I write it down so I remember. Here is a letter I wrote last year (July 20th 2018) to a writer I admire and deeply resonate with. I am placing it here, so I know where the words are when I need to read them.
“The humid July of Baltimore is good company for me today as I am on the porch writing to you with a glass of iced tea. The crepe myrtle is blushing pink in the yard and everywhere Maryland is dripping in lusty summer’s shaw of green.
I’ve been thinking lately of what it really means to “take your time” and I think perhaps the first part of learning how to do it is to realize there is time that is yours and yours alone. How you spend it is up to you, how you waste it as well. Knowing the difference between the two is helpful.
I have been in Maryland for 4 months now. I wish I could say I have had some sort of “aha!” moment about my life but I have not. I can tell you this though, by taking my time I am certain that I want to live a creative life, that there will be a way for me to figure it out and that my creative intuition and impulses are connected to something true and real. I wouldn’t have known that had I still being scrambling head-long into the rat-race of squeezing my life this way and that to make it work.
I have settled into the idea that I am good enough alone, in fact-I am better (grittier, tougher, more vulnerable and honest). I am looking forward to turning myself into an even clearer version of me as I gingerly step into my newly minted 30’s.
Once a beloved professor told me pain makes people do one of two things, contract or expand. I can honestly say I have done a bit of both over these last few months. That being said, my heart is (as always) on my sleeve and at every new opportunity that seems to bring joy I find myself stepping towards, and not away. Even when the project doesn’t work out, or I don’t get the part, or the guy I met on Bumble ghosts me 2 days before our date. I still choose the light while honoring the dark. I still find myself hopeful despite the road being rocky.
On my hard days I reflect on being 25 and how much I learned, how far I’ve come in the past 5 years. How different I am and what is the same. I still love deeply, I still jump in even when I’m afraid, I am still loyal and kind-hearted, I still think mostly in imagery, I still struggle to feel that I belong, I am still using my words to find my place, I am still lighting a candle instead of cursing the dark, I am still full of hope.
These are strange and new days, a season of taking time. Taking time to mourn and grow and though that can feel frustrating, I am allowing myself to settle internally as much as I can.
You told me in April that you were certain the terror will turn to something better. I am writing to tell you that you were right. It isn’t what I expected and I certainly am not content where I am. But things are as soft and easy as a cotton sundress and I’m going to ride it out till it all feels closer to home. Home being my heart.”