I hope you remember to read this a few years down the road. I’m about to pour my heart out to you, and this will only work if you take the time to open up and listen—to remember these seemingly little moments of your journey, only to realize that they were the moments that made all the difference.
I’m not even going to pretend to know exactly where you are or what you’re doing right now, and I don’t plan on making any predictions. I know you had dreams and goals—you always have and always will—but you’ve learned quite a bit when it comes to letting go of things.
I doubt you’ve forgotten, but just in case you did, let me remind you that you’ve let go of a considerable amount of baggage over the years, including the weight of limiting yourself by trying to define the future.
In your late teens and early twenties, you survived a whirlwind of harsh reflections and crazy emotions—ones you were convinced could not have been normal.
It took tears, tailspins and turmoil, and you tried so hard to be quiet about it. You really did. But then you remembered the sounds from a distant life—something so unmistakably a part of you, yet trailing behind, stifled under a different echo you had since passed.
You remembered your voice.
And with all the pain and triumph of such thorough self-work came a growth spurt for you (accompanied by those wretchedly beautiful growing pains) during which you slowly but surely learned how to shine in your own way. You learned how to speak again.
This rediscovery of your long lost voice threw you head first into what felt like a new world, one with a flame so bright and so foreign that everything was as frightening as it was glorious. And let me tell you, you were terrified. Maybe you still are, even if only a little bit. You were learning to get comfortable with that—with the unknown and all the heart-stopping unpredictability that comes with not being in control. (You’re probably still working on that, and that’s ok. Keep going.)
You took a dive into the deepest and darkest parts and struggled with those ugly demons that you had mistaken as your true self. You worked at your own pace, asking the toughest questions and searching for the simplest answers amidst the cluttered chaos violently spinning inside you.
But you did what you always do: You survived. And though you struggled for a while, I have faith that eventually, you learned to thrive, which brings me to something I want you to know, and you probably want me to know it too:
I’m sure there’s so much more you want to tell me—that things will work out in ways I least expected they would, that I should just rest in the here and now because it will pass before I know it. And believe me, I’m trying. I’m learning to trust, to believe in the things I can’t possibly know for sure.
I’m learning the difference between letting go and giving up, but it’s hard to grasp sometimes. I hope you can be patient and gentle with me as I make my way through my process; I wouldn’t mind a compassionate touch of encouragement and love either.
I’m still right here, right now, in the thick of this thing, and that means I’m still learning a lot, remember?
But the reason I’m telling you this now is because I want you to remember how much you’ve already lived in the little moments that shaped your world and molded your heart in the most beautiful way. I want you to be able to close your eyes and take a deep breath, feeling all the late nights spent talking with those who knew your soul and the countless hours spent alone, deep in the pit of your thoughts and explorations. I want you to acknowledge and accept the wonders of this journey that only you could have lived—the one that only you can continue.
I want you to feel all of that and be grateful for it, because I sure am.
And even though I am the past to you, I am still very much you. I don’t know where you are or what you do, I don’t know exactly what you’re like, but I’m still you. And so when the day comes, I will know.
But until then, I want you to remember that I’m doing just fine—and so are you.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
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The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. These People are Rare Gems—Keep Them, Fight for Them, don’t Give Up on Them. Mom, can I Call her Mom, Too? Jon Stewart makes first appearance since retiring—”it’s not your country.” Waylon shares 10 transformingly beautiful Quotes about Love. 40 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years. Why your Yoga Goals are (Probably) Irrelevant, if not Downright Dangerous. My Marriage had to End—for my Life to Begin. Dear Woman in the White Car at Margaritas Mexican Grill in West Memphis, Arkansas on July 15th, 2012.