Category Archives: Love Letters

Learning to be the cool, vulnerable chick in the corner.

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I want to remember everything about this time.

The details. The silver linings. The gooey middles. The intricacies that hold in these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. And how these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities seem to be happening pretty consistently in my day-to-day. And I want to remember that they should always, always humble me to my knees.

Last week I boarded a flight for Hollywood. I was there for a solid 24-hours. I stayed on the Boulevard. I brought wardrobe choices. I walked on a TV set. I had a dressing room with my name in the middle of the star. I sat down with a host I’d known for years by the glow of the screen. I wondered when I would wake up.

Life feels a bit surreal these days. It feels like it probably belongs to someone else. Or that it’s been lent to me by someone who’s coming back tomorrow, planning to ask me, “Was my little life good to you?”

And let’s be honest– I had no real intention of ever blogging about this. I planned to trot back from Holl-ay-wood and post my usual “Inspiring Post that Makes Others Think It Could Be About Them But Really It Is About Me… Maybe…” kind of post and stay off from all y’all. But someone sent me an email as I was boarding the plane, a single sentence email that read: “Please tell us about Hollywood.”

OOF. Wind rush. Me? Talk about my life? On my blog? Jeepers, now that is something I don’t like doing. I am going to be plain & honest & true with you… I have never felt comfortable talking about my life on this blog unless I muddy up the details with imagery & metaphors and leave your head spinning and wondering if the details of that last post ever even happened to me at all. And no one knows a thing about me besides the movement I started and the color of my hair. It might be a defense mechanism. I’ve done it for three years now. But something is pushing me out my comfort zone and I am ready to share more. And be honest more. And give you more of a glimpse of my everyday ordinary. (I am so swallowing hard right now, sweating profusely, wondering if I can actually do this.)

So my life… yea… and what I think it is these days.

I think it simmers down to this: Great faith. & great expectation. The two, braided together like horse hair, took me straight into a life I never planned for myself. A life I never thought my little hands would deserve.

When I quit my fulltime job back in July, God was calling. Trust me, it takes much bravery & courage on my part to admit that to strangers who only know me by the slang in my syllables. But the quitting my job was God’s plan, not my own.

My plan has always been big & illustrious. If I were an Indian child, they’d have named me Lover of Big Names & Fancy Resume Buzz Words. I wanted to work for huge nonprofits. I wanted connections with names that would hitch up my LinkedIn profile and make it shine brighter than the Hollywood Boulevard at night. I craved security. Enough money. I wanted the things that would symbolize a job well done. A kid making well for herself in a struggling economy. But the plan was never to quit the job.

Then More Love Letters came alone. And it was a squander between a role God gave me that hummed to the riffs of His very own soundtrack and a job God had given me to deliver me out of the Year of my Unraveling. The Year Depression Wore Rainboots & Tromped Out My Spirits. I wanted to honor both roles. I burnt out. I worked too many hours. I forgot friends. I kept praying.

In the middle of April, God whispered July. The month would be July. I knew something would heave. Turn. Shift. And, sure enough, a job was offered for July that would cut me down to a fourth of the money I’d been making. I left a salary, benefits, insurance. My pockets were heavy from student loans. I found a limb… and I walked out on it. I was fearful. But I had a feeling it would fan out into something beautiful.

I could suddenly work from anywhere, for someone who gave me one requirement: The time not spent working for me gets devoted to your dream.

I agreed. I stepped out. And I clung to God for security. For abundance. For a direction.

My life takes on a new kind of ordinary these days.

A new kind of normal that I am learning to embrace with both hands. I’m not used to TV studios. Nor am I used to heavy email inboxes. Or public speaking. Or book deals.

But it is all rolling forward and I am being stretched in the limbs to show up every morning and be the girl that God mapped out for me. If I didn’t want so much– if I didn’t already have the sweetest taste in my mouth for what God can do for those who trust Him fully– I’d be the girl I thought I always should be: quiet. Pent up inside a box. Insecure. Sorry for her own existence.

And I don’t want to stand here, with hands in pockets while looking down & kicking at the dust, trying to tell you that you can transform your life into something magical. Truthfully, I don’t think I could pull off a shred of magical on my own. But I looked up to the heavens and said, pretty honestly, “I don’t always trust you, I don’t always know what you want from me, but I am tired of this sadness. I want my life to be whimsical. I’ve got big dreams. I have so much I want to do. I want to write books. I want to speak to many. I want to do Your work, God, if only I knew what that work was…” And yea… God met me with a pretty outlandish but whimsical life. (Twas’ never my own doing and I don’t ever plan to take that credit.)

