the truth

January 3, 2018

by Harry Browne

The truth is simply this:
No one owes you anything.
It means that no one else is living for you, my child. Because no one is you. Each person is living for himself; his own happiness is all he can ever personally feel.
When you realize that no one owes you happiness or anything else, you’ll be freed from expecting what isn’t likely to be.
It means no one has to love you. If someone loves you, it’s because there’s something special about you that gives him happiness. Find out what that something special is and try to make it stronger in you, so that you’ll be loved even more.
When people do things for you, it’s because they want to — because you, in some way, give them something meaningful that makes them want to please you, not because anyone owes you anything.
No one has to like you. If your friends want to be with you, it’s not out of duty. Find out what makes others happy so they’ll want to be near you.
No one has to respect you. Some people may even be unkind to you. But once you realize that people don’t have to be good to you, and may not be good to you, you’ll learn to avoid those who would harm you. For you don’t owe them anything either.
No one owes you anything.
You owe it to yourself to be the best person possible.

December 25, 1966

january, i.

January 1, 2018

Tomorrow is
another
page.
— Langston Hughes

Overcast, rain, and wind. The force of nature came into life to welcome the beginning of the year. I’m thinking of Patti Smith and her way with words. The last December day was marked with Malbec and Syrah. With home-cooked food, family, and Aretha Franklin. Others were there too: Diana Krall, Seal, the Obama Celebration, Kennedy Center awards of the last couple of years. Chill jazz playlists from SoundCloud. I documented my stream of consciousness of those last few hours. It feels like there could be something to hold onto there. A thread worth unraveling into a story. Something. No word yet. Not since before Christmas. I cannot help but be overcome with self-pity at the reflection that I am, in fact, waiting for him. Still and all this time. Things to write about: the sea, the colors of the sea, the wind, all that is the Mediterranean, all that is home.

december, xii.

December 12, 2017
The National Gallery, London. December 2017.

I keep certain songs on repeat. For weeks, months, years. Like my thoughts. Maybe if I change the music I listen to, so will my thoughts. A novel idea.

I flew to London for a weekend. To walk the streets, visit my favorite cafes, get lost in the streets of Marylebone. To laugh and be at ease for once. My world hasn’t been the same since.

We’ll always have Istanbul.

I am not alone this week and it disturbs my flow. No more visitors next year.

I’ll be home soon. I’m ready for the year’s end.

I agreed to a friendly dinner with the sunshine. He’s going to flip out when I tell him my stories. I am grateful that I can tell him to begin with.

I’ve decided to start working on my morning pages. To write lists again. I need to keep my mind still.

What he said to me. Everything replays as if on a loop in my head. But there’s nowhere to go from here.

I don’t know what you want me to say. The truth and nothing else.

Hong Kong grips at me. Three months. I’ve never been there on my own before, I’ve never been in the city without living there. I’m scared I won’t be strong enough against the gravity of memories.