Letters to Little One

Crossroads & Opportunites

Dear Little One,

In life, there are going to be a lot of crossroads, and the direction you choose will help shape you. There will also be handfuls of opportunities, and your decision whether to pursue them or not will help shape you. But perhaps the greatest and most defining moments of your life will be those when there is just you and the person you are becoming, building new roads and creating your own opportunities. These moments are not easy. They are trying and, at times, deafeningly quiet. But they are the ones you remember. The ones that not only shape you but fill you with colors you never knew you had. So keep walking, keep building, and never stop pursuing the corner of the circle.

See you soon.

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Letters to Little One

The Knowing & the Doing

Dear Little One,

As I’ve grown up, I’ve found it continually harder to be anything except myself. The hard part now is letting go of the fear behind letting that person be seen and heard. But, as I learned in the pursuit of the first, I know the key to the second is to keep trying, to give it time, and to tell the truth.

Though somehow I have a feeling that the knowing won’t make the doing any easier.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

See you soon.

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Letters to Little One

Always, Always, Always, Capable

Dear Little One,

Always always always remember you are capable. You are capable of doing everything and you are capable of doing nothing. You are capable of saying yes and saying no. You are capable of thinking and dreaming and producing and achieving. You are capable of failing and you are capable of trying again. You are capable of standing up and you are capable of surrendering. You are capable of loving and hating and choosing which one to turn to. You are capable of smiling and frowning and crying and laughing. You are capable of helping and turning your back and apologizing. You are capable of anything you set your mind to, and an infinite amount more outside of what you can imagine. You are capable of all this at once and yet sometimes you’ll still feel small, and that’s okay.

 

See you soon.

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Letters to Little One

Someone’s Something

Dear Little One,

If someone were to ask you who you are, what would you say?

Woah. I know, kind of a broad, crazy, way too deep to be casual, type of question.

My guess would be that your mind would react one of two ways.

1) It would list everything about yourself that you hate/think you suck at/wish were different

2) It would argue things that are pretty okay/not terrible/things that should gain you brownie points somewhere.

Funny thing is, this list would be different for everyone. And that’s not based solely on alternating lifestyles, but also the unique rankings each of our minds give to specific traits and accomplishments. We all have things that we like/dislike and things that we believe make you a successful/unsuccessful person and it’s okay for those things to vary among individuals.

That being said, a lot of modern day success seems to revolve around popularity. With the rise of social media, many people find themselves obsessed with the amount of people they are and aren’t friends. We equate our own worth with who we know and who knows us. We calculate our self-esteem based on the number of text messages we’re receiving or the plans we’re making.

We’ve created this idea that you have to be someone’s something in order to be something to someone. And the more somethings you are to the someone’s that matter, the better chance you have at being happy or successful or well liked.

Don’t buy into this. Believe me when I say that it won’t matter how many people like you or know you or want to be your friend, if you are unhappy with the person they seek. Happiness and satisfaction start with you and you alone. The you that people see and the you that people don’t. This person will not always look at you the way you want, and you won’t always love it the way you should, but know that you must accept this person honestly before anything else will matter.

You don’t have to be someone’s something to be something to someone; you just have to be someone that means something to you.

And always know that you will forever be someone that means everything to me.

See you soon.

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Letters to Little One

Yet.

Dear Little One,

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “yet.” We all use it all the time.

I haven’t done that yet.

We’re not there yet.

I’m not who I want to be just yet.

I think that when we use this word, we should really be thinking about its connotations.

Yet can imply a time far from now, a chunk of life we planning on living when we get around to it. I haven’t been to Europe yet. It is essentially our way of saying that we have plans to do it one day, but for now, it’s only an idea. From this standpoint, it can be harmful. We don’t know when our “yet” will become a “never.” A “yet” is not a guarantee, it’s a harmless excuse to put off a dream. That being said, one should not negate the power of a “yet.” While it does imply a foolish trust in an infinite amount of life, it also indicates hope. Adding a “yet” makes something possible. It opens up a door in your mind that you previously had shut. Latching onto a yet is a—sometimes subconscious—way of telling yourself that you are able to do something; even if it’s not right now, it’s also not never.

Don’t be afraid to add a “yet”, and don’t leave it there forever.

See you soon.

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Letters to Little One

Joy

Dear Little One,

Joy is a funny thing. By definition it is a feeling of great happiness. My favorite thing about this definition is that there are no specifications whatsoever as to where this feeling has to come from.

Joy is something that we all seek, constantly, and when we find it we take advantage of it, constantly.  I get it. I do it all the time. It’s much easier to see the joy you had once you have lost it. And the realization of having lost it is one of the worst feelings in your life.

So seek joy and capture it. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to keep it. Sometimes it will leave on its own terms, which is why it is important to embrace it in its mighty waves.

A few months ago, my sister and I and our good friend Kristine made an impromptu trip up to our family cabin. I remember sitting in my bed, wide awake at 1 am, filled up with joy. (And maybe a little alcohol, but mostly joy.) The weekend had been simply perfect and was just what I needed.

Life had been stressful and I was letting it beat me up. There were a lot of things happening and a lot of things not happening, and it was taking up a lot of space in my mind. Weekends like that make those things disappear. It’s nice to just breathe for a few days; to lie on the couch or take a walk in no particular direction; to laugh so hard you can barely breathe and dance exactly the way your body wants to.

To me, that’s joy. Being free. Being me. That’s when I feel the happiest.

I hope you find something, or someone(s) that makes you feel like this.

And I hope you always know that you deserve to feel like this. If and when you find yourself in a situation where joy seems impossible, take a second to take a deep breath in, all the way down to your toes. Then put yourself in places that make the joy seem attainable, but perhaps not quite in reach. Don’t try to force yourself to feel happy, for there’s nothing more dishonest. Just know that there is new joy out there waiting for you to discover, and the only way to find it is to start looking. There’s no shame in taking a few wrong turns, just keep moving.

I’ll help too.

See you soon.

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