Saturday, October 13th, 2018Dear Danielle,
By the time you read this out loud again, it will be October 20th, which is your yearly personal day of gratitude. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that you found out a week ago that Dear Black Women’s affirmation circle would be taking place in Detroit on the very same day. Given this auspicious occasion, I, your week-ago self, would like to tell you all the reasons why I’m proud of you today.
I’m proud of you for leaving the house and coming to this event. You are very good at hiding, and it can be tempting to flake on opportunities like this, but I’m glad that you didn’t.
I’m proud of you for all the ways you tried to both challenge and stay true to yourself this year. Even if you didn’t realize that that’s what you were doing at the time.
You started traveling again (with the help of some very generous friends), to places you hadn’t envisioned yourself going to this time last year. And those travels taught you so many valuable lessons, namely: things can be easy (they don’t always have to be hard); it’s okay for you to rely on and collaborate with people more; everything doesn’t have to be an achievement or accomplishment (you’re allowed to do things simply because you want to); and peace of mind is immeasurably more precious than you think.
You finally performed again.
You started a new project, which would’ve seemed absurd and impossible to you just six months ago. You not only started it, but you’ve been so consistent with it! And sure, it’s been teaching you a lot of new skills, but you’ve also developed a practice of communicating with people more in a less guarded way, lifting people up, and expressing more gratitude. How cool is that?
And on top of all that, you made a really big, really difficult decision this year which you’d been agonizing over for a really long time. It’s ushered more uncertainty but also more hope into your life, and I know how much you needed to be able to wake up in the morning and feel hopeful again. I know how terrified you were to make that decision, but you made it, and that’s probably what I’m proudest of you for.
It’s not over for you. Nothing has been wasted. Think of all the things and people that re-entered your life this year that you didn’t even think to ask for, and yet you received them anyway. You’re going to keep growing, exploring, and letting passion and curiosity guide you closer to more of the things and people that you love.
There are probably some things that I’m forgetting; you know how you are reluctant to give yourself props. And I cried a lot while writing this letter, so I really hope you did make it to the affirmation circle so that you can share this with yourself and the sisters there. But anyway, I just want to end this by saying you are loved, you are a good person, you are doing your best, and I wouldn’t want to be anyone else but you right now.