An Open Letter to Myself

I’ve thought quite a bit about writing a weekly “Life” column (whatever that means), and with all of the recent changes in my life, it’s something that has been tapping me on the shoulder more persistently. It’s interesting; we always seem to spend more time trying to talk ourselves out of doing the things that we want than actually sucking it up and doing them. In today’s culture, there exists an interesting dichotomy between airing your dirty laundry and expressing your feelings and issues. The two are vastly different from each other, yet it seems more and more likely that you’ll become privy to someone’s drama on Facebook than to know how they are feeling about said drama. There is a difference between wanting your friends to feel sorry for you, and needing your friends to comfort you. We are living in a society that demeans and pokes fun of people that feel things intensely. It’s dangerous for one very big reason: it’s simply teaching people to hide feelings while in relationships with others.

This post is long overdue, but I encourage everyone to write a post like this for others to see. Once we learn to see each other as broken, we can help to pick up the pieces and understand each other better. I have struggled with my self-worth for a very long time. I was in a four year relationship that ended recently, and I was left wondering what I was supposed to do. After spending time cultivating two amazing relationships with her children, and loving her to the ends of the Earth, I didn’t really know how to go on. The future (much less the day-to-day) was terrifying. I woke every morning for a month straight thinking that it was a horrible dream, only to look around and realize that I was in my mom’s guest bedroom. I tried to ignore everything but the present, spending as much time with my friends and family as possible, but I was an empty vessel. My laughter didn’t stop, nor did my concern for my friends, but I didn’t care about what happened to me anymore. I felt weak and dense, unable to take the help and kind words my family was offering me. Work was unenjoyable and writing felt empty. All of my passion had melted away, and I couldn’t find it anywhere. There was nothing that could fill this empty hole in my heart and soul.

Something happened, though. Even though it was a struggle to face the day, I kept going. I didn’t cave in under the weight of my own sadness. I got an apartment with one of my best friends, I got a little kitten named Salem, and I kept being social with my amazing friends and family even though I wanted to hide away from everyone. Nothing remarkable or extraordinary happened, but things got a little better than they were before. Do I still have bad days? Of course; in fact, today was one of those days. I still break down almost every single day. Am I happy now? No, not even close; I still have a ton to figure out in terms of who I am and how I’m supposed to move on from here. But a minor breakthrough is still a breakthrough.

I am tired. I am tired of telling people that I am okay when they ask me how I’m doing. I’m tired of people telling me that things will get better, because I selfishly want things to be better now. I’m tired of petty grudges, hateful arguments, and people taking each other for granted. I want to tell people that are going through hardships right now that I’m proud of you. Not for getting through it, but just for existing while you have to go through it. I’m proud of you for every time you lean on someone else, even if it’s just for something small. And for the first time in a long time, I am proud of myself for muddling through. That’s something, after all.


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