And so, no, I don’t want to be that other girl anymore. The tired one. The one who is not confident in her abilities & giftings.  & I must refuse to bring her along in this journey because the girl already mapped out for me is another thing altogether.

She is pretty wonderful. She is pretty cool. She gets to do amazing things. She gets to meet amazing people. She feels blessed almost always. She is learning the art of gratitude better every morning. That girl is learning, above everything else, that she needs to embrace what is coming her way like golden tidal waves, whether she ever felt she deserved it or not.

That is the girl I want all of you to meet. She is not perfect. She is not trying to be perfect anymore. She is just joyful. Content. Ready to share. Ready to find her own voice on this blog.

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Filed under Love Letters, Love Yourself, Simply Living, Uncategorized

You were made for mighty things.

You were made for mighty things.

You.

Yes, you with your fingers curled around the computer mouse. Your sleepy eyes hooked to the glow of the screen.

You, with the tired limbs & the half-faking-it kind of smile that’s stayed on your face since lunchtime. You, who might scroll through your newsfeed one last time tonight before giving it up and going to bed. Trying again for something better in the morning.

You were made for mighty things.

& I cannot go a single step more without you knowing that true. Not a step. Not a hop. Not a shuffle or a sashay more without you knowing that  your bones & every ounce of you exist for a reason much greater than this. Much greater than the fog. Than the pricks. Than the pains. Much greater than this moment that you already feel has closed up & in & all around you.

Darkness, darkness, you’ve felt it creeping in. You’ve wrapped yourself in blankets. Curled up in doubts. Listened to the hollow of the night and wondered what you’re really here for. You’ve started prayers but you don’t know to whom. The Whole of it feels awkward. The God feels distant. You swear He cannot hear you. & even if He can, you’ve been unforgiveable for quite the while.

You’ve wondered if you matter. If this hurt will ever go away. If ever, oh, ever the people would remember you if it came time to wear black tomorrow & bury your body deep in the ground.

Darling, darling, hear me good: The dark has stars that poke through the sky and the light, the light that pours on through, is thicker than you know.

Thick like the wool socks you fold over snow boots. Thick like the trunk of the tree in the yard in the back where the tire swing used to swoop & swoop– your hands gripping the rope; your laughter floating up to the leaves.

You were made for mighty things.

Though you swear  you don’t know the starting point just yet. You feel swallowed in just the thought of beginning.

Of trying. Of wandering out beyond the lines of the Things You’ve Known. The Things You’ve Known that you know have become the Things You Know Don’t Fit You Anymore & Don’t Fill You Any Longer & Don’t Quite Play Music Like the Days of the Jewelry Box No More, No More.  

You feel swallowed, so swallowed, just by finding the shred or the starting line or the first little note in the symphony entitled, “How to tell anyone, just anyone at all, that you want to have meant something at the end of all this.” That you’ve wanted to be infinite for pockets of time. That you’ve wondered if there might still be time for you to step out and be something mighty in this world– you’ve done your wrong. You’ve hurt the others. You’ve thought out loud the lie you thought was always true: “I won’t be used for anything good, anything mighty, in the big ol’ world. Maybe her and maybe him but not me. Not me.”

There’s a whisper in the folds tonight,”You were made for mighty things.”

& so it is time to start. Not time to argue.  Not time to groan or doubt or fear. Not time to make excuses. Not time to shrink away. You say you’ve got tomorrow but don’t you know how fierce and fiesty a thing that Time be?

Time. She spits. She sputters. She flips out her hair and don’t guarantee no one a single thing. Not a measuring cup full. Not a week on the calendar. Nothing, nothing.  She only warns you– with her pointed finger in the air– to take the Today & the Tomorrow if she grants it. Take the Tomorrow if Time gonna bless your knees with it in the morning.

No time to reason. No time to know why. Only Time & the small of her back & the truth that ticks like the clock on the wall: As long as you are standing here, two feet on the ground, you’ve got the graces of a New Beginning in your palms. You can close the doors. You can clean out the closets. You can say goodbye. You can let it go.

You can uncover newness. You can climb a new rope. You can stare up at the sky. You can find that God. You can look in the mirror & you can partner with the one looking back. You can decide that you aren’t a thing with just fingers & toes– flawed & fleshy & unfit for unfolding plans.  But that you are a lighthouse. A lantern. A luminari. A flicker of hope. You are the bright spot in the day of someone else.

