Dear one-year-ago Me,
If I could speak to you from here, a year into your future, there’s so much I could say…
(Get out. Get out now. Okay yes, there’ll be learning here. And yes, you’ll find parts of yourself you never knew you had, but you’re also about to lose parts of yourself you’ll never get back.
Leave. Leave now.
But you don’t, so here’s some extra for the road…)
Listen to yourself. That voice, that one you’re silencing, the one you shut down just days ago out of fear of remaining this strange, abnormal being you feel you are – listen to it. It knows. YOU know.
The road ahead, my girl, is rough, bumpy, treacherous at times, and there’ll be moments when you’ll believe you are not going to make it out alive.
You will. I promise you will. Bruised? Yes. Battered? Yes. Heart weeping out of every pour? Yes. But you’ll be alive.
There will be days when you don’t want to be. I can’t lie and tell you otherwise. But I know that right now, in the moment I’m writing to you, you do, you absolutely want to live.
With this and for this you will fight, and fight and fight and fight to stay alive.
Then, somehow, 366 days later, you’ll wind up where I am now, standing, breathing, staring at the moon, exhausted, but knowing there was a reason you fought so damn hard to get here. You’ll suddenly remember how you felt that night, a whole year ago (only a year ago?!) and why on each of the days to follow you chose to stay.
You choose to stay.
It’s real. It’s possible.
You taught me that. You. In a fleeting moment only hours from now you find it. And you’ll carry it with you, sometimes silently, sometimes reluctantly, in each hour that follows.
There’s maybe no greater lesson to learn, yet over the coming year you are going to learn more than you know you are capable of, more than you think you have the capacity to hold.
Hold on. Hold on so very tightly to that strength you rarely acknowledge is yours to claim. It’s only in looking back across to you now that I see how much I gave away.
But it’s also okay to let go. Let go of the heaviness dragging you down, dragging you back. These are not your burdens to carry.
And keep walking through it. Please don’t let yourself hide away. I know it’s dark, I know it’s scary and painful, but look how far you’ve already come – I promise over these next twelve months you will travel so much further than you believe is possible, even when you feel like you are stuck.
It’s a different view from here, and you’ll feel like a different person when you get here, but you are going to get here.
Just a few more steps, my girl, just a few more steps.