What I know of life is that it doesn’t fit in a bottle, all neat and rolled up on a script like a message chucked out to sea. Floating and bobbing until it finds the person meant to read it.

What I know of life is that it comes in squares and circles, triangles and trapezoids. Colors that bleed together, shocking pinks, foamy hues of blue, colors we can’t see because we’re not sea shrimps. It’s a rainbow, but sometimes all the colors get so mixed, it looks like a big pile of brown.

What I know of life is that it’s not linear. Not in the ways we’d like to make it. Life isn’t like a career trajectory, climbing into more and more money and success each year.

Life is like the ocean that comes in waves. Some you can surf. Some you swim underneath. Some knock you right the fuck down and try to choke the life out of you. And sometimes, the waves are barely-there ripples on which you float, breath held, staring at the sky while the sunbeams warm your face and the gulls dart overhead.

What I know of life is that people will lie to you. People who love you will fill your body and heart with untrue because you’re not hard to live with, you’re not too much, and you’re not a needy child.

What I know of life is that you have to sort out your own truths. Like your laundry. Because life has laundry. So use good soap and smell the whole house up with freshness while the dryer vent blows the aroma of happiness around the fenced in yard.

What I know of life is that a dog makes it better. Sometimes harder. But better. A dog helps you remember to play, to be petted, to go for a walk, and that it’s never attractive to beg.

What I know of life is happiness isn’t guaranteed.

But free will to create happiness IS.

What I know of life is that if a message in a bottle washed up to the shore, and the glinting glass caught my eye, I would open it. I would open that bottle and unroll that script. I would read it out loud to the fishes and the turtles and the tiny grains of sand that hold infinity. Then I would sit down on infinity, unfurl my being and release what wasn’t for me back into the glass, send it floating back out into the abyss of ocean.

And the rest I would hold in the palm of my hand.