I awoke to the first blinks of morning with a bit of trepidation of how this day might feel. Don’t get me wrong, things have been GREAT but you never know what the symbolism of this day could trigger. Will I feel something?
I got out of my bed and started the day as usual with my morning coffee and the reading of my daily devotional.
My devotional quoted a scripture from Revelation 21:5 – “I am making all things new.”
I smiled. I look around at my half decorated apt and the feeling of warmth washes over me and I am relieved. All I feel now and continue to feel is happy.
There is so much to be grateful for. I have been so blessed with what’s been revealed to me.
Despite the circumstances, this truly has been one of the best years in my life. And unbeknownst to me, I’m the happiest that I’ve been in a long time.
Picking up certainly wasn’t easy. Many of you may have read through the pain of this journey on this blog.
And to those of you who were there to wipe away every tear, listen to every verbalization of self-doubt and embraced me with your hugs, I thank you. I thank you for holding my heartbreak in your hands. There are no words or actions that could ever express my endless gratitude to you.
Today, I found myself saying “Everything as it should be.”
And this reminded me of a letter that I wrote to myself on the plane after celebrating my birthday last Fall. I read it again today and thought it would be fitting to share (below). It’s probably the most vulnerable dialogue I’ve written for myself to date.
If any of you ever encounter a challenging season in your life or find yourself in a similar situation to mine, please don’t give up hope. Don’t give up, but don’t give in either. Sometimes, we can only grow out of suffering and challenge. Life’s challenges will ultimately knock us down from time to time but we can choose to stay fallen or we can choose to pick back up.
I hope you have the courage to always pick up. Because you are always worth saving.
And remember that in the end, “three things remain: faith, hope and love.” (1 Corinithans 13:13)
Dear Future Self,
You’ve got a unique opportunity to talk to yourself today. As I write this, you are literally traveling backwards in time (on your birthday), returning from a week long trip in Hong Kong. Turns out, you’ll actually land in the US at an earlier time on the same day that you left Seoul.
So, given that I’ve seen a bit of the future, here are a couple of reminders that I wanted to share with you.
You’ve become one year older today. And hopefully, that means you’ve also become one year wiser.
It’s been quite a year for you. Quite a year for transformation. And quite a year for change.
But, there is this moment that I want you to remember. You were on an island, outside on a veranda, sipping a Pimms (and eventually scotch) laughing the evening away with two wonderful friends after a long day of hikes, beach and buses.
Then there is this other moment where you’re at a rooftop bar overlooking the HK skyline and you’re sifting through the many Birthday texts, FB messages, Insta messages and notes sent to you throughout the day. Your heart swells. If there was a word that was stronger than love then I would use it.
I want to remind you of these moments because these are moments in your future that tell me that you are….HAPPY.
I’m not just talking about going on vacation happy. I’m talking about just being silly, unabashedly and willfully joyous about who you are today and how far you’ve come.
There are moments when you didn’t think you would make it. And then, somehow, magically, you did.
So here’s what I want you to remember. If at any moment in the future you start to doubt or start to feel melancholy, I want you to remember these three things:
You are blessed to have the best that you have for a family. If at any point you get frusrated with them, remember this. You may not have thought it was possible to feel as deep or feel more loved by your family than ever before. Somehow miraculously, you’ve been able to receive and feel a whole new depth of love and connection with your famliy than you ever had before. While there are many things left unsaid at times, Your family is where you came from and their love is what grows you. Remember this.
You somehow lost one but in the place of one, you gained 50. Friendship has been completely redefined for you. The boundless nature of your friendships have been revealed to you and more than ever, you want to give that boundless friendship back. There was once a rule that you are the average of the top five people closest to you. However, I believe that you are actually the average of all the love you give and receive to and from your friends. You will always be eternally grateful for the friends that have helped you stand, wiped your tears, heard your cries or just sat quietly holding you in their arms. They are the best people in the world you could ever know.
You have a new meaning and definition of faith and faith has a whole new role in your life today. Faith is what drove you to believe that your ONLY choice was up. Faith is what drove you to believe that sadness was not an option. And faith has brought you to discover a closer relationship with God than you had ever imagined. He (with the help of your friends and family) has shown you so many blessings. His ways still may not make sense today, but have faith that in all the good that has come so far, He has helped you through it.
And if you somehow forget what this year was like, you made a strong effort to “Kick the S*** out of Option B”:
- You conquered some of your major fears
- You went back to writing and expressing your passions
- You’ve gone out to explore the world (took three solo trips and visited eight different countries) and am passionate about empowering others to do the same
- You’ve made new friends in different parts of the country and internationally
- You’ve picked up and renewed your hobbies (Aerial Yoga, SUP)
- You’ve discovered how awesome your work family is
- You’ve found a new relationship with faith
And you’ve grown into a new person. And you like her, a LOT.
But don’t forget about the person you were on Feb 20th. There was and still is a lot to love about her. But she is now in the process of growing and emerging into perhaps who she was meant to be.
- You’ll always be an eternal optimist (to a fault).
- You’ll always be passionate.
- You’ll always LOVE love. You’ll always be a hopeless romantic.
- You’ll always laugh at the silly, stupid or corny things.
- You’ll also always be the same person who loves hard for her family, friends and now her faith.
So future self, remember all that you’ve gone through. There are no more tears, there are no more questions. You are just, now free to love life boundlessly to evolve and become,
Because now, everything is as it should be.