When my friend Isabelle asked me to write a letter to myself for her blog, I was honored. Of course, I told her, I'd come up with something.
I spent days trying to think of what to write. I wanted it to be amazing, I wanted it to showcase the light on the other side of darkness, and if I'm being totally honest I didn't want it to be too honest, too reflective on my own weakness.
There is light in the darkness, but there are also days when the darkness is so overwhelming, so overpowering it's impossible to remember there is light beyond this, much less catch a glimpse of it every now and then.
The post I ended up writing I wrote in 15 minutes. I wrote it after a day when I was exhausted, when I felt like I was done trying to get it right and I had nothing left to give.
I don't like to admit to those days. It worries people and I feel like it makes me seem weak and people look at me differently when I confess that my life is pretty messy at times, a mosaic made up of shattered pieces that I keep trying to arrange into something beautiful.
The letter I wrote to myself was on one of those days. It was on a day when I got into my car after hours spent with people and broke down while Springsteen was on the radio. I was tired, and frustrated, and everything hurt and I didn't want to take any more.
So I wrote this letter to remind myself that bad days come, and you just have to feel them out. But good days come too. Days when people end up surprising you, and your heart is so full of love it might just burst. Days for dancing and wearing red lipstick. Days when there is sunshine out there and you can feel the light penetrating your being.
I refuse to be silent about the things that matter, about who I am, even the messy, hard parts.
I refuse to be silent
"Jacob, where do you find the strength to carry on in life?"
"Life is often heavy only because we attempt to carry it," said
Jacob. "But I do find a strength in the ashes."
"In the ashes?" asked Mr. Gold.
"Yes," said Jacob, with a confirmation that seemed to have
traveled a great distance. "You see, Mr. Gold, each of us is alone. Each
of us is in the great darkness of our ignorance. And, each of us is on a
journey. In the process of our journey, we must bend to build a fire for light,
and warmth, and food. But when our fingers tear at the ground, hoping to find
the coals of another's fire, what we often find is the ashes.
And, in those ashes, which will not give us light or warmth, there may be
sadness, but there is also testimony. Because these ashes tell is that somebody
else has been in the night, somebody else has bent to build a fire, and somebody
else has carried on. And that can be enough, sometimes."