′Tis the season for getting mushy.
Recently, I happened upon some old love letters in an email thread.
Oh my. It’s a little embarrassing to tell you how little correspondence I received. And it’s funny to consider how unpolished I was, as a writer.
I was so young.
Nevertheless, there was something special in those letters. Something missing to me now.
Have you ever had that feeling? Do you ever look back on your memories— old photographs or journals— and see something you miss about who you once were?
I was so brave.
I admire the courage it took to send all those words. To spill them on paper at all. The girl I used to be dared to BELIEVE in the magic. In the fairytale.
I don’t fault her for that.
Even if it was a one-sided story.
I’ve known many writers to confess they “write long” and edit out most of it. The idea is that they have to say a lot to GET TO what they most need to say. Then they simply cut away all the extra, and what’s left is a polished piece that— when it’s done well— really sings.
I don’t fit into this mold. This is why: By the time I say something, it’s what I wanted to say. If I cut it away, I FAIL TO SAY what I intend to say.
But it wasn’t always this way. That’s what I discovered in those embarrassing letters. I used to have words! So many words. I miss them.
I miss the words that used to exist inside me.
Wishes and dreams. Heartache. And love.
Now those things are harder to get to. I’ve locked them away, somewhere out of reach. Is there something you miss about who you used to be? What feels lost to YOU now that you’re older and wiser? Sometimes knowing better doesn’t serve us as well as we think.
I know WHY I buried those pieces of me. That’s no secret. You probably do too. We do it to protect ourselves. But at some point, we protect ourselves to the point of only half-living.
Of course, I speak for myself. Perhaps you feel it too. Can I tell you a secret?
I’m glad I found those old letters. They help me remember something I almost forgot: The little girl inside me… still needs me. She needs me to listen. She needs me to help her find her words.
That’s what I’m doing right now.
I wonder what secrets your memories hold for you. About who you’re becoming. And who you still are. It’s a whisper. Can you hear it?