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On Being Human

It’s really difficult being human, feeling so many emotions–tumultuously losing friends, relatives, breaking up, making up, fighting, wishing, yearning, needing but not having. I feel like being human is to feel a big hole inside of you that you can never quite fill. A home for your burning desires, deepest passions, loves, fears. A hole that some of us numb with drugs, sex, alcohol–you’ve heard it all, seen it all. And then there’s the filling of the hole, the following of one’s path, one’s Personal Legend. A journey that is bound to be exactly the opposite of what you expect, and consequently the precise cure you need. A trip designed just for you. One that teaches you your hardest lessons, the ones you’ve been learning your whole life. The ones you were put here to learn…and then, if you’re lucky, to teach.

But who knows if the hole can be filled here. My heart feels like it’s in a perpetual state of breaking. But I like to think this pain–this pain that comes from the glance I exchange with that toothless homeless man every morning before hopping on the train, or the rejection letter from that school I adore, or his arms hugging me goodbye for the last time–this pain is breaking open my heart to allow me to love more fully, more unconditionally, and more selflessly. This pain is what drives me to pick up the phone when the fourth graders I tutor call fifteen times every Saturday. This pain is what drives us to write heart-wrenching poetry, what drives us to endlessly search for joy and to create such wondrous beauty on our way. Beauty that saves those who follow in our footsteps; beauty that whispers to them, “Keep going, my love. Keep going.”

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