Dear Future Self...
...I hate that as a first line. Let me try again.
Better. It doesn't signify that I'm directing this toward Lindsey in a few years, but then again, reading this at a later time is the future me. The future is now, and one second later, now, and so it goes. I guess this first line will suffice.
In an effort to make sense of me and all the feelings and the uncertainties of life, as you know, I've been finding support in professionals. One of them told me that you would be thanking the me writing this for putting this work in now, and I hope that you are, but I can't be sure. Nothing is technically certain. We can have faith, we can hope, we can believe, but we can't be 100% certain.
I've cried more in the past 6 weeks then I have in years. It's a painstakingly slow process, but I'm learning to feel and stay with the feeling instead of analyzing it, rationalizing it, interpreting it in my mind. This requires a vulnerability that I don't know that I've ever experienced. It's not that I don't cry or feel things, it's just that I have tried to have some sort of control over them, all subconsciously, and it has caused me to detach from my actual feelings. It's been an unseen battle of mind versus heart, and until recently, I was completely unaware.
Of course, you already know this. You've already lived through this. And no matter what, it has shaped you and changed you and hopefully helped to heal you.
Lindsey, how are you today? Have you discovered more clarity in your interests and gifts and passions? Have you figured out a way to maintain relationships with those you love and care about without feeling overwhelmed by distance or your own "stuff" or the need to actually have all the energy and be put together when often you just need to show up? As you are? Do you know what you want and need? Not for forever, but at least for today? Have you told anyone that; even yourself?
Do you trust yourself and your process? Are you taking any risks these days knowing you could fail? You have failed since this letter was written, and you will continue to fail. Say it out loud. Sit with it; but don't let it define you. Failure isn't a bad thing. It is a part of the process, of any process, of every process.
Iterate. Learn. Reiterate. Journey on.
As much I wish I could sit with you to know what is ahead, the journey is the process and the process is shaped by the minutes strung together like stars in the sky that unfold into a galaxy. There is darkness, there is light, there is awe and wonder and splendor and unknowns, and as time goes on it will take more shape, become more clear.
I envy you for seeing more of the galaxy. Yet without me here now, a season of acknowledging what is, what isn't, and the confusion in between, you wouldn't be where you are now. For that, you're welcome. At least I hope you'd be thanking me, anyway.
More than ever before, I get the importance of being here, now. I'm still terrible at being present in the moment, accepting and experiencing the fullness of it, but as I've recently been confronted with a future unknown, the need to take in what is, in the now, has become a gift. It's the breath to reach the next, the gratitude in the frustration or pain, the rest without excuse, the being without doing, the star extending to connect with another, and another, to infinity and beyond. What I know is now and what I have is now, so be here, now.
Even you probably need that reminder. Especially since you are still me, older and hopefully, wiser.
You probably don't remember this, but I recently went wandering through the woods nearby and sat on a giant tree trunk protruding out from the side of a hill. It was a windy day (my least favorite element), but I was mostly protected from it by the surrounding forest, although being in an exposed area with a view of the nearby ocean. In an (embarrassingly sad) effort to pause and be present, I watched the trees. As one might assume, they swayed and bent and twisted from the power of the wind, shaping in response to its unseen presence. Watching the trees I noticed that the branches in particular weren't just moving sporadically, but floating up and down, like the flapping wings of a bird ready to take flight. The greater the wind, the greater the response and assurance I had that they might actually fly away. It was as if they were given both the energy and the resistance that they needed to take off, explore, be free.
I don't really like the wind and I don't really like this season. Yet, I know that wind has a purpose, often that I don't understand, but can appreciate. This season does as well.
Maybe you know a bit more about the importance of this season from where you're reading this. Maybe you don't. No matter what, you made it through. And for that, I in turn can thank you.
With all my love,