You are more powerful than you’ve called yourself to be. You are more worthy than you’ve ever claimed to be. But ain’t no one gonna grant you that if your hands aren’t open and your slate isn’t cleared and you can’t find a way to say– to the moon & the stars & the fireflies in the trees tonight– that you’ve grown tired of your Yesterdays & the smallness of it all &  you’ve decided to shift & shake your Tomorrows for as long as you have them. Shift & shake & give them away to the Someones scattered in the world that were made to see light pouring straight of you. You, yes, you.  

You were made for mighty things.

you make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out the dust. 
you make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of us.

 

 

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Filed under God, Live with intention, Love Letters

In wake of tragedy: this is my wordless love letter.

The news of the tragic shootings in Colorado barreled over me this morning. Leaving me wordless. Feeling a bit afraid. Wondering how love might block out all this fear. My only response was a love letter… for the victims. For the families. For anyone who has been impacted by the tragedy at hand. It won’t do. It really won’t do. But if we never try to find the words then they never really come. & I’ve been made to believe that love speaks louder than fear… always. 

To you, whoever you may be tonight:

There are no words for the sorrow that slips in.

Under the door. Through the window. Invading us all like this was her personal space all along. To be here. To operate here.

There are no words for the pain. For the way it sits heavy in the air as we refresh the CNN. We trace back over the news channels. We struggle to finds for things that seem so wordless.

There are no words to tell you I am wordless. That sorry feels too small. And this tragedy seems too large. And love is all I know. I’m wordless but I love you through every ounce of this thing.

There are no words for a bit of this.

This is my wordless love letter. For the pain I cannot shoulder. The sorrow I can’t hold. The only way to tell you that I’ll never really leave you. Never, never.

Wordless, so wordless. Because no matter what I type, no matter what I tap, tap, tap onto a document that is all white, all blank, all untold of the truths we wish we had the words to say—they won’t do. They won’t speak for the sorrow of lives lost. Families torn. Fear exposed. Hurt run wild. And evil so real.

The words—they shudder now. They shrink. They cry out to say, “Don’t use us. This tragedy is wordless.” But some still find the courage to beg and say out loud:

There will be hope after this. Strange to believe but yes. 

There will be some sort of tomorrow, we’ll find it together. We’ll piece it back together.

There will be some sort of sun, light at the end of this, though it’s bound to feel hollow for now.

Bound to be broken sunlight for now.

If it were quite possible, I’d find that sunlight. Crack it open now. Suck your pain up like a vacuum. Pull you close and hold you. I’ve got no words but love never really needed syllables anyway.

And so all I do is pray. Hold hands up high to a God who aches with the world today.

& pray you’re held right now. Held & held & held until the sun falls down behind the hills though she really didn’t feel like rising up today.  Held like the Mama on the subway who finds a spot to sit and wrap, wrap, wraps her arms so tight around a child she loves beyond silly, little words. She holds that child so, so good to make you think evil never existed. That good was all there was when it came to this world and how it spun.

I think of that Mama now. I think of that child now, wrapped so good in Love. Cloaked so good in Love.

The way I wish I could. The way I wish I could for you right now; taking in your tired body. Taking in the tragedy that pulses in the moment.

& so I pray for holding. In arms. In peace. In prayers. In dawn.

Don’t try to find the words right now.

There are no words for a bit of this.

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In Lieu of Birthday Cards…

I’ve given up my birthday.

Ditching the cake. Swapping the candles & nursing no desire for a single card. Don’t you mail me… I repeat: Don’t You Mail Me.

Birthdays are nice. Sure. And 24 is sureeee to be a lovely age (though I have a clear disdain for even numbers and would rather plow for 25). But I don’t need to celebrate 24 years of dancing on this earth because clearly I’ve been dancing for 24 years of this and I’ve got it good. Got it Great. Got it Better than I could have ever hoped for and I don’t need a single thing.

So join me, please, in forgetting my birthday this year & buying a graduation card instead.

Her name is Eilis.

Her father passed away from cancer nearly two years ago and it hit the family hard. “He was the kind of father who got down on the floor to play with the kids, teased them but not too much and was firm with his expectations. Eilis was closest to him…her favorite parent.”

This year, Eilis turned 18. Had her senior prom in April. Will graduate in June. Head off to college in August.

