On 12 December 2015, I came across a blog post from 2014 written by my friend James Prescott. It was a letter written from his older self to his then present self. It inspired me to write my own letter and share it with him. He loved it so much, he asked to share it as a guest post on his blog.
Of course I agreed! I had never had anything published outside of my own self-published blog, so another writer willingly subjecting his readership to my work was quite an honor!
You can find his blog here:
The following is my letter:
Dear 37 Year Old Rhiannon Hall,
I swear that I remember sitting there starting to reading this… I know you feel that tightness in your chest and you think you are about to cry because you want answers and life seems so complicated and scary. Just do us a favour and breathe for a minute.
Then read on. (And I know you are now fully crying and that’s okay.)
I am proud of you for getting where you are at the moment you are living in. 2015 changed a lot of things for us, didn’t it?
You risked so much to become whole and truly live your authentic life. You were so brave auditioning for a movie! You were so brave coming out to your family! You were even brave enough to put some of your writing out into the world where people could have shattered your fragile hopes. You already know how well those turned out! And that was only from August to October!
Well, guess what?
We keep getting better at that authentic living thing over the next many years. We get better at being brave and putting ourself out there. And we get even better at creating things that touch people. You will still shed some tears, and you will learn that it’s okay to be sensitive.
You will still have trouble breathing once in a while. But, those times start to occur for better reasons than fear or pain or doubt. They start to be caused, more often than not, by the beauty in your life and the moments that are rightfully breathtaking that you are currently doubting you will ever experience.
They WILL come. And they will help heal the wounds of your past.
And I know you are incredibly anxious to hear this one little thing, but I’m going to hold onto it a minute more… You will write and heal yourself. You will be published and help heal others. And you will love your friends and family fiercely. Yes, you will learn how to connect with people better.
I know you have been isolated for a long time and it feels like a lot of one step forward, forty-seven steps back; but if you just keep dancing those steps, you will find the souls who love you for who you are. Those souls will see the beauty in your scars, your pain, your laughter, and your sarcasm. They will wait patiently through your introverted phases and raise hell with you during your extroverted phases.
You will also learn better how to handle being an ambivert and make the best of both worlds. You will travel (but only a little bit because we both know we hate jet lag) and experience different foods, people, and cultures that will give you even more to write about. You will watch the sun set in a few places you have currently never even heard of. And you will thank God so often for the way your life began, all backwards and difficult, because if it hadn’t been for our first few decades, a lot of these things wouldn’t mean so much to us when they came about.
I know you are nearly 38 and there is a whisper in the back of your mind telling you that you are too old to be this new at living. Tell that voice that all of your past was a cocoon made of the lessons and tools that formed you into the person who was able to emerge ready to fly with brand new wings. Stop comparing yourself to others and their wings.
Have you ever seen two identical butterflies? No, and you never will. That doesn’t make one more or less beautiful than the other.
So just fly.
The Big One
And now for the big one. You WILL fall in love. And you will be loved back.
It will be difficult and scary and beautiful and it will require sacrifices on both parts. But it is absolutely worth it. Every day that you have together may not be good, but there will be something good in every day. (Yeah, after all these years, I still remember that line from the Sex in the City movie.)
You will roll your eyes at each other’s quirks. You will sing sappy love songs to each other. You will almost always get each other’s humour. You will hold each other through sorrow and sickness. You will support each other in so many trials and triumphs.
And you will even debate which Harry Potter houses you belong in. You will bake cookies together in your pajamas and fight over radio stations.
You will finally know what home feels like when you are in each other’s arms. And though you are currently struggling with impatience, when you look deep into those eyes, you will even appreciate that it took so long to find, and you’ll be glad you waited for your soul mate.
So, I’m going to leave you now before I give away any spoilers. Just keep hoping and dreaming and asking God the hard questions.
Keep being you, embrace your weirdness, and know that you are my hero. I’d say that I can’t imagine how you get out of bed some days, but I remember exactly how we got out of bed some of those days! Keep doing that because the world and I need you.
So, get out there and be the beauty that lives inside your dreams.
With all my love,
74 Year Old Rhiannon
(HA! As though I’d tell you our last name! And you must heed my wisdom for I am twice as old as you!)