© 2017 by Cierra Kaler-Jones

Never Let Them Make You Forget: A Letter to Myself

August 14, 2017

 

Dear Self,

 

This letter is for you(yes, you).

 

There will be days when you’re not quite sure who you are - the days where your heart will beat a little faster than normal, your temples will pulse, and you’ll be spinning into a downward abyss trying to find something you can grab a hold of that feels like safety.

 

There will be days where you wake up in a tattered mess of your curls and pull the blanket tightly over your head because you don’t feel like greeting the sunlight. There will be days where you skip through the streets singing at the top of your lungs, letting the air fill you with its lively breath, reminding you that you are alive.

 

All of those days will come, but surely they will pass and you have to remember to take in both the highs and lows to experience life at its fullest.

 

Don’t ever let anyone or anything make you forget your core. Don’t let them make you forget that you are the girl who trips over air at least twice a day and the girl who can’t go a meal without a few crumbs gracing your outfit with their remnants. Don’t let them make you forget that you laugh from deep within the depths of your belly and read every sign you see out loud in a silly voice. Don't let them forget that your hair twists and curls as a free spirit, much like your heart.

 

 

Don’t let them forget that you love to dance - whether it’s on stage with the spotlight encompassing your silhouette or down the aisle in the grocery store.There will be days when your knees are bruised, your feet are swollen, and your back can barely straighten but the music will fill your bones with relentless joy and you will have no choice but to move.

 

Don’t let them make you forget that you were born with a social worker’s heart and a calling to fix. Although sometimes it may feel like a weakness, it will always, undoubtedly, be your strength. Don’t let them make you forget that you care too much and always strive to see the good in people after they’ve showed you their demons.

 

Don’t let them make you forget that you love to read. When you brush the final page of a novel, you feel so interconnected with the characters that you’re not quite ready for them to leave your life so you linger on each word, breathing in its life as stories dance from the page to reality.

 

Don’t let them make you forget that you find solace in writing. As your words fill the page, your heart drips its musings through the shapes of constructed letters that form intricate sentences.

 

Don’t let them make you forget that you believe in miracles and find your strength in the grace of God. You wholeheartedly believe in fairy tales and true love and still get choked up at the end of movies, blinking back tears because you feel everything so deeply in your soul. When you fall in love you fall hard - whether it’s with a new song that you listen to on repeat each day or a person, an idea, or a hobby, you pursue it with a burning fire until it’s engulfed in flames.

 

Don’t let them make you forget that some nights you are hot tea with honey and other nights you are two glasses of wine. You are the sunshine that emerges over a mountain after it rises from slumber. You are the stars that twinkle intently despite the darkness. You are wrinkled sheets after a long day and the smell of coconut and magic. Some days you are five inch stilettos and other days you are a pair of white chucks.

 

Don’t let them make you forget that your existence has persistence. You have been bulldozed by life more than anyone could ever tell as they witness the confident grin that rarely loses its form. You have a permanent scar on your left knee from all the times you’ve been knocked down that everyone always asks about but you always just shrug and say “dry skin.” You have a tattoo on your right rib that reads, “& so she did” with a cross to symbolize twenty four years of following dreams that seemed unattainable and starting a new chapter of belief in your strength to overcome any challenge that may seem unbearable.

 

Don’t let them make you forget that your happiness is channeled from a place deep within that you have yet to be able to describe. They might think your happiness lies in your accomplishments or acceptance from others, but it does not - it comes from you.

 

It comes from those small moments that are so fleeting but so fulfilling like switching the radio to hear your favorite song fill the speakers or watching your students improve ever so slightly because you pushed them a bit harder. It’s the moments where the rain floods from the opening of the clouds and the room is quiet except for the gentle pitter patter of the droplets. It’s the moments where you are on the floor, grabbing your stomach and gasping for air because the laughter overtakes you.

 

It’s the innocence of a first kiss and the flickering moment of falling in love when you didn’t think you had any love left to share. It's sandy skin and sun-kissed hair after a long day at the beach - your safe haven. It’s the first taste of something delicious as the flavor unfolds in your mouth. It’s the words of your mother echoing through your soul as she gushes about how she doesn’t know how she could have ever created such a human being. It’s the finding of a photo that brings back memories of your childhood.

 

It’s the friendship and camaraderie that you feel when a friend calls for advice. It’s the giggle of a student as she hugs you as her way of saying you have made all the difference. It’s the first step out onto the stage or court where the anxieties dissipate and the passion takes over. That is happiness.


Never let them make you forget that you - yes, you - by yourself are whole. That you never take no for an answer. That you are a fighter, clamoring through life in your steel armor. That you always find the sunshine amongst the clouds. That your goal in life is to create paths of change for people. That your laugh fills up a room with its resounding bellow. That you will never succumb to the pressures of fitting a mold when you are already a masterpiece. That are you flawed - and that is okay. That your edges and roundness come together to form the perfect shape. That you are enough and there is no other person, accomplishment, or task that could make you more. No failure, no misstep, or mistake could make you less.

 

This is for you.

 

 

 

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