a love letter to my life

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My twenty-third birthday was six days ago. 23 doesn't sound so old and I know it's not a milestone birthday, but it somehow feels different. I don't feel older, and I definitely don't feel wiser, but I do feel more full of love.

Let me just diverge for a second and talk about when I went back to Colorado over mothers day. I sorted through a bunch of my stuff, and inside of that stuff were lots and lots of journals. Reading some of them I was shocked by how forcefully my hate runs through them. Hate for myself, for my life. It's the fierce heat of a flame, burning through everything and leaving nothing but embers and charcoal and no real memories of those years. It sounds harsh to say it, and though I know they were the teenage years; I also know that I felt those things deeply. It comes across on the page, to say the least.

So it seems somewhat subversive to my former self to write a love letter to my life. It's the kind of love letter that is tender and bruised. The kind that's not perfect. That recognizes there are soft spots always, places where that anger leaks through. There are insecurities here, doubts, fears that run deep--that are fed from that fire of hatred. There are moments where I am incredibly selfish and petty, guilty and jealous and spiteful.

But this is the deepest kind of love letter. The kind that says, this is real. It's also full of sweetness and light. It's full of the cool sheets I woke up tangled in my birthday morning. (Somehow I always manage to tangle them.) And the blueberry flecked smoothie Steele made me for breakfast. It's full of the slap of two sets of feet against pavement, of being in synch with someone in the city. Having your person. It's a love letter to the wide blue sky, and grasses and fields as you drive by.

This is a love letter about the small details: the order in which people show up to my pizza party. The way hair gets pressed into your mouth when you hug them. How each person feels so familiar. Then they're all there and all the dots are connected, strings are strung out between each person. A web. It's a love letter dedicated to the action of spreading out my old alpaca blanket on the sun burnt grass, and sitting on it in a ring of people.

It's a love letter to the past week, which involved swimming in a river with Melina and Karoline, twisting around and diving under again and again to capture a little grey-blue rock. This is a love letter to my river-reflection, my shadow self that is mirrored back at me and breaks up with the ripples. It's a love letter to the re-reading of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, to the sharp IUD cramps that rack through me, to the nervous pattering of my heart as I sit through yet another interview. This is love letter to my new gym membership. (A gym membership! How mature! How grown up! How normal!) 

It's also a love letter to my birthday cake: orange olive oil cake lit with candles, held by Steele, blown out by me. (And to noticing Zach in the background taking pictures. Zach, give me those pictures.) This is a love letter to the wish that darted through my mind as I blew those candles out: Not a thing, nothing specific. Just to feel whole. To be happy & content. Not to banish nervousness and insecurities and doubt and bitterness, but to let them absorb into my life. Another book on the shelf. Another word in the sentence. Another ingredient in the bread. Another metaphor on this blog, duh. 


  1. This could not have possibly been any better. Your writing! And (even more) your thoughts!
    They're magical.

    1. Thank you thank you thank you. YOU are magical.

  2. I love you. You have grown, you are more whole, more full of love.

    I remember reading my own journals--maybe hatred is just a part of teenage-hood. I decided I didn't want to carry that energy around with me anymore, so I ripped out poignant pages, and burned the rest in a sort of cleansing ritual.

    There is love surrounding you, dear. Heck, I can feel it when I'm around you--it comes from the people you surround yourself with. Those you choose. The life you have chosen. Every little brick you have put into this house.

    1. Glad I'm not the only one. Reading through them this past time I was sort of taken aback.

      You're gonna make my throat close up.

  3. This is beautiful, Brittany.
    Happy 23rd birthday. It's a beautiful age.
    Ronnie xo


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