I’m a little late to the party, but here goes. If I sound all paternal that’s not the vibe I’m trying to put out.

Oh, Ezinne.

L.A. is such an oxymoron. It’s brimming with beauty that’s not even skin deep and ugly that goes all the way to the soul. All — and I do mean all — the trappings that scream success to the world, but whisper failure only to those with ears to hear.

I know this because I lived there.

It’s okay to have a breakdown. It’s a sign that you’re getting in touch with the real you underneath all the hard work at keeping so many balls in the air.

As long as you fall prey to noticing someone else’s tinsel you’ll never have time to buff yourself to your own magnificent ebony sheen.

I wish I was there in L.A. right now, I’d do for you what a friend did for me when I hit bottom. He picked me up and drove me to “the secret beach,” as he called it. When we got there all I did was walk on the sand in the salt air. And breathed deeply. Repeatedly. I don’t remember how long we were there. I don’t even think we talked about much, if anything. I just know it was good for me. Very good for me.

Since I’m not there, the best I can do is tell you how to get to the secret beach” in the hopes that you’ll go with a good friend and breathe. But don’t tell a soul … because you know, it’s a secret. The beach is called [message truncated].

And after the time on the beach we drove down PCH to Duke’s. Yes, Duke’s! We had some seafood and a few drinks on the patio. It was a very good day. That day was a turning point for me.

Looking back, I think my friend could have taken me anywhere and the results would’ve been the same. The magic was knowing that someone was moved enough to care to take action.

I want you to know that I care.

Now call someone you can be yourself with and tell them you need to get away for a few hours. Get it the car, roll the windows down, feel the wind on your face, play some Elton John, find the secret beach, and breathe. And don’t forget Duke’s.

You owe it to yourself. And all of us out here who see the magnificent person you are that’s just outside of your current field of vision.

Author, artist, accidental activist, founder Our Human Family (http://medium.com/our-human-family). Social media: @clayrivers. Love one another.

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