i've had to start this letter several times. every time i started writing, i realized i was insulting you, me. i realized i was already launching into ideas of how i, you, should be. i realized i was already placing others above you and wishing you were different.
it is amazing, and sad, how i talk to you.
i know i am not very nice to you.
i have some idealized version of you that sits in the back of my mind and you have never been anything like her. not that i could even tell you what this idealized version is--what she looks like or anything. i just know you've never been her.
i'm sorry i don't want you to be you.
this is something we are working through right now.
right now we are at a crossroads, charly.
we feel it. we can feel a struggle between who we think we should be and who we really are. we can feel a struggle between the different sides of ourself.
we feel the urge to break away from the self we've been reinforced to be. the version of us that is always polite, that sacrifices her own needs for those of others, who stuffs down her thoughts and opinions for the sake of harmony, who is always on top of it, who is always responsible, who is always willing to stay late, work harder, go the extra mile, who always picks herself up after being knocked down. we feel the urge to let this perfectionist go.
we feel the urge to fall apart. we feel the urge to let deadlines pass and to ignore emails. we feel the need to not smile and nod but instead shout NO. we feel the urge to be difficult. we feel the urge to point out the inequality in our relationships with others. we feel the need to not be nice and risk being considered a bitch. we feel the need to have someone else come pick us up off the ground. we want to be needy. we want to be a mess. we want to be the wounded bird.
and then again we don't. we want to be strong. we want to be impervious. we want to let everything roll off of us.
we are learning that who we want to be is a walking set of contradictions.
dearest charly, let yourself be the walking contradictions. let yourself be the strong mess. let yourself be wounded and healed. let yourself be.
just fucking be, charly.
god, i wish we could just let you fucking be.
i love that you love to read, charly. and i love that you have a jumpsuit obsession. and i love that you have become a little obsessed with your plants and are worried about the one in the living room with the yellowing leaves. and i love that you are into wine now and i love that words flow through you like air. i love that you love to create, charly. i love how connecting with kids and friends lights you up, but i also love how you can be in your pajamas at 9pm on a friday night. i love that you run even though you wonder why. i love that you feel compelled to learn more about the world. i love that you get on planes even though you are scared. i love that you have the urge to become a minimalist but would never be able to fit your bedroom into a tiny house. i love that you sometimes listen to nina simone in the dark. i love that you have tattoos and an afro and don't wear makeup. i love that you care for others even though it hurts you sometimes. i love that you are scared of thunderstorms and yet love them. i love that even though you are fairly convinced you are going to die alone, there is a small sliver of you that believes in the fairly tale. i love that you can't fully be the curmudgeon you want to be.
i am sorry that with every line i just wrote, i also whispered disparaging comments. i whispered "well, actually"s and "come on"s and "i love this, but i wish you'd change this"es. i am not perfect, charly. we are not perfect.
just let it be.
i know you feel oddly like you are growing and yet failing. i know you feel like you are learning and yet stagnating. i know you feel like you should be doing more, but you want to do less. i know you yearn for love and yet are afraid to trust someone again. i know you want to hold onto your anger and also want to let it go. i know you want to stop comparing yourself to others and yet can't help it.
like i said, we are a walking contradiction. and that's okay.
i hope you are able to fall apart, charly, because i also know that you'll put yourself back together. it's like beyoncé says: imma keep running cause a winner don't quit on themselves.
you're a winner, charly. so you'll keep running. in your own way. at your own speed. on your own path.
just let yourself be.
(this is day thirty, the final day, of april love. thanks for reading every day. some have asked what i have in store for may. right now, i don't know. i really liked writing the letters and reflecting. maybe i'll do something like 31 days of sharing things i love or 31 days of sharing random facts about me. i don't know. stay tuned.)