P.S. I miss you.


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To my readers,

I am learning a lot as of lately. For one, I am learning that I am not a octupus. And that’s a real shame. I want eight arms. More than that, I want to do everything. An extra six arms would do me a lot of good. I’d be able to write and dream and think and plan and create and cook and shop and do an excessive amount of “more things” with the extra capacity that would exist from six more arms. Sadly, I wake up every single morning being just one girl. One girl with two arms who wants to take on the world.

So this isn’t really a post, per say. And it’s not an apology letter, I promise. It’s just a quick note to some of my favorite folks scattered across the world to say: Hey. I miss you. And I am coming back to this space really soon. I have all these ideas tumbling around in my head for new content. I can’t wait to write about faith, and falling, and failing, and freeing yourself, and fumbling, and all these “f” type verbs that I didn’t realize all started with the letter “f” until now.

I went back and forth with my mother on the phone this morning about whether I’d write this post or not.I was trying to juggle my iced espresso, cellphone, bag, laptop case, and planner— all while thinking about you.

I’ve felt guilty for leaving this space unoccupied for nearly two weeks. You know that kind of guilt? You wake up with it. You go to bed with it. You listen to Taylor Swift’s new song and it falls off of you for ten minutes. And then it comes back, this evil little hissing: you should be writing. You should be writing.

I’ve been all over the country in the last two weeks and I kept saying to myself in Seattle and Tacoma and Portland and LA, “I am going to sit down and write. I am going to sit down and publish something.”

And I didn’t.

I guess sometimes you publish things. And sometimes you just live. You break all the little rules you’ve made for yourself and you just live.

So if this were a summer camp letter then I’d have a lot to say. For instance, I visited this massive gum wall in Seattle and got to leave a pretty sweet note (see above). I mean, it was a wall. Full of gum. And I thought it was awesome. I put my feet in the Pacific Ocean for the very first time and had a Britney Spears Crossroads moment (please, someone get my reference). I sat down in a coffee shop in Seattle with two readers that, I would say, are as diehard as they come. And one of them waited until I was sitting, until I’d taken the first sip of my latte, to start talking.

“Can I ask you something I’ve wanted to ask you for a long time?”

“Anything,” I answered. I’m an open book like that.

“What’s your dad like? You never write about your dad.”

So I got to sit there, with a pretty dang good latte pursed in my hands, and tell her about the sweetest man I know. I don’t write about him much here. He’s a soft-spoken sort of guy. You’d say my mother is the hurricane and he’s just always been that rock. I got to tell her that I hope to marry a man one day who is half of my father. Half of my father would be more than enough for me. By the way, his name is Bill. And you’d be lucky to know him if you knew him.

I got to sit at a countertop in the middle of Eugene, Oregon and finally catch up with a really good friend— you know the kind of catching up where all the pauses in the conversations get filled with “I’ve really missed you. I am so happy to be here.” I got to attend the Yellow Conference and meet so many of your beautiful faces. And I got to have one of those surreal “pinch me” moments when I realized that I’m not just a writer. Somehow, somehow, a community has formed here. In this space. And we’ve done life together. You and me, we’re connected in ways I could not even imagine. I get to cheer for you and that’s the coolest honor.

“I think I am just going to write a short post,” I told my mom this morning. “I just want to say that I miss them. Because I do.”

“Then say that,” my mom said back. “But don’t be sorry.” Now that my mother knows I’ve lived a past life as an apology note, she won’t let me go back there any longer.

So that’s just it, the actual reason I wrote this letter: I miss you. And I think about you a lot. And I just want to be the type of person who, when she misses someone, goes out of her way to tell that person they are missed.

So yea, I miss you. I feel really lucky. And I am coming back soon. 

hb.

P.S.

If you want to write back in the comments below and tell me about your summer, I will be reading. I’d love to hear from you.

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60 thoughts on “P.S. I miss you.

