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do you want to live?

If you love me, Henry, you don't love me in a way I understand. -Richard Siken, "Wishbone" Dearest, I've been thinking about you a lot this month. The way you ask questions, the way your eyes narrow when you suspect someone is lying to you or is saying something so ridiculous and terrible you just want to walk away and never think about them again. I've been thinking about the joy and hope you provide me with, even when parts of you are falling apart like glaciers calving into the Arctic Ocean. It's so gracious of you to just listen, and I hope you're getting something out of this too. I don't feel very much alive these days, but talking to you helps. I feel like everything is going by so quickly, a swift cloud of days whipping past. Sometimes I'll get up and go to work and get a bunch of things done, and at 3 PM I'll just... wake up. Like there's another part of my brain that can drive 45 minutes and write sales letters for financial research and make a living, and I just turn that part on to get through the day. It's not that I don't like my job. It's making me a better writer, and it gives me the freedom to make the art that I want to without wondering if it'll be a commercial success. I even get to donate to charities and stuff. It just... Like I said before, it feels like this is the desert. And the part of me that wakes up at 3 is the real me, and it's alive but waiting for something that may never come, hibernating so we don't die of thirst. Do you ever wish you could split your life in three, and take all the different paths possible? Ask that person out or give someone a chance, move to a city where no one knows you, become that world traveler and see everything there is to see before you die? Like maybe I'd just drop everything to go live with my relatives in South Korea... or go work at a restaurant in Spain or the Netherlands or St. Lucia... or I would have let that person try to love me... or go get an MBA and work for a company developing a life-saving treatment for a rare disease. Maybe instead of spending so much time writing I'd learn another language or gardening or programming. Now, given that I can't split my life, my current path is one I'm happy to take. It's just hard not to wonder, y'know? What about you? What would you do if you could split your life and take all the branching paths? I hope you'd use at least one of them to write that book you've been thinking about writing. You have a lot to say, and only you can say it. If you ever wanted to start, let me know if you need any help. I have some experience with that haha. This month has been interesting. And exhausting. With everything that's been going on in my life and the world, I've just been having a hard time. I haven't stopped wrestling with God all year. (I know we believe differently from each other, but I hope this helps you in some way too.) I think it all boils down to one simple fact... If God loves me, he doesn’t love me in a way I understand. I don't feel it, I don't see it (or maybe I don't want to see it), I don't understand it. I know everything I go through is supposed to make me better, but I don't want to be better. I want to be happy. I want the world to not be fucked. I'm Jacob in that old story where he literally wrestles with God and won't let go until He blesses him. God even dislocates Jacob's hip and he still doesn't let go. So the blessing God gives him is a new name: Israel. Which means "He wrestles with God." And I feel like that's my Name and what I've been doing for the past five years since graduating college, but I haven't even been asking for a blessing; I'm just stubborn and screaming and I don't know what I'm waiting for but damn it I'm going to fight like hell because I'm not getting what I want. But I'm done. I'm done fighting. I'm coming to terms with all of this. Honestly, I just have to. This is no way to live. I'm giving in. I'm finding God is forceful, but the way gravity is forceful. It pulls you down, but there's no use lamenting its existence. In fact, there are lots of benefits to gravity. And just because it exists and acts on you at all times doesn't mean you can't fly. That's where I'm at right now. I'm giving in, and asking God to show me how to fly. Am I still angry? Hell fucking yeah I am. I just can't live like this anymore, poisoning my own happiness with an ever-creeping toxic sludge scorching my veins. I also realized a big part of why I was holding onto this anger because I thought it would make me look like a better artist or thinker. That it would make you like me more. But that's a horrible way to live. And an awful way of exploiting tragedy. I'm still confused and angry, but I'm choosing to live.

I think I've had a breakthrough this month. I feel lighter and clearer than I have in a long time. It feels like that line from Princess Mononoke, "The world is cursed. But still, you find reasons to keep living."

But the thing I'm just now learning about breakthroughs is that once you smash a hole in the wall, there's still the rest of the journey. And I'm ready for it. I'm taking my next steps, and I'm fully expecting a blessing, a new name. If you haven't had your breakthrough yet, I hope you have it soon. I'll be here so we can take our next steps together. I don’t often see the point of living, but I want to live--god, do I want to live. Love, bread, and antivenom, Lex