don't put up with people who are reckless with your heart
Today I had the good fortune to come across this article about Kurt Vonnegut's advice to college graduates in my inbox (c/o email newsletter The Conversation). I love commencement speeches; while the vast majority are boring and slip into obscurity, the ones that do bubble up into public consciousness are quite memorable. My favorite text of all time is a commencement speech.
I watched a few of Vonnegut's speeches and one bit that consistently comes up near the end is this quote from A Man Without a Country, which Vonnegut attributes to his Uncle Alex.
And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."
It's an apt reminder that in spite of the deep sadness and emptiness I feel inside, there are still so many things to be grateful for, like summer sunshine, sympathetic friends, and upcoming travels. More than ever, it would do me good to try to focus my attention on the things that are going well (because there are a lot!), hard as it may be to distract myself from the terrible tempest swirling around in my head.
It's just as one of my friends wrote me recently (which reads quite like accidental poetry?):
what you went through is one of the most painful experiences that a human can experience.
that's no small feat to conquer.
give yourself grace.
our life is full of little wonders and you have so many more in your lifetime
your next blip in the radar is new york
experience it to the fullest
because what remains looking back
is the laughter and memories you made in the moment
the pain fades with time, I promise.
I also took a detour to read the "Wear sunscreen" graduation speech linked at the beginning of that Vonnegut article. It's a lovely read, and I found all of the advice useful, but of course the one that stood out to me most was this one:
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
thank you for reading; write to me at
yourstiramisu 🐌 proton dot me