I feel as though I need to give a bit of a precursor, before you read this next post. I recently participated in something called Challenge Day where I volunteered at the school here in Cedarville. At the end of the day, they had us write a letter, whether it be to someone who helped us through, someone who hurt us, or even ourselves. I have always been my own worst critic, whether about my writing and the blog, or my style, or just who I am as a person. During Challenge Day, I wrote a letter to myself, reminding myself of who I am. I am so proud of who I’ve become over the years, and what I’ve accomplished. Someone might say that it’s me tooting my own horn, but I see it less as advertising how great I am, and more as a self encouragement letter. I don’t need to live to please the world. I live to please myself and live to the fullest of who I am as a human who was created to be an individual. And sometimes, I need the reminder that I’m proud of who I’ve become.
At Christmas, when the push for commercialism and spending the most money becomes a game of Who-Can-Top-Who, it’s easy to feel inadequate and a failure because I don’t have the perfect house and the perfect gifts and the perfect life. But honestly? I don’t need any of that. Instead, I’m taking the quiet peace of Christmas Eve, and reminding myself that I’m good enough. All on my own, weird personality and all. Maybe you need a reminder too. Christmas is a celebration of love. The ultimate kind of love. The kind of love that changes who you are at the core of your existence and reminds us that we were created for a purpose. You are loved. You have a purpose. And all that has brought you to where you are now? It’s beautiful.
My Dearest Hannah,
Well, look at you! Up in the Great White North for the first Christmas without your family. I am so proud of you, you know. You did something crazy brave moving up to a brand new place, super far from everything you’ve ever known. All married and doing life and stuff. I’m so proud of you. I know this year has felt crazy. You got married and moved about four times and worked at camp and then bought a new car and sold your old one. You moved to Michigan (of all places) and started a whole new thing up there! I’m so proud of how well you’ve done and so proud of the things you’re going to do this next year.
I can’t talk about how proud I am without mentioning the blog. You’ve had this blog up and running for a whole year now, and look where you’ve taken it! You grown the blog and the readership, and learned so much about the blogging community and where you want to take it. You used to have no idea, and now you plan ahead (which, in itself, is crazy impressive since we both know you aren’t very good at planning ahead…and then sticking to it), and you’ve come up with great new steps for where you want to go.
I’m so glad that you’re happy. I know you were afraid you’d get depressed at your new job, just like camp or your last office job. I’m so glad that you enjoy going to work and find what you do fulfilling. I’m so glad that you love what you do and that you feel like you are actually being useful and making a change. I know the past five years haven’t been easy in regard to your depression, but this last year, you’ve taken yourself to brand new places and really discovered what makes you, individually, happy.
I think maybe you’ve finally gotten comfortable in your own skin, and I’m so incredibly glad. You deserve to love who you are and love the things you love without comparing yourself to other people, or worrying people with think you’re weird, or caring what people think about what makes you happy. I’m specifically talking about your blue hair, here. Your hair ROCKS! It suits you so well, especially as an independent creative like yourself. You keep doing you, girl.
I know that this Christmas didn’t turn out the way you expected. You felt a little lost in the blizzard up here, and felt disconnected from your family this season. But at the same time, that’s ok. You’re still growing, and as your first Christmas with Cheshire, you two can really make this holiday into anything you want it to be. There are no expectations to make it like it was growing up, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Take the little moments to heart, and cherish the silent moments with a mug of hot chocolate in front of the tree at 7 am when you’re the only one up. Dance to those Christmas songs all you want, and don’t think you have to tone it down because Chesh is playing Rocket League. Stuff your face with cookies, and don’t worry about the price of butter. Those spritz cookies are too delicious to skip.
Just know this: I love you. And I think you’re wonderful. You do have stuff to work on (like your temper, pride, and self-deprecation), but know that you’ve come so far from where you used to be. I’m so very ultimately, incredibly, lovingly, laughingly proud of you.