To the Girl Trying to Carry the World Everyday : A Letter to Self

Sometimes, you need reminders. Little notes to yourself about what you have learned and what you know deep down is true. So this is for myself and the girls who feel like you are trying to save the world everyday, who have high expectations and even larger dreams. Who have to fight to remind themselves that there is more to them than those things.

So here goes…

I wish you would’ve known how it felt
To watch your expectations and hopes get pushed back on the shelf
To realize the crazy someday dreams
Aren’t the glamour of what they seem
And they may not happen or ever unfold
In the way you’d imagined, like stories left untold
But that won’t make you any less yourself
Because who you are is contained in pieces of the dream’s design
And hidden in the expectations high
Ones of being put together and doing all the things
So that you can better resolve all the broken things
But you are not the design itself
Instead you are different strands of every color pulled together
A combination of every experience and love and desire and a hope of forever
Of sunlight and cool ocean breeze and fall leaves underneath feet
Of vanilla lattes with extra espresso and birthday cake with light pink tang
Of seasons and moments that are somehow impossibly both bitter and sweet
Of stories and songs that you savor and spend moments with on the best and worst of days
Of books and adventures that you open up to within their scenes
Of chalk and graceful moves and cheering screams
Of words you write that bring perspective and wonder
Of the places you’ve explored, left part of your heart in, experienced in living color
Of the communities you belong to and the richness of walking with other hearts
Of the spaces where art resides within despite how flawed and human you feel
Of the grace that has swirled around every step of your journey from the start
Of the ways that you long to change the world and always live out a hope so real
So live with your heart, even if it hurts
But recognize the picture won’t be what you’d hoped at first
All the goals may still be there in bold black and white each night
And it may feel like you’re doing nothing in this growing fight
But you are not defined by those expectations so heavy and vast

You are meant to be a living story with so much life, imperfect, yet filled with this beauty of all that you are, because the heart is what lasts

So dear self and friends reading this, remember this. This is something you will struggle to hold on to daily. And it’s easy to let performance define, to forget why all these other things matter. But it is so worth it to fight against this perception, this long held belief that your dreams – whether long term or even the everyday list of what you need to do – in some way are a measure of who you are.
You are more than these failed dreams, collapsed hopes, and silent goals. You are more than your expectations. So adventure out and celebrate all the pieces that make you who you are and stop trying to carry it all yourself.

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