1.14.2018

Tidings of Spring: A Letter to Myself


The following is a personal letter I've written to myself. This is a new type of post idea I'm trying out; similar to a journal entry, but in letter form. Just to clarify, this is neither a poem nor a short story, but a personal work of nonfiction.

I've provided only enough context, explanatory detail as would be appropriate for an actual letter written to and for myself -- because of that, some parts might be confusing. Names, places, etc., have either been changed or simply redacted (gotta have some fun with it!) for privacy reasons. Basically, this is mostly for me; but perhaps you might enjoy it, too! :)

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Tidings of Spring

A Letter to Myself

January 11, 2018

Dear me,

It feels like spring. It's the 11th of January, and just a week ago -- not even that, just a few days -- we were in the midst of one of the coldest cold spells we've had in a while. Least it felt that way -- I don't know exactly how it stacks up against our previous weather records. Guess it's not too unusual for this time of year, and neither is this sudden stretch of warmth; it's the annual "January thaw," but the rapid changes and temperature fluctuations that it brings never cease to surprise me.

It feels like spring in another way, too, though. Spring is, of course, the season of new beginnings and growth. I don't need to dedicate an entire paragraph to the seasonal symbolism, however, 'cause you google enough of that when crafting those god-awful tales you love to write. But it's funny. As I stand here looking out of my dining room window, at the crossroads that are my childhood suburban streets and the little golden house that sits across from mine, I remember the willow tree that is no longer there -- because some guy had the genius idea to plant a giant motherf***ing willow on a small suburban side street, and had to remove it once it towered tall and magnificent over everything near because it had begun to pull up the asphalt.

I remember how, not so long ago -- and yet, over a decade now -- my friends and I would ride our bicycles beneath it; we'd race up and down that street, playing for hours, circle beneath its shade as the summer sun beat down around us and we just talked and talked, all the random topics under that golden orb in the sky; several years into our (and I'm confident in saying) lifelong friendships, we idled under that gorgeous willow's weeping branches, carved our initials into the bark, and soon attempted to make friends with the two teenage girls who lived in that house. Or maybe only the one lived there, with the other being just a visitor -- not quite sure.

Anyway, that never worked out. Us three, sometimes four, were much too young to make good friends with them. They entertained us eager souls once; never saw them again as it turns out they moved. Looking back, though, I feel we would have had a serious clash of personalities. They were the girly types, and we the tomboyish ones.

Well, except [REDACTED]. She was (and still pretty much is) quite the girly girl. But sometimes things just work, and she's one of the greatest friends I could have ever asked for. Granted, she lied about literally everything when we first met so we'd like her, but, you know. If that got us to where we are now, then... job well done.

I remember the people who moved in after those girls, although I never really knew who exactly lived there, 'cause there were a million of them coming and going regularly. I don't know if it was a whole host of relatives, or friends, or both... But I'm honestly happy to say that they make my top five obnoxious neighbors list, meaning I've been pretty damn lucky.

They were quiet for a few years, then I think the main group of relatives/friends were exchanged for a new group, then something was happening over there weekly. If it wasn't a party, it was an argument; if it wasn't an argument (with a police car rolling up by the end), it was simply an unusually large and constant stream of folks entering and leaving daily.

Actually, the oddness of those people didn't end there, as one of the families, a woman and her two boys (plus occasionally another relative and her daughter), set up shop in Dad's little flea market-type place. Got along great, did alright, and then one day, several months to a year later, Dad walks in and they're gone. Completely. Packed up and left without a word. Except, they were there the day before -- so that means they somehow came in through the locked friggin' doors in the middle of the night to pack all their things and vamoose.

I still scratch my head at that. But eventually, only some three were left in that golden house across the street. By this time, the willow was long gone, too. Soon they were out, and the house sat empty. Apparently they trashed it, though, so a kid the landlord knew stayed over there for a few months cleaning. He was great, and unintentionally hilarious in a way that only a typical twentysomething could be.

But the house was still for sale. It's somewhere around 2015, and my sister is starting to look for houses. She buys it -- it's perfect, really. We're the type of family that likes to stick together, if we can; so that it was right across the street was fantastic.

But who knew... All those hours and days and years spent in front of that house, never knowing it would one day become my sister's.

A small but significant change.

More than fifteen years worth of memories flit by as I look out of this window -- that being just the first to catch my mind's eye this gentle morning. So much has changed. More so internally than externally, but certainly a great number of external things have changed.

People have died, moved, and moved on; childhood friends have become adults, and some even manage to act like it, holding jobs and families of their own; some friends are still finding themselves, and in the process have become unrecognizable -- at least for now; even [REDACTED] has retired from a life of work, albeit temporarily. I graduated high school. I'm learning to drive, and I'm looking for work.

Yet, even more remains the same; and familiar times frequently resurface, even from new circumstances. That, however, calls forth an infamous enemy. As someone who has never wanted to grow up, and who is extremely sentimental, I've clung to the past as hard as I can. I've been reluctant to let go, but, as any experienced soul knows, eventually the world changes enough to where that past no longer has a solid place, and it becomes adapt, grow, or get left behind. Not to mention that it's also a waste of one's numbered days to be pining after or lost in an earlier era.

It's a natural feeling. One that most people have to face at least once, often repeatedly throughout the various stages of their lives. And it's hard. It's a hard one to conquer.

Sometimes you just need time. With time, you might find yourself with newfound abilities -- a higher level of mental and emotional maturity, for one. Things that frightened you before, or that caused undue stress, anxiety, may suddenly take the train to Nothingville. They say your brain doesn't even fully finish developing until around the age of 24-25; but, for all intents and purposes, it never stops. You're constantly learning, growing, evolving, and the only halting force is your attitude towards it -- the moment you become unwilling, or think you can't continue to grow, is the moment you cease to do so.

And with that said, sometimes time alone isn't enough. It can get you only so far before you need to just grab a sword (forget the shield, you got this) and charge headlong into battle.

It's this very point that I've reached myself, now. I could give myself more time to come to terms, but everything, everyone, around me is changing, while I lag behind, engaged in a half-assed battle with a monster of my own making.

Perhaps it's time to not only pick up the sword, but to close my eyes and jump from my ship of safety, to learn to swim in the great sea full of unknowns. (What the hell am I, a pirate? ...Arrr. Nah, I'm just terrible at keeping my analogies consistent.)

And so, I say again, it feels like spring. Though the weather may be returning to a state of popsicle post-thaw, and it's still a few months away from the season's true arrival, rest assured; there's change upon the wind.

One party ends, another begins.


With all the sun's vigor, charge forth and smell the world's abundant flowers; brave as many thorns.

Eve Estelle / [REDACTED]


Author's note:

As you can see from the difference in dates, I actually started this letter on January 11th; it took a few days to write, however. But I wrote it as if it's all the same day.

Also, I'm having trouble deciding where to put this. Which category section would you go to first, if you were looking for something like this? Prose or Miscellaneous (Misc)?

Thank you for the suggestion given during my Reader Survey about writing letters!

2 comments:

  1. Ommg this is such a great idea. I love this :D It will be an amazing feeling when you come back afters years to read this post. :) This is so cute!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I totally agree! It'll be both cringe- and smile-worthy a few years from now. Not even that long, really.. ;D

      I'm glad you liked this! I had fun with it, and it was a nice change of pace from poetry and short stories. Thank you!! :)

      Delete

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