Tiny Beautiful Things

Last week was full of goodbye parties and last visits to beloved Dallas places. This week is more of the same. We’re emptying closets and preparing for the movers on Friday. For as long as it took me to get used to Dallas, I sure am sad to leave it.

Just in time, I pulled Tiny Beautiful Things from the library’s recently returned ebook shelf. I was looking for something that fit the Mental Health Month umbrella, and nothing was really jumping out at me. This one, though, felt like a way to bring some light back to a very dark few weeks. Hopefully it would be what I needed to prepare me for what is coming this weekend.

Life can be hard: your lover cheats on you; you lose a family member; you can’t pay the bills—and it can be great: you’ve had the hottest sex of your life; you get that plum job; you muster the courage to write your novel. Sugar—the once-anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir Wild—is the person thousands turn to for advice.

Cheryl Strayed’s column from The Rumpus is like Dear Abby for the modern age. It’s much less conservative–she talks about sex, drugs, and more with the word ‘motherfucker’ liberally sprinkled throughout. At times she seems like a mother hen, other times the most straight-shooting best friend ever. I want to sip coffee with her in the morning, and grab a beer with her every Saturday night.

I’ve had this book on my list for awhile–probably since I read Wild. But sometimes books come up on a TBR just at the right time. And I needed this one right now. Not every letter applied to me perfectly–in fact most of them had nothing to do with me. But after a month of reading nothing but dark books about dark, scary illness, I desperately needed to reconnect with everyday human emotion. Romance and marriage and siblings and children and friendship and work and school and moving and all those things.

I very much want this one on my shelf. Much like Eat Pray Love, it’s one I could pull off every few years, at different crossroads, and reread the wisdom Strayed gives her Honey Buns. Different columns will relate to me in different ways at different times. I will connect to different people. I will need different advice. Life is full of Tiny Beautiful Things.

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