Earlier this month, I saw a videoclip on The Talk where actress Laura Dern was taking part in a fragrance campaign for Kate Spade, in which several famous women compose “love letters” to themselves. Harper’s Bazaar has an article detailing the ad campaign here. Being that I have never received a love letter from another person, who better to write my first love letter to myself than me? So, today being my 31st birthday, I have decided to celebrate it by writing myself a love letter. And I encourage you out there to do one for yourselves as well. Just write what you love about yourself and give yourself a little encouragement or advice where you may need it.
I know you have times where you feel like, for whatever reason, that you are worth less to those around you and that you feel like the world is turning a blind eye to you. I’m here to remind you why you are the amazing human being that you are. I’m here to remind you that you yourself are worth loving.
First and foremost, I love that you have always been fiercely independent and marching to your own drum. You may not have always been willing to do this in your life, but once you figured out that the only person you are sure to please 100% of the time is yourself, you took both drumsticks and ran to the hills. There were times when you yearned to be part of the “In” crowd, unsure of your own worth and identity and so desperately looking to others to validate you, to make you think you were normal. In the end, all that did was push those who truly cared about you away, but the ones who truly mattered always found their way back. It took a long time for you to figure out that normal was a subjective concept and that you yourself were not normal…you were one of a kind. And once you did figure that out, you embraced it. I wish for you to continue to do that for as long as humanly possible.
Secondly, I love your kindness. Even in the most trying of situations where your patience is tested (and I know you go through a lot of them these days), you manage to keep as calm of a head as you possibly can (even when the impatience starts to get to you). Whether it’s helping your brother cook his first Thanksgiving turkey for his young family or helping your neighbor’s daughter with her science project (despite the flaws she made in her experiment process beforehand) or helping your dad install a TV despite you not being the best lifter, you are unafraid to lend a hand to a friend or a family member in need. I hope you are able to carry that attitude with you through as much of your life as you possibly can.
I also love that you are an adapter. No matter what life, both the big situations and the small, seems to throw at you, you almost always find a way to make it work. And I know how much you hate change. When your mother’s condition started to show itself, you seamlessly transitioned into her caretaker, no questions asked. When you find that you are missing a major ingredient for a meal you were planning, you still find a way to make it work. When times were lean and we were short on money, you found a way to make $40 weekly grocery budget work, and now that times are better, you still find a way to make your current grocery budget work. Have leftover yarn in your stash? You can figure out what to do with it, even if you didn’t originally get the yarn for the purpose you end up using it for. You hate change, sure, but you are also willing to accept it.
Finally, I love that you are one of the best and truest friends a person could have. When you befriend a person, those you befriend deeply know who you are and love you anyway. Your closest friends are like family to you, and they have seen you at your most vulnerable and helped you through it. You have also seen your closest friends at their most vulnerable and have tried to help them through it. You and your friends have each other’s backs and are willing to stand up for each other in times of trouble or torment. When your head was way up in the clouds or you got too full of yourself, your friends were the voices of reason and brought you back down to earth. And you have learned from those experiences and have tried to become a better person as a result. With your ambitious mind, your friends taught you humility. And in today’s world, humility is hard to find.
I hope this letter finds you feeling more confident about yourself. I hope this letter reminds you of the many strengths that you have within you in the times when you are feeling weak. Sometimes when you feel that your life is going south on you, think of this letter and realize that you’ve got this. Think of this letter and find your grip. You are more capable than you realize. You’ve got this, and I love you for it.
This felt good. Sometimes we just have to evaluate ourselves and put down what we love about ourselves in writing ✍️. It can be challenging, but it can be done. Happy birthday to me.