Build Your Own Life Raft

photoLIZSo often I want someone else to build my life raft for me. Some song from my childhood runs through my head, “What about me/ It isn’t fair/ I’ve had enough now I want my share.”

My share seems to include someone else figuring out my shit for me.

A funny thing happens when you decide to claim that you are a writer. You spend a lot of time alone. Time alone writing. Which turns into writing about your shit. And then you are building your own life raft through the words.

Then your office starts to feel safe. You are building your own life raft.

Sometimes, though, your office feels lonely. You want someone to fucking help you with the life raft. Especially on those mornings when parenting is hard, or when you can’t stop thinking about relationships that didn’t work out the way you wanted them to. If you just click on enough articles online you will find the one clause that will save your life.

I find thousands of clauses that will save my life. But none of them are written by me. Even the title of this blog post is not written by me. Build your own life raft. I think it comes from the book Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. This book is one of my life rafts.

Those clauses, they are my life rafts too. Those relationships that didn’t work. Life rafts. The hard parenting mornings. Life rafts. All the shit that wasn’t fair. Life rafts. All the people I wish were still in my life that probably won’t be in my life again. Life rafts. My whole life whispering at me you already made it this far, maybe you are wearing a life vest.

I’m wearing a life vest already. I weave words out of my life vest and send them to you. Sit with your own self. You are your own life raft. Let me borrow a Glennon phrase: We can do hard things. Let me add my own thoughts. Alone or together. We can build a life raft alone and with our friends and family. And now I want to put some tidy bow on this. My friend Mary says I am good at this part of blog posts. But today it feels forced and I look around my office for inspiration. Where’s the bow?

The bow is the opposite of building a memoir out of memory. It’s these lines form Gigi Marks that remind me to get the hell out of my office. There are birds out there swooping and diving, a cauldron of crows, maybe, cawing with all of their might at the mighty king eagle they want off of their turf. Here you go:

“If I want I can remember everything—

the not tender, the not gentle—

but look at what we are being offered,

the chance to strip down, accept grace

with our grace, dive in and forget.”

-Gigi Marks

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