  1. And we’ve missed you Hannah! Next time you come to the Pacific Northwest you should stop in Boise! We can share stories over a huge plate of nachos at my favorite restaurant and talk about how we want everything.

    This summer has been full of new things. I taught my first calligraphy classes. I met a nice boy with a smooth voice. I gained my crazy cat lady status, bringing the number of cats in my house to 4. Mostly I’ve been learning to stop apologizing for what I want and to just go out and live on my own terms.

    I’m looking forward to having you back! 🙂

  2. My summer has been rough and raw and full of making hard decisions that I know will change me, which is exactly why I know I need to make them, but also exactly what makes them so hard to make.

    This summer I read several articles/posts/blogs about how the second space after the period is no longer necessary. I am struggling with this.

    My summer was the fastest summer of my life. They always said that would happen as you get older; I’m still not sure if I’m glad it’s over or mourning its passing.

    Your words have helped me through this summer. Thanks, HB. Heart you.

  3. Good Morning!

    Okay, so this is very random. I never comment on here. But, let me assure you my friend Heather and I are big fans of your blog. We read almost all of your posts when we get the chance. You are so inspiring. I would love to sit and chat with you about this crazy life and swap stories. We will be heading to Atlanta next weekend and were wondering if you would be down for lunch or coffee? Our treat. Let me know what you think 🙂

    p.s. sorry if I sound like a crazy fan. Promise we are just normal gals, that love meeting new people and hearing their amazing stories.

  4. Oh goodness, Hannah. I started reading your amazing writing not long ago, so encouraged. My summer was fantastic and chaotic, so clearly it was God-glorifying haha. I broke up with the man I thought I was gonna marry because I realized that’s not THE love, yet. I led a mission trip to Thailand for 20 women, and it was filling in every way (Holy Spirit/Thai food/girly bonding). I moved to Atlanta 2 days ago, started a devo, and ministry classes start next week. INSANE, yeah?
    Proud of you for doing what you can, and giving yourself grace for the rest. We all know you’re doing your best, so enjoy the spaces between the words.
    Love,
    Helena

  5. Dear Hannah,

    Thank you for your post. I feel like you’re a close friend who doesn’t even know me – which is a weird feeling, but I think the best of the best blog writers are able to pull that off with the people who read them. And if anyone’s the best of the best, baby, it’s you. I’m writing to you because I feel like you’d appreciate my story. I wrote you an email a while ago, while I was living abroad, about a boy there who wasn’t prioritizing me. Who had a girlfriend but acted like I was the center of his world. Who I wanted desperately but who never paid more than lip service to making me cherished. You advised me to run. To leave this small, unsure, self-serving boy in the dust and find someone who really saw me for the unique gem that I was. I didn’t listen. I let him go on a break from his girlfriend while she was out of the country. I let him into my world during her absence. And I watched him open the door, shove my heart out into the cold, and drive away in a cloud of dust on his way to pick her up from the airport when she got back. I sat there with the pieces of my heart littering the curb, numb from the abrupt about-face I’d just experience, already feeling the impending tears building behind my eyes, and I thought of your email. I realized that you, someone I’d never even met, someone who knew nothing about me, valued me more than he ever had. And then I cried. Hard.

    I want you to know that it’s been a few months since this all happened. I’m back home with family, reading your blog again, and I’m better. I’ve met another guy, and the funny thing is? We’re not going to get together. We were soul mates the instant we met, but I’m moving to NYC in a month, and he told me that he didn’t feel like the timing was right for us to be together. He was honest about it from the get go. He doesn’t play games or toy with my heart. He told me he didn’t feel like he was in the right place to be a good boyfriend long distance and that, from the moment he met me, he loved me too much to want anything for me but the absolute best. Now I have this person in my life who I see at least twice a week, who tells me everything and listens well, who fights for me, and who is teaching me how to value myself. In the month I’ve known him, he’s done more to heal and strengthen my heart than any boyfriend ever has. He knows my history. He knows the ways I’ve been hurt, but get this – he tells me I’m beautiful and perfect and whole and worthy anyway. Even with the scars.

