I made it home on June 30th with about 15 minutes to spare before it hit midnight.
I pulled a cold beer from the fridge, threw a hoodie on, to meet air that felt cool…60 degrees.
I sat on the back deck, and I wrote a letter to myself, for the year that was, and the all the years that came before.
I’m in awe of life.
you and me…we were connected on purpose.
it reminds me of this quote:
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – albert einstein
It’s me, 33. It just hit midnight so guess what, it’s all you now.
No one seems to remember exactly what time of day you were born, or the bigger details….but there was panic the night you were born, because you came so early. You came 3-months early, to say hello, and announce your place in the order of things. The first thing you ever did consistently, was try to breathe. You were so so tiny, just 2 lbs, and your parents were told you could die. Your life was fragile and uncertain, and that’s how everyone treated you.
The first few months of your life, you didn’t have much touch…you were in an incubator. You got used to seeing the world, and observing. I wonder what you thought about when you stared out through the glass at everyone looking at you with concern and love. The nurses loved you, and everyone else tried to love you. But there was a worry that was hard to say outloud, that you wouldn’t be there the next time. At 33, this is something people still feel from you all the time. Everyone tried to get you to smile. When you did, which was often, they could see your signature dimples, which made them try even harder, to get you to smile.
I don’t know what it was like for your mother then, though I’d imagine she felt quite alone. They weren’t even supposed to have you, your parents, the doctors advised them not to. There was a sweet boy between your sister and you…he came into the world, and left shortly after, it’s not anything anyone talks about. But you have a big brother, and you know this with certainty. He’s never really left your side. And you have two parents that knew, you had to come onto this earth.
Having lost a child already, and having one so close to leaving…your mother clung onto you, and you, as a baby, did the same. It was the beginning of what would take years to unravel, where she began, and where you ended. Where her pain was hers, and yours, could not undo hers. Pain multiplies when no one can separate whos is whos, and you just go through the pile again and again, holding things up. ‘does anyone know who’s this is? Does this belong to anyone? I don’t recognize this, is it yours?’ You clashed, and fought, and when she told you she hated you, you believed her, she’s your momma, and when she told you she loved you, you believed her…. because, she’s your momma. It would take you 25 years, and the beginning of your yoga practice to start to heal. She never hated you, she hated herself, and all the confusion of leaving behind a painful life to raise two daughters she held with complex hands…you know that now. She has loved you more than anything on this earth.
You have been fighting a broken heart since the moment you came into the world, when hands held your tiny tiny body, and you would not, you would not let the broken heart take you away, you had a job to do.
Your heart got so much stronger.
And so did your lungs.
You started to breathe on your own, and they took you off the machines.
At 3 months, you went home to join your family, your Mom, your Dad, and your proud Big Sister.
Everyone was always trying to get you to smile so they could see your dimples. It was never hard. You were always smiling.
You came into the world, a warrior, and by so many accounts, nothing has changed.
You came into the world, and you have been fighting to breathe, and you have been observing from the inside, from the beginning. People have called you a flight risk, both in amusement and fear. The 3 decades behind you read like a game of chutes and ladders. Your strategy has been, smile. Most of the time you mean it, and those are the times your eyes light up. But sometimes you feel as displaced as someone that arrived 3-months early.
It’s just been the past few years that you’ve really understood what it means to breathe. Big, full, breaths. Moves across the state, and the world, then the country. You just keep learning. You have learned so much. You have loved, so so hard. You have, thank goodness, begun the practice of asking for help. You have come far alone, but these big breaths, they’ve shown you, you don’t want to.
There are things you still really don’t understand.
You have a tendency towards sadness and lonliness, always where others cannot see you. You take long long walks at dusk, and gaze into the windows as you go by. You have always been fascinated and in awe of families that sit together around the table.
You don’t understand yet, how loveable you are. You understand fully, how loved you are, but you don’t yet understand how to let someone love you completely. The good news is, you’ve been trying. You don’t understand how to stay independent and a part-of…but you sure are trying.
This is a good thing, because 34-I say to you. Fall in love this year, would you?
Fall in love, soft and slow, and for keeps.
Let this love, this fall, remind you of the time you couldn’t breathe, but remember, you can.
Do a good job, in your new job this year, believe them when they say, we see you at the top, we see you doing this in a way it’s never been done before. Set a goal, and go get it. Remember, relationships are everything, and when you’re in the hospital at 3am for work, remember, so is everyone else, and go do the thing you are best at: go connect.
Take trips this year, and have coffee on Sundays with the people you love the most. This is your most favorite thing, and I say to you….let this always be important. You feel at home here.
Say I love you, as soon as you know.
Say, I’m sorry, as soon as you know.
Say, I forgive you, as often as you need to…it is the only way you’ll ever know. You are forgiven.
Be uncomfortable. Trust. This will not be the year for answers. You dont need proof anymore. You made it.
This will be the year to forget.
How its all gone so far. Cause though it has gone quite beautifully, it is not what you want to repeat.
This. it’s not a matter of honor. It’s a matter of moving forward.
You. You are creating something new.
A year from now, you’ll look back and you’ll know that this is the year you stood for ….
Keep your feet on the ground, sparklers in your freaking hands, and keep looking forward and up.
The best is yet to come.