I’m a prolific writer in many ways. I write all day for my job. In small moments, I’ll scribble notes in my phone. I have nearly 300 of these notes on my phone currently. I was scrolling through last week trying to find a specific day to piece something together when I found this entry below. It’s edited to remove names and some specifics to my life. I share it mainly because I feel like it might help someone else. I’ve turned to it twice since I found it slowly re-reading it. It feels like it’s written by a stranger – a stranger who knew how to calm me down. It was at an extremely chaotic point in my life – I normally put  the location and time but neither is listed:

2/23/16

What do I want? What’s hurting me?  I want community. I want to workout. I love playing pick-up sports. I want to explore. I want to be financially independent and free. I want to be near friends. I want to be a good friend. I want to learn more about surrogacy. I want to find a place to live. I want to remember what it’s like to put me first.

We’re all doing the best we can. You don’t want to be burned out and exhausted by 25. You want to be hungrier than ever then. That’s still 2.5 years away. There’s a lot of life left to live and you deserve a lot more than the hand that’s been dealt at this point. Your life is good though – you have a ton going for you. You have community. It’s a scattered but strong one. You have helped so many people and that’s no small feat.

I’m trying to talk to myself as I would a friend. What would I tell to myself? So much. It’s hard to see manipulation when you’re in it. It’s hard to see something not working when you’re fighting so hard. It’s hard to have perspective when you love your reality. You knew in the back of your head though that this wasn’t the future you wanted.

You miss your best friend – no doubt. You are a great person to keep company with though. You say hi and ask about people’s days. You get to know anyone and everyone. You go out of your way to help. You are a loving and trusting person – this is a GOOD thing. This should be celebrated. You are honest and vulnerable. You aren’t afraid of the dark parts of life.

You can get caught up in the present chaos of your emotions. You can jump to extremes. This can be damaging and can cause reality to seem different than it is. You need to be aware of this. You need to center yourself when this happens. You need to see what you have going for you and focus on that.

You have the potential to help so many others. You have the potential to change someone’s life everyday. You can provide hope. You can be your own hope. You have been through so much but this is something you can learn to handle with grace and with understanding towards yourself. Go through this so you can help be there for others when heart break creeps up.

Pain is meaningful. Suffering is meaningful. You will get through this. You will be better for it. You will be able to return to old spots and create new wonderful memories. You get to decide how that looks. You get to shape your reality. I don’t want a reality of anger, hurt, pain, and mistrust. I want a reality of love and community and understanding. I want openness in all aspects of my life. I want to be able to be fully myself and to be a place where others can fully be themselves.

I want to return to my base of curiosity and understanding. I want to seek first to understand rather than be understood. To love rather than to be loved. I won’t understand everything but that’s okay. I’m not supposed to but I am supposed to try and to take in as much of life as I can.

Let life overwhelm you. Let it drown you. Let it wash over you. Let it be too much to carry. Let it be too chaotic to grasp in two hands. Let it be and let yourself live it. Give yourself that chance. Don’t be afraid of your feelings. Don’t run from them – sit with them and call them friends. They are a part of you. Depression knows your curiosity. Anxiety has dinner at understanding’s house. Helplessness is friends on Facebook with kindness. They are all connected and they are all a part of what makes you you.

You don’t need one person to feel love or to be loved. You don’t need one person to have community and to rest easy. There’s plenty of love bottled up in you to go around to so many in your life. Let that flow out from you in as many directions as you can manage. Don’t hold back.

Retreat when you need to. Come up for air when you’re left gasping. Breathe and know it’s a privilege. We are all here on borrowed time. Your existence is a strange result of a long line of coincidences and actions – revel in that mystery.

You care so much about others. This is a beautiful thing – don’t give up on it because the cards don’t fall your way. It’s okay to be hurt, yes. Caring for people doesn’t let you skip out on pain though – in many ways it’s a prerequisite. It hurts because you care.

Don’t create unnecessary pain for yourself. Don’t seek it out. Don’t indulge yourself with struggle. Let yourself be happy and enjoy the moments when you’re okay. Take note of them. Each moment when you experience that is a gift and is not guaranteed to anyone. You having those moments is a privilege.

Leave people better than you found them as much as you can. You can’t control how someone else treats you but you can control how your actions affect others. Have the big picture perspective to remember that in painful, awful moments. Don’t increase the pain. Don’t let it tear you from yourself. Embrace the pain and remember it is temporary – your actions though are permanent. Operate and act in love and light. Offer hope wherever you go as much as you can. There’s not enough of it in this world.

I hope it helps.

“Take your broken heart, make it into art.” ― Carrie Fisher

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