Dear Frank Sinatra,
I think, above anything else, you have taught me what it means to live. What the journey of life often looks like. Your voice has been in the background of the biggest moments in my life. Every time I listen to you sing, I remember when you said, “Whatever else has been said about me is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.”
So when you sing, I believe you. Whatever else has been said about you. (Although the mafia accusations never really bothered me because, here’s a secret, I’m pretty sure I was in the mafia in a past life. Just saying. But that’s a conversation for another time.)
You have taught me that in the hard moments, when you feel really hollow but also almost too full, you always get back up. You taught me to be brave in the face of doubt. You taught me that we are more than we seem. You’ve taught me to face it all, and stand tall while I’m doing it.
I’m pretty sure that if you ever had the moments where you felt like somebody took a cheese grater to your soul, you just fixed it with Jack Daniels. The problem with this is that I don’t drink, so I’ll never know the exact effectiveness of this particular solution. But that’s okay.
The thing is that moments like those can be oddly relieving, while also being more painful than you thought they’d be. No matter how surprisingly well they went. Brave things tend to do that, I think. They are surprising in no less than 900 ways. My solution usually involves listening to your music for undisclosed amounts of time until ridiculous hours in the morning.
And then when I wake up, I feel better. Stronger.
Whenever I have the urge to complain, I let myself be as ridiculous as I want for about 20 seconds. And then I shut it off like a switch and continue on. It worked really well on my religious mission, and works great on a grander scale as well. You let yourself feel whatever you’re going to feel for an hour, all night, a day, a week, or whatever it is you decide. But when you get to the end of that time, you move on. That’s the key to wallowing.
Is that anything like Jack Daniels?
Because if it is, then you taught me that, too.
You also taught me that old movies are better all the time. As a general rule. They just are. They’re better because they weren’t afraid to say the things we only ever think. They’re better because everything is better in black and white or old color.
Really, Frank, you’ve taught me a vast amount of things when it comes to living. A lot of what not to do, I’ll be honest, but a lot of good things, too.
Also, your green fedora and the black one with the white band are my favorites.
Thank you for all the things.