Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

October 9, 2018

Oof, I started reading this book last night. I’d heard good things about it. But I didn’t expect it to move me like 15 minutes into it. The chapter that got me was from a woman who lost a child late in the pregnancy. My wife and I lost our first child this June in the 20th week of the pregnancy.

In her response, Cheryl shares a couple of stories from young adolescent women from tough backgrounds whom she mentored for a year as a youth advocate.

The advice she eventually lands on giving one of the young women about dealing with adversity rings so true.

I told her it was not okay, that it was unacceptable, that it was illegal and that I would call and report this latest horrible thing. But I did not tell her it would stop. I did not promise that anyone would intervene. I told her it would likely go on and she’d have to survive it. That she’d have to find a way within herself to not only escape the shit, but to transcend it, and if she wasn’t able to do that, then her whole life would be shit, forever and ever and ever. I told her that escaping the shit would be hard, but that if she wanted to not make her mother’s life her destiny, she had to be the one to make it happen. She had to do more than hold on. She had to reach. She had to want it more than she’d ever wanted anything. She had to grab like a drowning girl for every good thing that came her way and she had to swim like fuck away from every bad thing. She had to count the years and let them roll by, to grow up and then run as far as she could in the direction of her best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by her own desire to heal.