Help me to be open to things. Help me to think about weird things sometimes: air like stardust, the thousands of tiny Martians that hold up soufflés. Help me to be patient and to be empathetic and to spread my wings sometimes. Help me to be 20 and something rather than a 20something help me to see myself and critique myself and learn to better myself.

Help me to gorge on the words of others, to nourish myself on problems and histories that are not my own but help me not to blur the lines. Help me to be honest with people to tell them with truth that I love them and help me to stop saying I love you to people I don’t.

Help me to remember that I am not the first person to turn twenty-one to turn twenty-two to have sobbed at the last glug of wine as it spills from the lips of some five dollar glass to have thought myself small and ridiculous and unshakably alone to have thought myself special for feeling this way. Help me to learn that comparing woe only makes you sadder. Help me with the embarrassment of growing older and thinking it all a waste. Help me to realize it wasn’t.

Help me to seize more color of this world. Help me to toss the sails to wade waist-deep in water too cold because someone said they didn’t want to go in alone. Help me to remember times in which I’ve been sad and hurt when talking to people who are sad and hurt and help me to pepper the mundane with adventure.

Help me to remember the people who have come before me the people I wear like rings the people who have given me my eyes and my history. Help me to think of them and help me not to be too scared of the future. Help me to get wildly lost in the present sometimes. Help me to write down the things that move me even if it’s just the first warm Hello of a sort of sucky day. Help me to know that even sort of sucky days end.

Help me with remembering to have at least five fresh vegetables in my fridge at all times. Help me to leave the light on sometimes and to shut it off others. Help me with releasing people, with letting people in. Help me to live in the gray space. Help me to stop worrying about defending the weird way I talk in my sleep and my collection of angel ornaments. Help me to laugh at myself but help me to know when to say something and help me to learn when a joke at someone’s expense isn’t funny anymore.

Help me because I am young and scared. Help me so that in whatever far distant future when someone asks me for help I’ll say yes simply for their asking. Help me to remember the earth and the water and all the things that we share, the infinite stretch of humanity and all its quiet, rippling repeatings.

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