    It’s funny how sometimes the people you need the most find you just when you’ve decided you aren’t looking anymore. I needed to hear what you said in those emails a while ago, even if I didn’t listen. And I needed this wonderful new person more than I ever realized. But that’s the funny way about the universe, I guess. Just when it feels like no one is on your side, people conspire with fate to heal your broken pieces. The trick is letting them, and I’m working on it.

    You started me on this path to self worth, Hannah. I believe that life damages all of us. I think we damage each other in myriad ways all the time, consciously and unconsciously, but if we allow, we can heal each other, too. You helped me heal just by being yourself, and I’m so so so grateful. Never stop.

    I hope I can be that for someone someday.

    Your mom was right. Don’t apologize. You’re doing more good than you know. Love, Emi

  6. And I’ve missed your writing.

    I just discovered you during the early stages of summer. Where it’s summer in Texas but no where else in America, with the early morning where you can step outside and immediately be wrapped up in the kind of warm air that whispers “I’ve got you”.

    it’s been a weird 4 months. I guess the most important thing to know is that I’m married. I’m 23 and I’m married to a man who loves me with his whole being and is sweeter to me than I ever deserve, but he’s different. He’s not a romantic. He’s not a writer. He’s not a feeler. He’s back in school to be a mechanical engineer, if that explains anything. So this summer was wonderful, with a trip back home to New York and evenings at the pool and days that aren’t planned out to be dates, but end up that way because any time I spend with him is fun and full of love and everything I ever hope for.

    But I’ve been struggling with letting it be enough. I have this idea built up in my head of what summer should be like and what my relationship with him should be like and what the every day should be like and I know that I have high expectations. I know I do. So we get one full night to spend together, when finally his summer class schedule and my work schedule line up, and we finally have a whole evening to do whatever we please with and it ends up being magic. But then the next night when it doesn’t line up and I’m sitting home alone while he’s in class learning about statics and dynamics and the way the world goes round, I so quickly forget about that magic night. I wish every night could be like that and every day could be like that and that we could spend our whole lives in this little private world where it’s just me and him and no responsibilities to worry about.

    So I’m trying to be content. It’s a struggle every day to say, okay, today I’m happy. Today he kissed me goodbye when he left for class and today I got to drink iced coffee while meeting with one of my favorite students and today the sun is shining, so today I’m happy. I want my life to be enough for me. It is enough. I have a really wonderful life and I’m so thankful for everyone I have in my life and all of the wonderful things that have happened to me by the grace of God, but I want to feel like it’s enough.

  7. And I’ve missed your writing.

    I just discovered you during the early stages of summer. Where it’s summer in Texas but no where else in America, with the early morning where you can step outside and immediately be wrapped up in the kind of warm air that whispers “I’ve got you”.

    it’s been a weird 4 months. I guess the most important thing to know is that I’m married. I’m 23 and I’m married to a man who loves me with his whole being and is sweeter to me than I ever deserve, but he’s different. He’s not a romantic. He’s not a writer. He’s not a feeler. He’s back in school to be a mechanical engineer, if that explains anything. So this summer was wonderful, with a trip back home to New York and evenings at the pool and days that aren’t planned out to be dates, but end up that way because any time I spend with him is fun and full of love and everything I ever hope for.

    But I’ve been struggling with letting it be enough. I have this idea built up in my head of what summer should be like and what my relationship with him should be like and what the every day should be like and I know that I have high expectations. I know I do. So we get one full night to spend together, when finally his summer class schedule and my work schedule line up, and we finally have a whole evening to do whatever we please with and it ends up being magic. But then the next night when it doesn’t line up and I’m sitting home alone while he’s in class learning about statics and dynamics and the way the world goes round, I so quickly forget about that magic night. I wish every night could be like that and every day could be like that and that we could spend our whole lives in this little private world where it’s just me and him and no responsibilities to worry about.

