the most important thing

A year ago today, I sent myself an email. It was my response to a question asked of me. The question was “what’s the most important thing?”

I never finished my response.

And I was reminded today that at this point last year, I was struggling. Like seriously struggling. With everything. Purpose. Meaning. Friendships. Work. There was something seriously wrong, and I knew there was something wrong, but I couldn’t figure it out.

Over the several months that followed that question, I worked through it. In kind of a tortured way. The friend who asked the question said that it was going to be the summer of my malcontent. And it was. It truly was. Forward looking pushed me through it, but it was not easy.

And then just as things settled down—I finished the draft of a book, I found work, I fixed some friendships—the one who asked the question left. Like really left. Out of the country.

Last Friday, I knew that I would see him today, and I’ve been so excited that I could hardly stand it. And then, this morning, I saw the email. With the question. And I realized that over the past six months, I have found the answer.


That’s it. Simple as that. I initially wanted to say happiness. Then, joy. But it’s not that at all. Because in all truth, some shitty things have happened in the past six months. But they have not ruined me. It’s like everything swirls around me. And I remain.

And for one of the first times in my life, I can say that I truly have joy within me.

And I am so deeply grateful. I know that it comes from within, and I know that I have worked hard to attain it. But it is very rare in life—at least in mine—that I have had someone that I could quite literally say anything to.

And from the depths of all that is good and happy and peace-filled within me, the best I can do is say, “thank you.”

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