42 — Or the Meaning of My Life, Anyway…

If I ever worry that my life has no meaning whatsoever, there’s always the internet. I may just exist to make people smile. If I can brighten at least one person’s day, every day, what an good life I will have lead.

As a child, I always knew the meaning of life was to make the world a better place. And I always knew that it begins with me – the things I do, the things I say, the way I act to other people.

I know that I make a difference, even when I’m trapped in bed, as long as I’m willing to use my fingers to let my mind out on the internet.

There are so many people I love. So many people whose lives I read about every day, and every chance I get to say an encouraging word, I do so. Every chance I get to nurture, I take. Any work I can do from where I am, I do.

It’s enough for me, every day, right now, to know that I give others silent permission to tell the world how they feel, even if the way they feel is bad, or scary, or not what they think other people want to hear by telling everyone what’s going on with me while I’m dealing with life with MS.

Sometimes, the saddest, heaviest burdens we carry are those that we aren’t willing to share with the ones we love, thinking that we are protecting them from our pain or shame, when just by complaining (yes, I know, it’s horrible to say but it’s the way we think!), we let them know how we feel. We share our experience with them. We let them love us, and in doing so, we strengthen our relationship not only with them, but with ourselves. We give credence to our own experiences. We self-validate. We get stronger. And it’s so important.

It’s enough for me, every day, to simply say “Happy Birthday” to someone I haven’t seen in person in 4 years, to know that I made them smile from ear to ear because I linked them a version of Steven Tyler singing it to Joan Jett, and her name is Jen and it sounded like he said Jen, and she just happens to enjoy Aerosmith.

In my entire life, the one constant for me, since I started getting on BBSes when I was 11 has been that I love talking to people online. I love keeping in touch with friends. I love that there are people in Memphis who I know would end up being great friends with fantastic people here in LA, or others in Portland, or wherever else.

I *am* a friend. I help people. It’s just who I am. It’s why I moved toward a job like a lawyer, a counselor – an advocate when I found out that musicians get screwed over. It was more important to me to protect musicians than to continue playing, even though playing and singing is what gives me more joy. It’s more important to me to nurture and protect.

I’m here to make the world a better place by helping to make people happier. I’m here to nurture and protect.

Because the world is our home. And to make it a better place, we need to nurture and protect each other from harm as best we can. We need to bring more joy into it.

Even when I’m in great pain, I can do that. Thankfully, the treatments are working, and at the moment, I’m doing more than a little bit better. 🙂

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