someone who wants something from you is complimenting your looks, your mind, or your initiative.

Say thank you, but consider keeping your cards close until you find out what they’re after. Sometimes you can tell what they want. A reaction. A promotion. A compliment in kind. A weakness. More than you care to give. Sometimes you can tell that they want something from you in return for what they say. Sometimes it’s all right. Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes they know it. Sometimes they don’t.

Sometimes you can tell. It will get easier with practice.



someone who truly cares about you is saying “I love you,” or “you look great,” or “you make me so proud,” or “thank you for coming.”

Say thank you, and try to believe them. These are the people who mean it, and who want nothing in return for their words of affirmation. I know that it’s hard to believe them when you’re feeling awful, or your heart is broken, or you’re so accustomed to receiving compliments from people who give them to you in order to further an agenda. But try.


Some of us will see people we only see once a year this holiday season. Some of us will see people we haven’t seen in ages. It will be awkward. It could be painful. It could be the start of moments which will become joyful memories in the coming months.

Grab hold of those shining moments, and let the rest fall away.

If you can.

If you cannot let it fall away right now, remember to breathe.

I don’t know why it’s so much easier for me to remember the words and the people that hurt me, than it is to remember the kind, sometimes life-changing things people have said to me. I don’t know why I have to fight to remember those things and fight to forget the others.

But my wish for you this time of year, this year, this moment, is that it will be easier for you to remember the words and the people who love you, who say wonderful things that you can barely believe, that they really mean, because they care about you. Take care. Be well. You have my support, in lyrical form, whenever you can access it, whenever you like. It’s not much, but I mean every word. Thank you.