Her life is happening. All. Over. The. Place. & just 5 years off from that very spot in life, I know how Crazy. Chaotic. Overwhelming. But Exciting it can be.

Eilis’ mother came to me with the hope that I would gift Eilis with a love letter for this brand new chapter in her life.

The first thing that came to my mind? Screw my birthday, y’all need to help me with this one!

So…

If you love me, if you support me, if you have ever believed in a single thing that I do, then I need you… right now… to help me gift Eilis with the best bridge possible from High School to College.

In lieu of birthday cards, I am asking for graduation cards. Inspirational cards. Cards not to be opened until after Eilis arrives at college. Cards for Eilis in the Every Day of her life as she pursues her dreams with the memory of her father tucked close to her heart.  

Be creative. Raid Target (the aisles are packed with grad cards!). Make playlists. Write what is on your heart. Tell your friends. Help me gift this girl with the best Bundle of Love Letters possible.

This time (and this time only) I am forgoing the More Love Letters PO Box for my own snail mail. Please send all letters & cards to:

Love Letters for Eilis

33 Belvedere Rd

North Haven, CT 06473

Please be sure to postmark your love letter(s) by June 5th.

Please & Thank You.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to dancing…

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Littlest Lullaby, you go ahead and name it when you’re ready.

Self love is a concept more tangled to me than the mess of Christmas lights now harbored up in my attic for another 300 or so days.

I’ve struggled with it. A lot. And every time another letter request comes to sit in my inbox, outlining the tracings of a girl who just doesn’t know how to value herself, I am reminded: I might not be so equipped to write this love letter. Some days I am. Other days, I need it myself.

Step One is always to write to her. To let her know that I am rushing to reach her mailbox. Her fingers. Her hands.

Step Two is to step back and find a way to speak love into my own arms.

Step Three is to write it all down.  

Look up, look up,

For you are the littlest lullaby of New York City.

You are as brilliant as the sound that streams from the Old Man’s saxophone in Central Park.

You, you are as striking as the Sunday Times front-page photo, shot from the lens of a clever journalist who was standing right where he needed to be at midnight. To prop a digital to his eye and snap, snap, snap the Man who wore a uniform that told He’d Been Gone Too Long as he kissed the girl who wore a smile that simply said My Soldier Has Come Home.

You are as alive as the city that surrounds them, as the world sings down to twelve o’ clock and the confetti grabs and tangles in their hair.

You are as precious as the Little Girl with the ALDO shopping bag, the one bigger than her body, slung over her shoulder. She chews the ends of a noisemaker and lays back in her Mama’s Arms, leaving a subway to wonder, Did She Make it To Midnight Last Night? Or did her Little Girl Eyelashes fold into one another, like prayer hands, at 10pm?

You are as delicate as the antique camera the Boy holds in his lap. Stroking the grooves, thinking in Peter Pan fashion, “What magic will I capture on this first day of 2012?”

You are as unstoppable as a Café that holds a Floor that holds a Table that holds Two Chairs that holds Two Dreamers who hold the Power to Change the World deep within them.

And what’s more unstoppable than that Café that holds a Floor that holds a Table that holds Two Chairs that Holds Two Dreamer who hold the Power to Change the World deep within them is that they’ve realized, over Two Coffee Mugs and a Stack of Stationery between them, that they are Unstoppable. And they’ve decided to Never Stop.

You, you are as lovely as a page torn from a book, folded and carried beside Lip Smackers and Wrigley’s gum in the purse of a Lady headed towards 72nd Street. As lovely as the words she Reads & ReReads & ReReReads to herself on the days where it seems God forgot to put the color into the sky. “You your best thing,” she reads. “You your best thing,” she ReReads it again.

And Darling, you matter. You matter in the way that rain to the sunken soils of Africa matters to the Ones who haven’t felt the drops on their sunken shoulders in 17 months.

You matter in the way that the Girl with the rip in her tights and feather in her hair matters to the Boy who hurdles suitcases and becomes a running blob in a photo of the Korean bride as she kisses her fiancé at the top of the stairs in Grand Central Station. And he ruins perfect Save the Date photos just to find His Girl waiting at Track 26 for a southbound train, moving towards Away. He pulls her in by the arms and he tells her he’s made mistakes but this? Well, this would be his Biggest, if he let a train and his own fears rip His Angel away.

You matter in the way that bright lights matter to a City of Insomniacs who came here mostly because the bright lights assure them they, they too, were made to shine and shower light. In Some Way. Some Day.

