Note to Self
As a writer, I am often busy with lists and chapters and research and drafts. Whilst it’s all especially important and necessary, the process can be incredibly draining. Very often, storytellers are so determined to make sure that the person reading or hearing the story for the first time gets all the feels, that they neglect their own.
I got to that place: Depleted City. Without a map. No spare change. No signal… heck, no battery power on my phone! Convinced I was destined to wander around this place until I found the exit, absentmindedly kicking stones, I bowed my head and shoved my hands in my pocket.
Wait… what’s this note doing all scrunched up in here?
It’s a ‘thank you’ note. Thanks for what? Thanks for being a note and not a secret stash of chocolate? Pfft – hardly! Although, I can’t deny the rush of finding the note and reading the words. Maybe not as sweet and tasty as chocolate, but the possibility of gratitude is delicious. Before I know it, my head is raised, my shoulders relaxed, my breathing is deep and calm, and I’m noticing – really seeing – my world and all that I have to be grateful for. The needle has bounced back up from depleted to energised. I’ve remembered why I started writing in the first place, and I feel happily compelled to carry on.
So now, at least once a week, I write little notes to myself. I’ll fold them up and put them in my pockets, or tuck them into my purse, leaf them into my diary, or pin them to my notice board. I’ll write affirmations, words of encouragement, simple mood-boosters and pick-me-ups because I’ve come to understand the power of words, and it starts with self-talk. And because these notes are so effective, I gladly recycle them after reading, and place them in their next discovery zone. By writing the affirmations, and then feeling the paper and seeing the words, I’m engaging my senses and so the words have a greater impact, even two simple words like ‘thank you’.
There are two other remarkably simple words that I’ve not written for myself lately, and those words are ‘it’s okay’. Shall we try it? Will you also write a note? I imagine this note would be addressed to my younger self, and it might go a little something like this…
It’s okay that we are where we are right now. I am not punishing you with if-only or should-have. That wouldn’t serve us, and besides, it isn’t accurate. The choices you made were the best you could make at the time. You believed you were doing the right thing – I love that about you. It’s okay that it hasn’t worked out exactly the way you imagined it. If we can imagine things being a different way, we can choose that now. It’s okay to be afraid. Those butterflies in your tummy tell you that your choice, your decision, matters. Let’s marvel at those butterflies for a moment though – just long enough for the fear to morph into anticipation. See how they dance and delight in life? It’s okay to be happy. It’s okay to be silly. It’s okay to feel beautiful. You are. Your amazing mind created this world for us. It’s okay to feel sad. You’ve lost so much and it’s okay to grieve. It’s necessary. It’s also a reminder that your heart loves, deeply. It’s okay to feel frustrated – you can’t know everything before you even begin. Find a way to celebrate frustration so that you welcome it as a starting point for learning, for growth. If you take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and straighten your spine, dip your chin just a teensy, and breathe out nice and slow… can you feel it? Can you feel that it’s okay?
I’m okay. Right now, in this precise moment, I am okay. And that’s a good thing.