Did you know that one of the most authentic relationships of my life is with you?
I sit here every week writing exactly what I want to say.
There are no pretenses.
No adjusting my words.
I just tell you things as they are.
As the years have gone by, I understood the importance of this letter in my own life.
It is the one place each week, I can count on to be real.
I have often struggled with living inside a dishonest world.
When people say something they don’t mean, it feels like a betrayal.
It is often the seemingly harmless pretenses. ‘I love seeing you.’ Or, ‘let’s hang out together again.’ When they really don’t mean it.
I happen to believe what people say.
I am a literal person.
If you show interest, I believe that you are interested.
If you tell me you like my hair, I believe that you do.
If you make a promise, I believe you will keep it.
So when I find myself in places where pretenses are at the forefront of my experience I feel a lot of loss. We live in a play pretend world that nobody prepared us for.
I came back home last night after experiencing many new adventures, making new friends, and visiting places I had never been to.
In the last two months, I traveled to Greece to see my family.
I saw a rocket go to space up close.
I spoke at a conference where politicians, celebrities, and public figures spent three days together.
And I came back knowing that finding people outside the Matrix is rare.
You can feel connection, friendship, and meaning but 9 out of 10 times, it won’t last.
9 out of 10 times, it won’t be more than a short-term occasion that ends on the day it starts.
In the last two months, I had plenty of new connections and friendships.
I experienced such beautiful moments.
I felt excitement that I can’t even describe.
I had the time of my life.
I even felt like I belonged at times.
That I finally found my tribe.
I spent time with new girlfriends, mentors, public people, cousins, aunts and uncles, parents, dogs and cats too.
I had moments of pure joy and contentment.
I took my MFA art homework on the road.
I made book deadlines sitting at airport gates.
I met with my team no matter where I was.
I continued facilitating my classes as I was running from one place to the next.
I kept everything moving forward while searching for meaning, for new friendships and connections.
Always looking for some kind of human Nirvana.
I didn’t find it. But I did find myself.
I played the play-pretend game without becoming one of the pretenders.
I looked people in the eyes.
I meant everything I said.
I didn’t make promises I had no intention of keeping.
I walked inside every conversation wanting to know the other person better.
I showed up without ulterior motives.
I tried to leave everyone better than I found them.
And that has to be more than enough.
In life, you will meet groupies, pretenders and users.
But now and again as you sit inside the game, someone will come along who is not a player. In the two months of traveling, moving across the globe I may have brought home with me two new friends, dare I say three.
Here’s to finding yours.
Remember they are out there, they are looking for you, just as you are looking for them.
You and I are a special kind of human.
We mean what we say, and say what we mean.
And you will always find us outside the Matrix.
Christina Rasmussen is the creator and founder of The Life Reentry Institute, Second Firsts, and Star Letters, and the host of the Dear Life Podcast. Christina is on a crusade to help millions of people rebuild, reclaim, and relaunch their lives using the power of their own minds. Christina’s work has been featured on ABC News, NPR, The White House Blog, and MariaShriver.com. She is the bestselling author of Second Firsts: Live, Laugh, and Love Again, which has also been translated in Chinese and German and just released her second book Where Did You Go on expanding the mind in ways that allows co-creation with the forces of the universe. She is also writing her first work of fiction: a science fiction story about a woman on a quest to start over and begin a new life. You can find more information on her website and follow her on FB or Twitter.
Image courtesy of Tomáš Malík.