Preface

We are a family of roommates. We are evening cereal eaters. We are screaming and yelling with an open floor plan. We are the kind of mess you sweep under the rug. We are the refrigerator light past midnight and a table cloth covered in pill counters. S M T W T F S. People say you don’t get to choose your family. I think you choose them every day of the week.

He keeps the toaster dial on burnt to a crisp, just like his father did. She is every ounce of my motivation and the reason we all had gym memberships. I am all tears to giggles, zero the eighty in a minute, like the roller coasters I have always been afraid of. And my brother has a brain the size of his heart, the size of a midwestern sky on a clear day. He is a breath of fresh air in a world of people that walk and talk and dress the same.

I’m tired of labeling people. I’m tired of the labels I have been given. I’m not known for how steady my hand is, how heartfelt my apologies are, or how good I am at remembering names. People don’t say, “there is the girl who falls in love with the way people introduce themselves.” I don’t know all the things they have said about me, the noisy crowds that nobody who holds any weight in the world listens to.

I want to hold weight in the world. I want to leave fingerprints on people’s lives. I want to be a character in the better part of someone’s story. I want to step away, when I’m finished here, and gawk at the way we all connected.

I’m not the only one. There is a whole breed of people that feel a heaviness in their chest, as if the world's antagonist sits on top of us every morning, dying for us to stay put.

If your heart breaks staying in one place for too long, you don’t know where you’ll call home in a year, or you’re twenty—in candles on a birthday cake or directions your life could go—I’m writing to you. I’m writing for the shower-criers and the people who pray to be just about anything else. This is for those of you who hear all the words people choose not to say, one by one. I hear your heart beating. It’s a good and holy sound.

And, in case you haven’t had one yet, here is your daily reminder that you are not hard to love.