    So I’m trying to be content. It’s a struggle every day to say, okay, today I’m happy. Today he kissed me goodbye when he left for class and today I got to drink iced coffee while meeting with one of my favorite students and today the sun is shining, so today I’m happy. I want my life to be enough for me. It is enough. I have a really wonderful life and I’m so thankful for everyone I have in my life and all of the wonderful things that have happened to me by the grace of God, but I want to feel like it’s enough.

  8. i was just thinking the other day about how much i missed your posts on here. but, i have a feeling that book of your’s is going to make up for it all, so i’m okay with it. 😉

  9. Hannah – I’m the silly lady you met at the Yellow Conference who was so moved by your words and surprised by just how alive they made me feel that I came up to you and said “Wow!” I hope that doesn’t reflect badly on Wes! I miss you in a long-lost friend kind of way and I hope our paths cross again. I would wish you good luck on your book writing journey, but I have a friend who scolded that saying out of me so I wish you great grace, instead.
    Cheers!
    M

  10. We would love to hear more about what you are doing on a personal level, day to day stuff… do tell… Love to hear from you, it brightens my day. 🙂
    K. Smith

  11. Oh this post made me feel so sad 😦 I know how frustrating it is when you just don’t have enough time to do everything justice – had the same problem this summer and am only just getting back to normal… Don’t worry about it – we’d all rather you have time to live and then post later than stop living to post any old thing 🙂 just know you’re missed on here and we can’t wait to read your next post.. 🙂 My summer has been filled with festivals, friends and working too much – nice to have time to blog again! xx

  12. This Summer has been the most beautiful of blurs, like a camera effect where everything is out of focus but still so bright and captivating. I feel like I’ve accomplished and experienced more in those 3 hot months than I have in the rest of my 18 years. I realized that God was calling me to a flourishing little town in Michigan, a whopping 10 hour drive away from my beautiful home and family in mountain-sprinkled Pennsylvania. I packed my old man Buick, affectionately named Norman, with everything I own and settled down in my new cozy home. I’ve met darling gal pals that I can’t believe God kept from me until now. I met a guy that melts my Mother’s heart (and mine). I almost had my first kiss with said guy, almost.

    And all these things are amazing and beautiful, but what is also beautiful is the pain I’ve experienced that helped me grow this Summer. I had to leave my parents and siblings. I said goodbye to some of the friends I’ve seen every day since birth. My niece and Goddaughter, Cecilia Joy, was stillborn at 37 weeks and holding her for the first and last time here on Earth was the most beautiful moment of my life. All these things make my heart grieve…

    …but I rejoice in the fact that I can truly feel myself growing ,and becoming more of the woman God created me to be. In the end, Joy wins.. Always.

  13. Hannah,
    It sounds like you’re having some wonderful adventures. I had no idea you were in my neck of the woods. I grew up in a small town outside of Portland, and right now we’re living in a tiny town (literally – the Platina “city limits” sign says “population 60,” but I’ve never seen more than 15 townspeople and about 16 monks up the mountain) in the mountains of Northern California. It’s tempting to say I would love to meet you — yet most of the time my life is too busy for things like coffee and conversation right now. Every once in awhile a pilgrim to the monastery will help me remember there’s more to the world than my little sphere. For instance, Louisa – a pilgrim who is on her own journey was able to come by for the second time this summer a couple of days ago. She is such a breath of fresh air – a tall, 34 yr old confident woman with a gift for gab AND a storyteller’s tongue, willing to share chocolate and words – to love and be loved. Her summer of driving across the country will be ending soon and it saddens me to know that we aren’t likely to cross paths again anytime in the near future – possibly ever. But I’m grateful for having met her, for having spent time just listening to her share – and I’m grateful for this way of listening to you share too. It is good to “hear” your voice in this corner, perhaps somehow in the Providence of God I will run into you someday and we will also share a little of ourselves in words and chocolate. But if God’s plans don’t include the crossing of our paths in person, it is good to know He has made you to beautify this crazy world. May our lives bless this spinning orb and the lives that ride it – one soul at a time. Have you ever heard Danielle Rose’s song “Be God’s”? Google it… You won’t be sorry… And keep loving… That’s what makes this ride worth it.

