I am not a writer.
But, I do long to reach deep into the chasm of my soul and grasp the tiny shards and bring them to life. I look hard for the pretty ones but sometimes, the sun shines best on the pieces with the exposed edges, the ones that I dread bringing forth. I want to hold your hand, I want you to understand that I care deeply, achingly for you. I crave for you to listen deep, listen wide, grasp tight to the hand that holds us both. Oh, my heart aches for you, my sweet one. For us. For you see, we do this together, this life. I shudder at the word. Excited nerves shiver down lengths of vertebrae, but also frightening black edges crowd in around the fireworks. The salty sweetness, the bitterness mixed with the depths of joy. The daisy petals and the crackling leaves. Oh, it's beautiful. The ocean full of experience and though we marvel, though we see at a distance, we long to be caught up in the waves.
There are so many things to say to you. So many words to link together and spin into beautiful gowns of sentences that take your breath away as they fall from lips like shooting stars. But oh how they stick. My gowns have missing stitches and holes and pieces of dust woven in. I apologize if it takes from the beauty of it all. My throat is full of ideas and thoughts and things you need to know and my fingers cannot find these keys fast enough. I want to tell you that you are brave and strong and beautiful and that there are galaxies inside of every inch of you and if you open your heart it is true that the love there will escape from you but it is through that hole that light will flood in and that love that you let go will find the crack that formed when her dad walked away when she was seven and though you don't even know her name you helped her on her journey. And if you let people, they can mend your cracks too. I want you to know that you are made of stars and the sea and that the nervous nail-biting four-year-old that lives in your heart is perfectly normal and acceptable and that as you grow older you merely gain numbers, not lose the previous ones. So really, you are 8 and 7 and 6 and 5 and 4 and 3 and 2 and 1 all wrapped up in 9. Like a tree you add layer after layer and some layers show storms and others show drought but goodness how beyond beautiful you are. Inhaling with arching spine, oak trunk withstanding the hurricane, holding safe memory and life. That's something that people forget to tell you. Four-year-old you will always exist and sometimes it is completely and totally fine to go visit them. I want to sit across from you, coffee in hand, and tell you about mistakes and heartbreaks and broken promises and destroyed friendships and how time has a way of changing things but that doesn't make memories less beautiful, and if you let it, time will eventually change the pain too. I want to peel back the layers and show you that I understand your pain and though I cannot heal, I can hold, and if you let me I promise you I will hold on as tightly as you need me to. I want to tell you that it's completely okay to love him. Love him for as long and as deeply as you want to. This life is going to be what you make it and no one else can choose the steps that you will take. That can be terrifying and exhilarating. But trust me when I say that taking steps is worth it. Even the ones that lead you in a different direction than you had planned. Especially those. Take them and embrace them. Fling wide your arms and leap. Even if it is over a puddle. I want you to know that holding on is okay. Keeping things clenched tight in your fists is fine. This is the exact opposite of what you have heard your entire life and I am well aware but I want you to hear me out. I want you to relax in your comfy chair opposite mine with this fireplace between us and I want you to get lost in thought for a moment as you count the things you know you are holding on to. Keep them. Hold tight and squeeze until your knuckles are the color of the snow falling outside our window. Just know that it can't be a permanent situation. But trust your timing. When you are ready, you will release them. And often, you won't even remember doing so, and when you look back to find where you dropped it, the horizon will have swallowed it whole. Those are some of the most glorious moments. Don't forget to cherish those. Bask in those sunsets that throw beauty over things left behind, and look forward into the horizon of tomorrow's sunrise as you continue. And you must continue. That is most important of all. You must keep going, stretching, growing, learning, moving. Never stop being excited by the things that surround you as you move through this glorious day. And then tomorrow, renew that excitement again. And again. And again. Let it be new. Let it be amazing. Let yourself bubble over with giddiness and dance around your kitchen making breakfast. Giggle, even when no one else is in the room to hear you. Play music and wear that perfume you've been saving. I want to tell you to look people in the face when you meet them. Let them see your smile, and always assure that your eyes hold tenderness. Be genuine. Cross your fingers for luck and wish on stars if that is what you want to do. Don't let anyone tell you that part of you, or any part of you for that matter, is wrong. When you are hurt, do not be afraid to let the tears spill over and do not hide. Take the hand that is offered to you. The human heart longs for goodness, and helping another is a joy you rob someone of every time you turn from them. Let them be a shoulder for the tears and deep, deep breaths. The time will come to pay that forward, and you will understand. Always seek advice from those around you, for everyone you will ever meet in your life will know something that you do not. Do not ever forget that, either. When you get bored, draw a monster. Then ask yourself over and over, what makes this a monster? Find the monsters under your bed and in your closet and get to know them. Find out who they are and where they come from and one day, they may not seem quite so frightening. Make lists, make goals, and strive to be the person that you want to be. One inching step in the right direction is a thousand times better than a leap in the wrong one. I want you to take too many pictures and do the thing you have always longed to do. You will not regret that. But you may regret it if you do not. Chase your dreams and believe in yourself. Give yourself grace and grace and then, more grace. God does not withhold it so neither should you. Learn to be brave enough to start over. And over. And over. Make yourself, you were born to create.
I want to tell you so many things but if I have learned anything while I have been placing fingerprints on this planet it is this: that words fail. When the pain cuts deep and when the joy is overflowing, words fail. They fail over and over and over. But string them together anyway. String them together like clumsy toddler fingers and wooden beaded necklaces. Always place a knot between them because that way when something breaks, and it inevitably will, the whole thing doesn't unravel. String together those small moments and I promise you that it will overwhelm the bad things. Make that strand count for more than the bad things and take the day for what it is: the only guarantee you have. Treat it like it is your first, and your last. And then, my love, then you will experience life in an entirely new way.
I long to cup your sweet face in my hands and lean in close. Even if I say nothing else, if all you remember from our time together is one thing, I want to look in your eyes and tell you this: I want you to know that you are valued, wonderful, and entirely whole precisely as you are in this very second of time that we occupy together. Always be humble in gratitude and bless others by the armful. People are worth it, and no matter what happens, love will always win. Always.