You matter in the way New York City matters to a girl who has cut and pasted a world of high fashion & beauty how-to’s along her walls, waiting for the day when she won’t just stitch jean pocketbooks in her bedroom. Won’t just scan websites for internship opportunities in Manhattan.

You. You. You.

You are bright as the sun that peeks from behind the buildings– tall like players who make a life out of jumping up to wrap their Big Hands around the Rims of a Net. To slam-dunk and dangle for a while.

You are bright as the stars that jut through the skyline like the tips of lead pencils poking through black cardstock. The light pours & pours with each poke.

You are something bright, something rare, something I cannot quite name all by myself. As timid as Adam the day he found  a dove and struggled just to name her right.

But it’s lovely, whatever you are, it’s lovely. So name it when you’re ready.

Littlest Lullaby, you go ahead and name it when you’re ready.

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Filed under Love Letters, Love Yourself

Meet Hannah: She needs your love letter today.

It’s been tough to write here lately.

If I am being honest, I work a good ten hours a day and all I am left with, when I reach the keys, is speechlessness. Over all of you and what you’ve done with this “little love letter project” of mine.

These days I feel my wings thumping from behind me. And I stop to remember how much I would have killed for this, lived for this, when I was sixteen years old. Full of Fear. Full of Hesitation. Wanting him to like me. Willing to pretend for just a single chance at a sacred word inflated with the Helium of Pretty Girls and Football Players, Popularity.

But today I have a chance, a chance to reach back and write a letter to a girl just like me… I’ve had the chance to speak with Hannah’s family over the internet and this is what I know…

Meet Hannah.

Hannah is a 16-year-old whose parents recently divorced. She’s taken the divorce hard and has recently become very depressed. Her letter requester wrote, “Hannah was picked on when she was younger and it muted her vibrant personality that she had when she was small. Now she is hesitant to let the real Hannah shine through, though she is a very artistically talented and beautiful girl. We really hope that these love letters will speak to her heart, and will be a spark for her when she feels lost and alone in the world.”

Oh, Hannah. Hannah, Hannah, Hannah.

The things I want for you already. And so today I am writing a love letter for you. And I have Kaleigh Somers, a girl whose heart absolutely swelled for you before she ever even knew your name, writing one beside me. And I am hoping that my readers, the ones tracing this post right this moment, will join me in writing a love letter for you today.

Please take the time today to write a love letter to Hannah today. All letters should be mailed to Hannah’s Bundle, PO Box 2061, North Haven CT 06473. More details can be found… H.E.R.E.

Today I am reaching out to coworkers and asking them to write a love letter. Reaching out to my all-star team at She’s the First and asking them to write a love letter. To friends & family & you, to script a letter for a girl who needs to find her wings.

Won’t you join me?

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The Forgotten Fairy Tale of Should’ve, Could’ve & Would’ve

Like any normal child, I started writing letters to my One Day, Some Day daughter when I was 11-years-old. I’ve been writing her into the margins of my diaries for eleven years now in hopes that one day she’ll find these books buried somewhere in the attic and know through the etchings of my messy cursive that I wanted the most for her. Even when I’ve had no idea what to want for myself, I wanted the most for her. The following posts are for her, my One Day, Some Day Daughter.

To my One Day, Some Day Daughter:

This is a story made for the day when you wake up, Hair Knotted by the Pull of your Pillow, and stumble straight into Should’ve & Could’ve & Would’ve: a trio of sisters that the world should call witches, for they’ll snatch up your dreams and scarf down your desires, and Fix You Up Pretty in a Too Tiny Box that God Never Made You For.

He made you for dancing—for words too eloquent to say with more than a whispered voice—for tinsel delicately strewn on the branches of baby evergreens—for icing, thick and sugared on the tops of every little thing you touch. 

But one day, one gloom-stricken day, you’ll stumble into a cottage of sorts, with doors that lock behind you, to find Should’ve herself and the things she thinks you were made for.

You’ll know her by the rings piled on every long, stickly finger. The Diet Coke she clutches in her hand. The mole on her face, right beside the curl in her lips caked with a lipstick color that Chanel phased out two decades ago.

She’ll look you straight in the eye and ask you where you’ve been.

“A little late to join the par-tay, Babycakes. Aint that right, Could’ve?” she’ll say to you, slapping her gum. “HA, HA, HA, bet you were off thinking you could make something of yourself. Like you could move, bah! Like you could make a difference, BAH! Could’ve? COULLLLDDD’VEEEEE!!! Where are you!!! Getttt innnn hereeeeee nowwwww! And bring the cat!”