  14. I’m starting back to school after a pretty chill and rockin summer.
    But I am all out of place. For the first time in four years I didn’t come back to APU with this super rock solid home team, I’m not involved in leadership that makes me love in this life is awesome sort of bubble all of my friends graduated and the lingering “why are you still here” is heavy.

    Yesterday sucked and I haven’t had one of those can someone kidnap me and let’s go get ice cream or margaritas kind if bad days before… Not like that.
    I am sad and distant from a lot of things I used to be so entangled with.

    I don’t know why I vented all of this here
    But I know this& you is a safe space and I guess I needed that.

  15. I moved back to my home state and in with friends to save money and work on saying goodbye to sallie Mae a lot sooner than scheduled. I found a job that promised to make me lots of money and help me accomplish that goal. I hated said job. But I found a new one. And I don’t have the potential to make near as much money here, and the work isn’t exactly riveting, but I enjoy it, and I’m thankful. Oh, and I learned God’s love all over again- and that it’s okay to love myself. And I did just that. It feels great!

  16. Dear Hannah,

    I have had a strange 4 months. I left behind a lifetime in a city and country that gave me so much to come back to my old life. I did not ask for this, but it was just the circumstances. I hated being back and I fought tooth and nail to change my life but to no avail. I am here now and have to make the best of this here. Now. I struggle everyday. I struggle to accept that right now I am probably not getting out. Now is not the time for me and it hurts to say that. I even had my heart broken just at the advent of summer, I left this boy behind, someone I thought I loved. I waited thinking he’ll wake up one grey, dreary, rainy, Singapore morning and feel empty inside and come find me. He never did
    I soooooo miss your writing. I left Singapore the same time you were saying your goodbyes and moving to Atlanta. Your post on goodbyes struck a chord somewhere. Can’t wait to buy your book when it comes out. Hugs!!!

    Love,
    Priyanka

  17. Does it count that I’m that ridiculously recent reader and I’ve been missing you too?

    And I’m always hoping there’s a new post when I check (most mornings) but when you say you were breaking your rules and living life – yes. Just yes.

    Happy day to you, lovely.

  18. Your Crossroads reference totally cracked me up—When I dipped my toes in the Pacific I was way too young to appreciate how cool it was.

    Thanks for sharing, as always : )

  19. I miss you, too!! It’s always a bright spot in my Monday morning (or Thursday as the case may be!) to see your emails. I save them until I get to work, then I start my day with it. Thanks for checking in to say “hey”. I’m so glad that you’ve had some time to just be this summer. It’s a good thing for sure. Especially when coffee is involved and story-telling with friends. Sometimes, the simple act of being, is necessary so you can keep up with all the doing. No apologies required of course.

    Is it weird that I want to describe my summer to you in smells? Ha, it probably is… but I’m doing it anyway. The city smelled humid and you could almost taste the hotdogs at the stand on Copley Square. There is always a hint of the salty ocean air, too. I love that. Every Saturday smelled like a seafood shack – fresh fried platters of fish and chips and a busy noisy restaurant with (mostly) happy people. And there was one glorious week that smelled like the NH woods – fresh pine after a rain storm, the crisp somewhat musty smell of my old tent, small crackling campfires burning from sun-up to sun-down, french pressed coffee and crispy bacon every morning, book-ended by toasted marshmallows and jiffypop every night. It sure was a grand summer.

    I hope you continue to enjoy just being! And look forward to hearing from you again soon 🙂 xoxo ~with love from Boston.

