The first step is to invest in yourself. Become your own best friend, then your own boss, then your own stockbroker. Take risks. Risk it all—be silly, do stupid things, do everything. Do it with the desperation and conviction that says you will die if you don’t. Don’t worry about fucking it all up, because you won’t. Fuck yourself up, instead. All those fragile things you were scared of losing, if they can’t weather the storm, weren’t meant to be anyway. They have no part in what’s to come.
Laugh loudly, and be impulsive, but do too those grudging chore-like things you know you ought to do. Do those daring things that rage within you like a fire of disgust and indignation. Do it all—do absolutely everything—do all the things that you know, incontrovertibly, that you have to do.
Leave everything. Leave the old you. Leave your family. Tell your friends you’ll see them later. (They’ll be happy for you.) Strike out alone, completely alone, in your quest to come to terms with this thing roaring louder and louder inside of you; this voice that commands you to live the best life possible for yourself. Set out on your own, with no noise to interfere with its voice, with no ghosts to block its vision, with only you and it inside filtering the brand new world before you.
And when you arrive, breathe it in. Awaken to the vast glorious world of oh my god, there’s so fucking much and engage with it using every fiber of your physical being. The world is made for you, my friend—it is big enough and wide enough to handle your quirkiness, your outbursts, your joy, your screams, your emotions, your running, your shouts, your tears. It will respond to all of this nicely, and you will feel phenomenal, for you are a wet sponge in need of squeezing.
Forget about what you thought you knew, damn it, because there’s living out there, and much to your surprise it’s even better than you’d ever dreamed about—more wonderful than your most elaborate fantasies—more immediate than you could’ve ever imagined—and real, so real—and so, so good. In the midst of this living, somewhere shortly after tapping the live wire, she will appear, brought forth out of nowhere, out of somewhere, by each consecutive step you’ve taken in bravery, chiseled out of thin air by your beating heart. Holy image out of time—and then everything stops.
The rest, in a way, is history, for this love is indescribable and incomparable. What begins to open up, as you continue to pay attention, is an intimate, tender, ever-growing cleft which nurtures honesty, total honesty: the cleansing of our conscience and our sins. The deliverance, in waves of penetrating realization, of our souls. As you probe how deeply down this soft fold goes, every tingling neuron in your body gets saturated with utter knowledge and achievement, each atom validated. You were totally right all along, you son of a bitch! There was a reason for every single feeling in your life before, and it was to lead you to this moment—that moment when, walking in the rain with her, you realize with heavy wordless understanding just what is happening.
And then, of course, you’ve done it—you’re there! You get your gorgeous moments at the top, your perfect moments where everything is sunshine. And maybe it will fade, because everything fades, but not before it permeates down into every part of your being, saved on the hard drive forever, the immediate next benchmark for every other thing you’ll do in your life: How far you’ve come.
And this is all I know, to be honest. This is all I’ve got. That’s better than most, I’m assuming, and perfect for me, because it was mine. But there’s more, obviously there’s more, because you’re a human being on planet earth; because you’re an eternal soul on a cosmic journey. There’s always more, and always deeper, no finish line and no end to the adventure. But this is all I know, for now—this is how far I’ve come. And that is how you fall in love, completely.