Most years, I sit down and write a letter to myself, to be received one year in the future. I love this tradition because it helps me express gratitude for the things I've gone through, and it helps me combat the lies that try and say "this will never end" or "nothing you are doing is going to fix this" because when I receive those letters, I realize, just as Remi said in Disney's Ratatouille, "Change IS nature." Change comes about by time sometimes more than by any effort I could contrive. It has come to my attention that while I clamor after change with blind fury, the better thing for me to set my efforts on is creativity. It is creation, not change, that will bring about the hope and purpose and joy I wrongly believe change will bring me.
I wanted to share with you all an excerpt of my FutureMe letter from my past self. I hope it encourages and comforts you in some way.
I don't know when the last time you've thought about me was, but I want you to know I'm thinking about you right now. I'm thinking about the strength, the sensitivity, the vulnerability, and the bravery you've gleaned from going through 2017 wholeheartedly.
By putting yourself on the line, I know you've lost a lot. You've lost your faith at times, you've lost your trust at times, you've lost your hope at times, you've lost your joy at times; but you've never lost your fight or your wisdom.
Despite the relentless and senseless attacks you've endured, you remain open and optimistic. Not blind optimism, mind you. Your optimism is the kind that makes it difficult to settle: you know there is a better way to do things and make things. You know that what's going on is unjust, unfair, or at least unwise. You can sense that there is untapped potential and that works you up and gets your heart pumping. You follow this drive to new and exciting paths, but not many people follow you. Not many people share your vision or your commitment to create.
Some people tell you to stop being so hard on the world and so hard on yourself. They tell you that the pursuit of perfection is unhealthy and impossible. That by wanting more you're compromising your joy. Other people tell you that it's not worth finding the better path when no one goes with you. They would rather be in mediocre company than brilliant isolation.
You deny both of these points. Yes, they both anchor you and balance you, but they do nothing to quench your drive. You continue to seek the better in life. You cannot find it by looking, but only by looking do you stand a chance. You've come to understand that some things cannot be found, but only created.
Anyway, some crazy things have happened in 2017 and I applaud your endurance and your development. I want you to keep hoping. I want you to keep giving of yourself. I want you to keep encouraging others. I want you to refuse the world's logic of loving yourself first. I want you to show by example how to commit and love without an agenda.
At the same time, you can stop freaking out about things that don't matter. You can stop trying to control things that don't belong to you. You can stop wishing for other people what they don't want for themselves. You can let go of what you've lost. You can release what you've missed.
You can keep drinking coffee.
You can stop getting A's.
Signed with Love,PS. I would like to report that I don't feel quite so broken, after all, this year. 2018 is not for Rachel the Broken, but for Rachel the Mosaic.
Rachel the Broken