  20. I’ve missed you too. Your writing gives me a new perspective on how I’m living my life and makes me take a step back. I look at myself and my actions from a different angle.
    My summer has been one of change, I quit my full time job to take on 3 part time jobs and 4 classes. Scary. So so scary to lose the security of that for sure amount that hits my bank account at the end of the month.
    I’m also planning on moving in January…also scary. I’ve been going through a lot of roller coaster emotions about the whole process.
    I look forward to your posts, because I always learn a little about myself and about you, Hannah. I feel like you’re a friend I’ve had for 10 years, though we’ve never met.

  21. My girlfriend and took a trip to Disney World in florida, sans kids and boyfriends!
    Two 30 something year old women riding the tea cups, wearing mickey mouse ears, and fawning over seeing Mickey Mouse for real!

    Sweet girl don’t you ever be anything except fabulous, because absolutely lovely is what you are! I missed you too and am sooo glad your words will be returning back into my life soon!

    Xoxo

  22. Hey friend, worry not. It’s good to be missed (and know that *you* were missed too!) but it sounds like in the spaces when you haven’t been *here* with us, you’ve been living life in a good way. Keep it up, girl.

    as far as my summer goes… I’m finally getting my post-graduation feet back under me and living a very full… and blessed life. I’ve got my dream job (which I never dreamed would happen this soon) and when I come home from work, I come home to the best sister-roommate, and my romantic (the Anne of Green Gables kind) attic bedroom and all the mugs of coffee my soul can wish for.

    looking forward to you return… but don’t rush. 🙂

    fondly,
    Sarah

  23. We miss you, too, Hannah. But you’re human and we know you’re a busy girl with life throwing crazy things at you every single day. Come back when you’re ready. We understand and we love you.

    This summer has been one of growth for me. Growth as a woman. Growth as a writer. Growth as a soon-to-be adult. I got my heart broken for the first time in my life. I had a grown up big girl internship. I played my heart out for the one thing I know I’ll always have, the Milwaukee Hurling Club. And I found out that friends are always better than boys. Always. It’s hard to not take them for granted sometimes, but friends really are the best thing a girl can have.

    I’ve got a blue-eyed ghost following me into this fall, but I know with my friends by my side they’ll help me to banish him for just long enough to have a good time.

    Thank you for always being you, Hannah. Never be sorry for being amazing and beautiful and inspiring.

  24. I was thinking to myself I have not opened my email to a posting that I wake up to read every Monday morning. My summer or shall I say year has been one I’ve never experienced before in my life. Once that makes me take a step back and say I can’t wait till the next two years of my life are over… I’ve met a person who has changed my world and has made me change the way I think and feel for the past year already. That person is still in my life and causes both happiness and heart ache at the same time if that’s possible?
    I’m experiencing see those around me fall apart and pick themselves up as I’ve done.
    I question is there really a point in ones life they experience true happiness? Will I ever get the opportunity to experience that myself? Will I teach my 17 year old son what it means to be happy if I don’t even know what that is myself?
    I read your post and they make me ponder my own life and how I’ve been living it.. This year I know I can truly say that I’ve sat many times and thought is this my life? Will this be my life? Am I the only one who feels this way?

    Mony

  25. After sifting through these comments a few quotes stuck out to me: “I never leave a comment” “I hope I don’t sound crazy” “I feel like you’re a close friend who doesn’t even know me- which is a weird feeling”. YES! I find myself looking to you for words. For just a better way of expressing how I already feel. The kind of words that soak into people and they think “dang, this girl gets it.”

    Even though it’s overwhelming and humbling, I have a personality or something that makes people want to tell me their secrets. The little things that they experience & I hope that the Light shines through me, speaking encouragement and giving that little push needed to make it through the days.

    I recently discovered that I left my heart in Asia this summer. I’m still recovering, even though I have been home for almost two months. I had the privilege of sitting on the floor of people’s homes, eating fruit I’ve never heard of and seeing just how fundamentally every person is the same. We seek to be loved, to know God, to encourage, to share ourselves and to use our gifts and abilities to work.

