My daughter, Livy, and I were talking in the car yesterday about Marilyn Monroe and reflected on what a hard road it must have been during that time as a beautiful, sexually-alluring woman with a kind heart and desire for meaning deeper than popular society felt she was capable of.

Livy told me Marilyn was born within one month of Queen Elizabeth and after she said that, I imagined Marilyn as an older woman just like Queen Elizabeth, maybe carrying a little dog in her purse with smile wrinkles around her eyes that doubled as her best friend. But she never got there. Because people kill themselves; that’s real and unfortunate, and often it’s because they don’t feel valued for what they truly are. They’re rushed into the smallness of a carry-on bag for what should be the luxurious potential of a flight bearing beauty, brains and authentic kind heartsAnd it takes a true bullshit personality to accept the limitations of a humanity that doesn’t know how to behave so fidgets. That doesn’t know how to pay attention when the sages talk so instead turn up the TV. And when the mischievous ones with the smile lines show up in curves and breathy persona, our societal norms of rabid extroversion devoid quiet listening bury them. Toss them into the abyss of unhealthy coping skills and a society which has the desire and capacity to be happy—to be so much more and make an incredible world—but delude and unknowingly phone it in, laughing loudly to cover the loneliness.

The end of my conversation with Livy had me reflecting on life and society, the norms, the media, the tendency to fetishize the most vapid and unimportant things, and I told her that I’m trying to walk my own road and instead of moving through life in search of events or tangible things, trying to move through life in search of feelings of wholeness and connection independent of what society plugs as that would be.

And it took me a long time to get here. It was a road where I went off the edge, down the abyss into that loneliness; into the darkness. Devoid of external value, deeming self unloved, unlovable. And that somehow I survived, is an accomplishment bestowed also upon our foremothers who didn’t.

And wherever Marilyn is, I hope she knows I’m listening to the story of her life, and relishing it’s luxurious import, and the gift that it helped carry me out of the madness.

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