Inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert's Magic Lessons podcast...
I found myself standing over the sink pushing the gray sponge into the soapy water and heard her say, "Go on...stop what you're doing and write a letter to yourself from Fear and Curiosity. Animate the concepts into people or beasts and see what those voices would say to you if they could. Then, carefully, kindly and systematically write a letter back. Here's my stab...
My Dearest Kelly,
I'll begin by saying that I've been meaning to write for sometime. It seems as though I'm always dying to share something that's literally on the tip of my tongue. But you'll forgive me for being delayed in my formal correspondence, for some reason of which I think you're intimately familiar, I feel as though, I live right inside of you, even when I don't make myself officially known.
That said, I love you. You know that. I protect you from all that wants to harm you and believe me, there are many creatures out there vying for a piece of you. They're wicked and ruthless if you ask me. So, thank goodness I'll always be reminding you of the limitations that really only serve in your best interest.
Do you remember when I convinced you not to apply to that one dream college...yeah, you remember? Have you seen how much debt those poor bastards are saddled with and for what...the prestige of saying that they graduated from some fancy schmancy institution for the ridiculously smart and practically foolish? Or what about when in your dorm room, we had that heart to heart and I told you how law school was for the birds and that you'd never find yourself a real Atticus Finch instead you'd be destitute and broke paying off your student loans while finalizing old ladies' estates. Thank God we had that chat. I'm still kicking myself that you flew in the face of rationale and backpacked through Greece and Turkey pursuing a Philosophy degree. You're damn lucky you didn't starve during that food strike or lose more than your lunch when you drank too many Amstels.
The world is a dangerous place, my pet. I'm not trying to convince you to live in a bubble, but for the love of God, there's a million viruses that come up on the radar every year and do you really want to put your kids in childcare just so you can become a slave to the corporate cog again and buy the same SUV that everyone else owns? I mean, they're only little once. Think about what a good mother does.
And let's talk about this writing thing. I love you to pieces but it's exhausting. Do it or don't do it but pull the plug on the waffling deal. We're all kind of sick of it. Actually, let's be real. If you were a writer, you'd have probably done it by now, right? I'm just giving you the tough love talk.
Lest you think I'm too critical, I'm the one who convinced you not to go on that ridiculous sky diving trip or to spend the money to travel for your 40th...money down the toilet if you ask me.
I know that we don't always see eye to eye, but I promise I'll never leave you and when you want me to take a sabbatical, I'll give you that gentle nudge in your stomach that makes you want to throw up just to remind you that I'm here to stay.
You have my word, my heart, my guard forever,
It's me. Me. Over here. Where are you? Come on. Grab me. It's okay. I'll guide you.
I know. It's beautiful isn't it. Aren't the reds, the blues and the yellows amazing?
What is it? I don't know. I've been trying to find you so that you could help me shape it into something. I tried to do it myself, but they said you were the one.
Oh wait...don't go. You're the one with the hands and the heart and the eyes and oh, the smile...everyone loves your smile.
It's just that there's nothing in the world like it yet. Others have tried, but they haven't gotten it quite right. I think you're the missing link.
It's okay that you're gone for a little bit. They know that you love them. You'll come back.
They'll be better if you make this detour.
Just for a little bit.
Take a look. Okay, now close your eyes....
What do you feel? What do you hear?
What do you think it could be?
I always knew you were amazing,
I haven't figured out how to write back yet...they both feel compelling.