Could’ve will emerge, wearing a bathrobe. Always one to wear a bathrobe. And a hazard zone of red hair perched upon her head.

“Yea, yea, yea,” Could’ve will say, shuffling into the room with a fat orange fur ball tucked under arm. “What the heck do you want…. And WHO are YOU!?”

“My name is….” You’ll start to say.

“Shhhhhh… we really don’t care! Names don’t matter in this place. Dreams don’t either. And certainly, certainly, not your silly little ambitions. Leave those at the door. Should’ve, get the remote. Judge Judy is on!”

From a corner of the cottage, you’ll watch Should’ve & Could’ve sink into the television, into a world they’ve always known. A world with no pushing, no pulling, no climbing. No maybe. No possibly. And for that matter, no Possi or Bility.

With a creek and a slam, the front door of the cottage will usher in a young lady. Young and fair, wearing a green cape, the hood draped over her long black hair.

“Where the heck did you run off to, Would’ve?” Should’ve will holler, not turning back to see her sister’s flushed cheeks. “We’ve got Doubt coming over for dinner in an hour and you gotta sweep the floors!”

“A date…” Would’ve will say meekly.

“A WHAAAAA?”

“A Date.”

“With Whommmmmmmmm!?!”

“Try.” The name comes out short. Abrupt. You’ll feel the heavy gust of shame whipping through the cottage the moment Would’ve lets the name drop from her lips.

“Try!?!” Could’ve will roar. “You went on another date with Try? You stupid, stupid girl! What have we told you one million times before? Try does not go for girls like you.”

“I know you’ve said that but he’s charming and endearing and…” Would’ve will say.

“You are different, Would’ve! Cant you see that? He will notice soon enough and then he’ll break your heart. People don’t try on a girl like you! Give him up….”

“You think you are special and you are not,” Should’ve will chime in. “Stop it already, Stop the Some Day, Stop the Day Dreaming. Stop the Special. Stop the Stand Out. You’ll only get hurt from boys like Try, he’s probably already forgotten your name.”

You’ll see it unfold. See the happiness seep straight from the bones of Would’ve as she stands in the center of her Too Tiny Kitchen and tries to erase Try from her memory.

Dismantle his name in some sort of fashion.

Boil the T in the pot for the dinner made for Doubt.

Sweep the R under the staircase, beside forgotten cobwebs.

Wash the Y away in the sink after the dishes pile up.

She’ll forget the flowers that Try brought her. She’ll scrape away the times when Try showed her how to climb a tree and look down from the top.

She’ll take to pushing the felt of the eraser across the chalkboard of the time when she and Try laid down in a pile of leaves and he took her hand in his. “Would’ve, do you have a middle name?” he asked.

“Well, I suppose it’s Have. My name is really Would Have but people call me Would’ve for short.”

“Hmm,” Try said, “Have. It is a really pretty name. What does it mean?”

“I don’t really know. I’ve never really known it and I’ve grown up hearing from my sisters that I’ll never know it. I guess it is word that makes it possible to believe that if you want something then you could hold it, secure it, clutch it. All those things.”

“Are there things like that for you? Do you want things like that?”

“Well, no one has ever asked me that. I don’t really think about it.”

“You should think about it more,” Try said. “I like it better than Would’ve. I will call you that from now on. Have. Have. Have. My Little Have.”

She’ll forget that Try ever told her she was different in a good kind of way, special in a certain kind of way. And you’ll watch her Sink, Sink, Sink into a Stew of Sadness over the Try she’d never have.

And Would’ve, not quite the Have she wanted to be, will see you standing off in the corner, in the Shadows of the Shack. And she’ll give you a look that aches, saying, “Go…. Go….” And you better go then. You better go then.  “Before they notice you’re gone… Go… Go…”

And as you go, slipping out the door and away from a world where Too Pretty Girls get pent up into Too Tiny Boxes, Would’ve will tuck a note into the crook of your hand. And you’ll become a messenger for a girl who needs her Try.

“To my Dearest Try,

One day I may know you better, in a way where I am not so afraid of you and I am not so petrified by the good you could bring to me. Right now I am just the Would’ve, stuck beside the Could’ve and the Should’ve that I’ve known my whole life. And I am longing to know something different… longing to know what the world would be like if I could just be Have. Have. Have. Have.

