Good morning. How are you doing? I am always with you and yet we seem to have lost touch last year. I understand that there are always things to do, places to go, opportunities to seize, dreams to realize and fires to fight but it is almost as if you have been avoiding me. Did we grow apart? I thought we were pretty close.
From distance, you seem happier this year and remind me of a younger Daniela, one surer of herself and her place in the world. Is this true? You moved to a new country, started a new job. Are you really happy or have you just occupied yourself with urgency to avoid dealing with what is important? I ask because I care about you. I am not a stranger to you Daniela but last year has made me feel like one. You are both wise and jaded enough to know the difference between acts of self-love and distractions offering temporary happiness. And yet you have consistently fallen into the trappings of comfort this year. When we last met, you had sparkling eyes, ambition, and unflinching clarity but all those distractions have muddied your heart. There is nothing where there was once a garden. What happened? Oh, I remember, you told me. Your ex-husband is still not paying child support for his son. Guess what, you cannot change his attitude if he shows no responsibility. More importantly, what have you felt or learned this year that you will carry into the next decade? Seeing you today reminds me of what I once heard somewhere, “It isn’t that she is not a good person. It is just that she isn’t like my dreams.” In my dreams, you are remarkable, Daniela. Please do not allow life to get the better of you. There are things only you can do so you must do them. Look at your son. He is amazing and this is almost solely your (hard) work. Kurt Vonnegut would add, “Well, here we are, Mr.(s) Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.”
It is rare to have the ability and opportunity to build a significant life so please make the most of it. Giving in to the everyday pressure of mediocrity and smallness won’t get you to where you need to be. So, remember to dare often and greatly. There are several of us who adore you and will help you realize all of you. Hey, I know the gnawing feeling of unfulfillment is something you have been grappling with for a while now and you are prepared to completely retool your life and work. Again, 2019 was one tough year. But now you are better. Look what you have accomplished. It took you quite some time to get to this point and know exactly who you are so don’t resent the journey. The secret to leading a worthwhile life is to make a few meaningful and thoughtful decisions every day and let go of the rest. And, as you learn to detach yourself from this web you will come to realize your insignificance. All of this, my dear, existed before you were born and will continue to thrive long after your departure. So, optimize your time here for that which has the potential to outlive you. You – an institution, a family, a mother and a legacy.
You dedicated the previous couple of years to experimentation and self-discovery but these next few decades will require you to share your gifts. This is why you must focus on your son, your family, and friends and leave behind “the ex-file and divorce” for good. If you wish to succeed in this next phase of your life then you will need to grow your tribe and become bolder, clearer and less self-apologetic. Many have mistaken your kindness for weakness or indecisiveness so ensure this never happens again. There is no need to tolerate their ignorance or accommodate your anxieties so reform yourself. Everything will work out, believe me. You and your son will be fine. And guess what: Money is not everything. Look at what you have! You have this little pure soul who depends on you and walks next to you in life wherever you go. Isn’t that everything?
The other day you thought about all the wrongs in your life and what you have done in your previous relationship. Then you had this thought:
That which is wrong I have come to make right. I have come to repay the debt of others. I don’t feel bad about what I have done in the past. It always takes two to tango.
Breathe. Do not forget that this life is yours first and foremost belongs to you. You have power over it and can undo many of these wrongs if you choose to. Guess what? When you were born the first debt you inherited was your privilege. Then came the burden of expectations placed on you. This was soon followed by the power others yielded over you. And the final debt is one that grows with each passing day: Time. You often wonder about your purpose here but have you considered that perhaps it is to simply walk this earth with joy? If you can say no to anything which does not inspire happiness or peace in you then you are free from all debts. So, you are free, Daniela? Remember that you can get anything you want but not everything you want. What choices will then lead you to your best life? Aren’t you living it already? I think you do.
Don’t leave yet. You have already learned through your dramas that humans are transient beings. We all come and go bringing varying measures of joy, pain, longing, and wisdom into the lives of others. This is the natural order of things akin to the ebb and flow of the sea. This is also why you must rebuild your circle from scratch. It will shape your entire life so do this with care. Your move from Canada to Austria was already quite big. In all this change, happiness then lies in the constant. Isn’t home still wherever you see your mother’s eyes, Daniela? Your everyday rituals celebrated with your family are what lend comfort, meaning, and familiarity to your life. If I were to tell the truth then your love made me pay attention to myself. When you would kiss me I would go home and look long in the mirror.
I see you in the mirror every day and wonder about the love that will make you feel this way once again. Your divorce will complete almost one year in July and as its memories linger and fade inside you, I need you to regain control of your heart. To open it. I know you have never craved validation from others but when you love someone deeply they become an extension of yourself. Their attention on you translates into boundless self-affection and wonder. You were made to love and be loved and yet on most days you seem to believe that you are incapable or undeserving of it. Where there were wounds once, now there are scars. But all scars will be loved. I promise. What do you see when you look at your reflection? I hope you can see everything worthy of love in you. I see this every day and it makes me believe in the best of you. I will always believe in you.
All my love,