    Your kind words help me think of new ways to share what I think/feel and relate to people on a deeper, more genuine, level. Thank you!

  26. Hi Hanna! Im Also a blogger but my blog is in spanish, it’s called ” Gente, historias y sonrisas” (people, stories and smiles) I found a lot of me in you and enjoy catching some inspiration and feeling less crazy about my writings as a read you. I saw you mentioned Seattle… Are you from here? I just moved to Seattle from the Dominican Republic .
    Keep the spark , besos!

  27. Surprisingly fell in love with the man of my dreams (didn’t see that one coming). And when thinking this would help make my life make sense and complete me, it did the opposite. The rest of my world seemed to fall apart. Now aware that I don’t need someone to complete me, rather have their love at all times to help get me through this crazy thing we call life.

    Your posts are like water to me on a hot summers day. Keep writing 🙂

  28. Adding my voice to all those saying we love you and miss you right back. You’ve taught me to have gumption Miss Hannah Brencher, for which I am eternally grateful. I think all of us are. Because even when you’re off saving the world and physically can’t hand us more nouns and verbs, the gumption you’ve given us enables us to keep on shuffling, dancing, whistling, moving. And that is enough.

  29. Dear Hannah,

    My name’s Hannah, too. Almost every post you send to us, I write back to you and tell you how your writing came into my life exactly when I needed it so, so much. How every post you write is exactly what I need to hear at that moment. How much you have changed my life.

    But I have this horrible struggle with paralyzing perfectionism going on. And today is going to be a small victory for me because I am going to FINALLY send you an email, even though it isn’t perfect and doesn’t say everything I want it to say.

    The reason I really need to write to you is this : I work for Disney in Florida. And more than anything in the whole world, I love performing. Singing and dancing and acting. And I really, really, really want to perform at Disney. I have now done 21 Disney auditions and I am still not a performer. I love what I do here, but my heart breaks a little every day to not be doing my Must, even though I keep trying.

    Last week, however, I had an audition and it went really well. The man judging me said I was funny, and he liked me, and he wanted me to come to a callback the next day. Which is further than I have ever gotten at a Disney audition, and farther than I’ve gotten in my life since I’ve never had a callback for an equity show before (it’s a big deal).

    And I went to the callback the next day and it went amazingly and I poured my whole heart into it and they loved it. The auditioners even told me so.

    And now I am waiting to hear if I got it or not.

    Have you been there? In a moment that seems like it will stretch into eternity while your life hangs in the balance? And all you can do is keep crossing your fingers and praying and hope and wish on stars?

    I want this so, so, so much. I don’t know if this is a silly thing to write to you about. To finally write to you about, but you change my life every week on Monday and other days too, and you are a magical person, and I thought….I don’t know. If there was someone I wanted on my side, it would be you.

    So will you pray for me, Hannah? Or maybe wish on a star?

    Thank you, today and every day for changing my life.

    Hannah

  30. HANNAH!!!!! YOU’RE BACK!! I have been missing your writing so much, I’ve literally been checking your blog everyday, regardless of the fact that my email hasn’t gone off saying you have posted haha

    My summer was good. I started college last week and have been settling in nicely. I go to this Christian College called Houghton and I love the God-focused atmosphere that the whole school gives off. It’s good to just have worship jam sessions on the quad and late-night ice-cream runs (and actual exercise running). I love finding myself in the nooks and crannies of my ribcage and roots. Its such a new experience after hating myself, now loving myself, I feel like I can finally unlock my own complete potential. But anyways, I hope your summer has been great! I look forward to reading all of your deepest and thought-provoking posts that are to come. You are such an inspiration and literally my number one role model. Keep it up girl. I’ll be keeping you in my night time prayers 🙂