One day, I’ll fly away. One day, I’ll fly away.

Love,

Your Little Have”

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Filed under Creative Fiction, Love Letters

One year ago today: 365 days and 550 love letters later…

One year ago today, life snuck up from behind me, handed me a black Sharpie, and announced to me that she was going to change forever. Right in Front of My Eyes.

Here, here, take this,” Life said, handing off the marker.

Why, what is this? What should I do with it?

Life rolled its eyes. “Draw a thick black line down the middle of me. From now on you are going to look differently at me, as if I am two people. One part of me exists as Before and the other now exists as After.

Before & After.

One year ago today, I wrote a blog post about the handwritten love letter, how I felt like the world probably needed more of these “Thank you for being alive” kind of notes and how I was finding a hobby in writing these kinds of letters and leaving them all New York City.

One year ago today, I made a promise to all of you that if you sent me your snail mail address I would write you a love letter. I didn’t know what I was getting into at the time. Not even after my inbox suddenly flooded with the most heartbreaking of stories that I had ever read, love letter requests from every pocket of this globe.

I didn’t know what to say to the lonely and broken-hearted in Japan or the struggling to look in the mirror Ivy-Leaguer. All that I knew was that there had to be something deeper behind all of this… there had to be something beyond a fun little project with nice stationery and postage stamps.

One year ago today, I was given a surreal glimpse at the poverty that gets us all.

Mother Teresa said it best, that poverty of the soul- hunger and thirsting for something to pull a person away from loneliness- is far different than the need for bread and water. There are a lot of us living in poverty right now. Some of us don’t even see it or recognize it after so hastily assigning the face of poverty to that homeless man or that welfare mother.

Poverty, in all of its forms, has lived in my inbox for the last year. I’ve written to the sad, the depressed, the lonely, the near-suicidal, the struggling financially, the struggling to embrace sexuality, the ones just trying to just get up out of bed every morning.

Am I always equipped to write these letters? No. Not really. I’m just a girl, biting her fingernails, who knows only the first few chapters of life so far. But at the same time, I never promised advice and I never promised therapy. I think the only promise I can make is to be there, in a mailbox, giving the only thing I’ve known to surpass all loneliness and all tragedy and years of experience: Love.

One year ago today, I never had a clue MoreLoveLetters.com would be born. I never knew that a dear friend, Becky, would come up when I needed someone the most and offer to help me with projecting this letter-writing out into the world. I never thought you’d be on board, writing & leaving your own love letters. I never imagined over 550 love letters in just one year.

One year ago today, I desperately needed this, more than I knew it at the time and more than I ever let it show on this blog. I needed an After to place next to a time in my life where I could not script a single line of love to myself. Where I could not even manage to look at myself for more than two minutes without finding hatred somewhere in my own green eyes.

One year ago today, I thought I was just a girl writing love letters to extinguish her own loneliness, not someone tapping into an untouched movement. I would have told you that a love letter left on a train in NYC might be nice, might be sweet, but it would have no real impact. I would have told you that this would never be my thing.

One year ago today, I didn’t know a life surrounded by love letters & all the beautiful individuals who write them by the hour.

Today, I cannot imagine a life without them.

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The world called…. it needs your love letters.

via weheartit.com

I decided to stop writing love letters on a Monday and a reporter from the Wall Street Journal called me on Tuesday to talk about… you guessed it: Love Letters.

That’s how it always works though, right?

We’re sitting before a pile of love letter requests from across the country, tapping a pen against a slab of stationery while simultaneously plucking syllables from the sky for a girl in Toledo who needs a lesson in Loving Yourself 101 when Divine Intervention cracks the back of our chairs like a whip. We sit up straighter. We pay attention the message we are getting.

Me: I am done…

Seamstress in the Sky: Excuse me?

Me: You heard me, Maker of the Universe and all the Cows and Zebras. Done. 400 love letters, finish up this pile, and I am done.

Seamstress in the Sky: (silence)

Me: I have tired fingers…

Seamstress in the Sky: Yes.

Me: Callouses the size of Kentucky.

Seamstress in the Sky: Yes.

Me: I need to focus on other things, I want to write books! I cannot write books if I am only writing love letters!

Seamstress in the Sky: Hm….

Me: Could you say a little more? I am drowning in my own pool of snot and ink right now.

Seamstress in the Sky: Who do you thinks a love letter right now?

Me: The world… duh.

