journalism and documentaries that reckon with the profound brokenness of the world. I love my friends and everyone else can take me or not.

Lightness may visit me if it will. I do not plan to struggle to seek it out.

It occurred to me that people like me. Not everyone, but many people do. And I don’t think they like some version of me who carries a particular lightness out into the world, because I never met him. I don’t think that ever occurred to me before, that people have encountered me as I actually am, and they have accepted me.

Time for me to accept myself, too.


It's the new year, Beardos. I'm sure you've been waiting with bated breath for a special year-end post, maybe a "Best of 2014" or a "Reflections on the Year." We didn't do that, obviously. But I'm here with the next best thing: a think-piece about New Year's Resolutions. Yeah! Maybe these resolutions will be generic enough and so vague that you can apply them to your own life situation, effectively making them your own resolutions! Things will be so much better after I tell you how I've resolved to "love more" and "take care of myself" and "enjoy the little things"! I'm so excited for me/us!

I'm just kidding. That's gross. You wouldn't be here if you liked that kind of gross. I do have a resolution, though. I told myself in the early morning sunlight of January 1st that I couldn't promise myself much, but I could work on this: being a not-broken. It's way harder than it sounds, but it's doable. I don't mean to achieve sainthood in 2015 or anything, but I can work on my own tendencies to separate, to feel less than what I know myself to be, and to casually shrug off the things I do well. I can try a little harder, is all. I can also get used to the idea that sometimes trying isn't enough. Sometimes brokenness is a heavy yoke rested on our shoulders without our say, and the work becomes how to bear it while figuring out the best way to remove it. You can be resolute about it if you want, but be ok with results no matter what.

That's what's behind the word 'resolution' anyway. It doesn't mean 'accomplishment.' It's a plan, full of the flaws and inconsistencies people tend to inject into whatever they do. The plan might be bad, it might not work. Still, you can be resolute in pursuing it. That's all I can do. It's all you can do, too. Carve out some time for it after you've lost fifteen pounds and started writing thank-you notes again. Or maybe just settle in with me and we can look forward to being not-brokens in the future, conquerors of our own fickle humanity, dreaming rulers who will definitely have it together by 2016. Definitely.