I Hope This Gets To You
I’ve been reading letters lately.
It seems as if everyone is writing letters to their past selves or future selves, and I love it.
But I’m not worried about the ambitious and dreamy-eyed girl I was a couple years ago in college. And I’m not concerned about the silver-haired woman I’ll be years down the road, rocking grandchildren to sleep way past their bedtime.
I’m worried about the 24-year-old woman I am now. The one I caught a glimpse of in the mirror this morning.
Because there’s something different, something dangerous about her.
It’s slippery and smooth like snakeskin, this lurking danger. Its tongue just happens to be forked.
And it’s called Apathy.
Cynicism, indifference, jadedness.
You see, she’s stuck right now. Physically glued to the ground. She dreams day after day – she’s been doing it for years – but those dreams aren’t getting her anywhere. She wants to write books, she wants to live in another country, she wants to visit Ethiopia and see hope written in brown irises. She wants to kiss Colin Firth on the cheek (she’d respect his marriage status, I’m sure of that).
But the truth is that she lives on the same farm she grew up on, and she still forgets to wear shoes most of the time. She writes what she can between chores and errands and balancing trays of food night after night. She finds it hard to connect with anyone in her community, relying on good friends hours away. She can’t even look back over photographs from her recent trip to Ireland, afraid of all the longing those memories will unearth.
Her heart hurts more than it should.
She’s terrified this is where she’ll stay. For any amount of time.
Because at her core, she feels purposeless.
Last October when she noticed this feeling, she ended her lease and her job and moved. And yet, the purposelessness fell into place, just as comfortable in the country as the city. It only needed the routine of everyday life.
And it settled. Deep into her life, deep into her soul.
It’s taken on the form of panic attacks and sleepless nights, angry remarks and hot tears.
But she needs to remember that she’s not on her own. She needs to remember that her God is more than aware of the discontent buried deep within her chest, and she needs to know that He doesn’t want her to carry it.
She needs to know that there is a purpose for her being on this earth.
And she needs to know that she’s right where she needs to be, sitting by her desk at the window, shielding her eyes from the afternoon sun, watching her baby sister build a fort with sticks outside.
She needs to breathe and trust.
Trust that this will not last long.
That she will write books and live in other countries and lend her voice to great causes and camp out for U2 concerts and meet new faces and hold new hands and fall in love a few too many times.
All of this, she needs to know.
And I hope this gets to you, 24-year-old self.
What does your present self need to know most?