Seamstress in the Sky: Beyond that… yo Daddy is no fool. You know who needs one, just say it.

Me: Me?

Seamstress in the Sky: Conviction… say it stronger.

Me: Ok, ME! There I said it, I need a love letter… I need to learn how to write myself a love letter… I can hide behind another 100 or I can be a little selfish, sit down and learn how to write my own life into a love letter. But, you don’t get it God, it is not so easy to just drop it, people need it. People have always needed these letters.

Seamstress in the Sky: Well, I gave you a recipe… didn’t I?

Me: A recipe?

Seamstress in the Sky: Yes, a recipe. You, leaving love letters on the trains in New York City and mailing them all over the world. A recipe if I’ve ever seen one.

Me: Love letters to those who need them? That’s a recipe?

Seamstress in the Sky: Yes, that was a recipe. I’ve used that one before, tweaked it a bit for your own Loneliness… Did you a lot of good, I’d say. And you wrote 400, bravo Little One! But does it stop there? Do recipes only get used by one person?
Me: I guess not…

Seamstress in the Sky: What did you put into the love letters?

Me: Love. Encouragement. A few funny jokes? Sometimes my own stories…

Seamstress in the Sky: Seems like a solid recipe. Could others follow it?

Me: Well.. yea, of course.

Seamstress in the Sky: Then post the recipe somewhere, you love those domain names of yours. And see if people use it… If it is a good recipe, honest and true, other people will use it. Don’t worry about who or how, just cross your T’s and dot your I’s. Leave the recipe and step away.

And so here I am, crossing my t’s and dotting my i’s and finishing up my own pile of love letters and then passing the work on to you. Many of you have asked me how to get involved, how to leave your own love letters, how to be there for someone in need. It’s simple, really so simple, and all it requires is an honest and true passion to help another person, someone you might never meet, along with a stamp and your very best cursive.

So please check out MoreLoveLetters.com, or follow us here;  I created the site to be a guide for those looking to do what I did for the last nine months. I can so honestly say that is an art that will fuel you, inspire you, fill you and turn you into a very bright spot that the world needs so desperately right now.

And if you do nothing with the site today, nothing at all but this, please consider signing up for the Love Letter Email Alert List… Each month we will send out a call for love letters and then bundle and give them to a person who needs it most that month. The first call for love letters will come out this weekend and so I would love to have you involved.

Please send all love letters to PO Box 2061, North Haven, CT 06473 with one additional stamp (the gods of postage have not blessed me just yet).

I can promise you that your love letter will be mailed out to someone in need today.

Or shoot me an email today at Hannah@moreloveletters.com and we can get you leaving love letters around your parts of town…

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Nine Months Later… No, I did not birth a baby but I did write 368 love letters: Video Update

So the last time I gave an update on the love letters the Christmas bells were swinging and we were hanging mistletoe… I think it’s about time I filled you in on the last nine months.

***This is actually an awful way to have your face frozen on YouTube… I DO NOT recommend it***

If you are looking for the Spark Notes Edition to this video, and I do not blame you, since October I have written over 368 love letters. The love letters have gone everywhere from the Bronx-bound 4 train in NYC to the crooks and crevices of Africa and New Zealand… This project has been absolute blessing to me and I will always have you to thank for fueling me with such an awesome opportunity.

Although I do adore writing love letters, I think I might enjoy it ten times more with you involved. So now is your chance to grab a paper and pen to start scripting a love letter to someone in need. Trust me, I will get it into the right hands. Shoot me an email (hannahkaty@live.com), bombard me on Twitter (@hannahkatyb) or comment below and I will be sure to send my snail mail address your way.

OR ambush your own town with the love letters. I have a strong feeling that there are plenty of strangers out there who would absolutely delight in picking up a mysterious handwritten note on the table in a cafe or on a park bench. I would love to hear how you spread the love letters out.

And, just as a note, the letters that I script are not a) Juliet Style b) Sexual or c) “I am watching from the bush in your backyard” creepy. They are merely notes of encouragement, love, support and positivity, hopefully delivered at a time when it is needed most.

And though I still have a healthy pile of love letters to write in the upcoming months, please do not hesitate to send me your snail mail address and I will send a love letter your way… But please don’t wait by the mailbox. Unless you have a tent and an umbrella… My hand gets tired. I need breaks from time to time.

Thank you everyone once again! And I will be back to writing blog posts shortly.

The Beginning of the Love Letters

The First Update

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