I did some thinking and I’ve been in anxiety mode lately. I tend to overthink and when I overthink, I tend to write my own story about a situation. I know it’s a trauma response and while I’m getting better, there are some days where the response breaks through. We talked and we are both learning not to take things personally, especially when it comes to who we are as people.
Writers edit all the time. I decided to edit my love letter. I like this new version.
6 February 2022
You are so damn hard on yourself and I don’t know why. You have such a heart of gold. You are kind, patient, and empathic, even though your anxiety gets in the way and you sometimes believe you’re a terrible person. You also tend to blame yourself for things that go wrong. Please stop doing those things; please allow yourself the same grace you give to others. You are so forgiving and I admire that about you. You are not a terrible person either. You have good and bad days, just like everyone else. Your patience and trustworthiness are key. Don’t ever lose that sparkle and even when things are dark, please remember to be kind and empathic; not only to others, but yourself as well.
This is another thing I admire about you: you are strong and brave. You have never given up and you have never backed down. Plans and goals may have changed, but you are determined. After your rape, you were brave by going to authorities and alerting WCU’s campus about possible danger for other young women. You were targeted and you didn’t want to see the same thing happen to other women. It takes a really strong person to be able to do that and put yourself in another person’s shoes.
Not only that, by being brave, it was WCU who set you up with a Victim/Witness coordinator, which helped move the case along even though it didn’t go your way. While the outcome didn’t go as planned, you weren’t taken seriously to begin with, but others did and they helped you. I know you carry a lot of gratitude about that time. Your silver lining. I love how you always try to find a silver lining. You are courageous, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.
I love your resilience, even in those days in 2013. 2013 was an awful year, a year full of grief and loneliness. Blizzard after blizzard marked 2013-2014’s winter and while the loneliness and isolation were strong, you pulled through. You didn’t give up on yourself and once 2014 passed, then 2015 through 2018, you began to work on yourself. You were given a second chance at life, and you wanted to make good use of that second chance. In 2019, you decided to reach out for help and I’m so glad that you did. The determination of those years brought new opportunities and your outlook is getting brighter. Your attitude has made the difference.
I love your creativity too. Of course, it was you who decided to try a Happiness Jar in mid-2015 and while Happiness Jar 2016 wasn’t entirely successful since it didn’t hold a whole year, you thought outside of the literal box, and you decorated a sweater box for 2017. Thus, the Happiness Box was born and it was a roaring success! I’m so glad you decided to turn this project into an initiative, complete with a blog and newsletter. People on Writing.com noticed, Sonali included you in her spiritual newsletter, and that allowed a school in Africa to contact you. You helped tailor lesson plans for students in war-torn countries and you were so happy when the teacher told you that the Happiness Box made all the difference for their students. Your Happiness Box Project now inspires others! Your story inspires others!
I just love your creativity in general. You are a creator and an innovator. Your creativity and love of research has made you valuable not only with work, but other facets of life.
A listener and nurturer. People love to come to you because you’re open-minded and you don’t judge others. While sometimes you may give advice, your willingness to just listen and be present helps. Not everything has an answer and most of the time being present to someone else’s story is enough. You give the best hugs and you are full of warmth.
I love your sense of humour and your sense of wander. You’re curious; you are willing to travel to new places and try new experiences. You don’t shy away from getting to know others, learning about them and their cultures. Others admire your curiosity; they trust you and let you into their fold. You can put a smile on peoples’ faces and you can give them a hearty laugh.
I love you, Jessica! I love you so much! You are unique, you are special, and you are a wonderful addition to the world.
I want to share this TED Talk with you. I listen to it every once in a while, and I think Keely makes excellent points.
One thought on “Edited Love Letter”
Hi, Jessica Marie!
Yessum, you endured a terrible couple of years but, as Joe Biden would say, you have Built Back Better. You are to be admire for your resilience, your generosity of spirit, your activism on key social issues and your willingness to be a good listeners when others need you. i’m sure you do indeed give the warmest hugs. I don’t have time to listen to the TED talk today. I will do it first thing tomorrow.
Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday, dear friend JM!