    Keeping you tucked in my pocket,
    Courtney

  31. HB,
    I just really love you. I’m suppose to be doing all sorts of homework right now but then I remembered that I received a post from you & that your posts make me feel all sparkly inside so here I am.
    I just wanted to share with you one of the most special moments of my life that happened to me this summer when I went to NYC (I live in Florida). My dream for the New York trip was to place flowers on the John Lennon “Imagine” memorial located in Strawberry Fields, Central Park. When I finally made it to the memorial stone after rushing around all day with the women folk of my family, I realized that I had forgotten to get flowers, the most important and only important aspect of the trip for me. The park was going to close soon. I was devastated and I cried.
    But then I remembered something: earlier that day, we had visited a museum, and I had picked up a rose while we were walking to the museum and put it in my hair. Before we entered the museum, I had put the rose in my backpack to save it forever and had forgotten about it. Until i remembered it. And then I was very happy.
    So with shaky hands & tears in my eyes, I took out the remaining rose petals from my bag & began to carefully place them on the Imagine memorial. People made way for me as I did this. No tourists stopped to kneel beside the sacred stones in the ground to take a picture with them as I place the delicate petals on the icon of a man who means so much to so many people.
    A busker was playing Let It Be as I did this. It was such a beautiful moment.

  32. We miss you, too, clearly.

    This summer has been both a blow to the gut and a promise of hope. I spent last summer picking up bricks from a rubble pile known as my former marriage and trying to carefully stack them into a new pile. A fresh pile, that I didn’t check the foundation of. That stretch of time from that summer to this was spent watching each brick tumble back down to earth. Brick after brick, until finally, they all were scattered back down to earth and there I sat. Among all the bricks, broken again.
    My best friend sat bewildered nearby and I finally had to reveal secrets to her about my bricks. Why they didn’t work, why I didn’t tell her about the affair with a married man and all the hope I had wrapped around that relationship. So summer started with her picking bricks up with me, both of our boney 30-something hands carrying heavy stones to a new spot. A stable spot.
    And then he found me. A new person, a loving and kind person. He stepped out of the fog and asked to see my smile every day that he could. And so, I’ve spent the rest of the summer falling in love again, something I didn’t even think was possible after all of my tumbles. And I’m hoping to leave the summer with study bricks, stacked high and strong.

  33. My summer, like I told you in one of the thousands of emails that crosses your inbox, was one where I got to soak up so much love and empathy before I went to college this fall. I’ve been here for three weeks. I love it so much. And I am so thankful I took that time to work on absorbing compassion to store up for later. And I’m so thankful for the email you sent me back: “Keep going. I will be cheering for you.” Thank you for that. 🙂 🙂 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤

  34. Hi Hannah, Sounds like you’re touring the country! I went to Southern Africa this summer, part of the time on a safari. Best trip ever. Magical to see all the animals up close. And, most importantly, took a long break from technology.
    Enjoy! Giulietta

  35. Hi Hannah! So happy you made it to the Pacific Northwest! We have fabulous coffee! Summer….sweet and bittersweet….So much to tell, I will just pick my favorite moment.
    Last week, I took my two teenage girls to Glacier National Park, in Montana. I grew up there in the 70’s for a bit, and they had been asking to see those mountains for quite some time. We had an unexpected experience that left us all in tears…of joy. We all have bucket lists, ya know? I hope I will go here, or do this, or see this….before I die. The three of us all had something in common on our bucket lists…to see the Northern Lights. Nestled into our tiny cabin, cell phone signals long gone, we dragged some rickety plastic chairs and blankets off the beds and snuck outside onto our sweet little wrap around porch to gaze at the Montana sky. Inhaling more stars than we could ever fathom…that was a gift all by itself. And then it started…a soft green glow…we did a true double take. Was that what we thought it was…it got brighter…neon green, soft pink, arcing up out of the sky, and they danced! Northern Lights! We were all screaming and jumping up and down, and then we settled into a soft silence…our bucket list fist bumped us and said “here ya go, this one’s on me!” Still breathless.

  36. Hannah,
    I missed you! You somehow always know what I am trying to say and say it so eloquently. It’s so fun to see how a lot of other readers feel the same way.

    This summer has been a hard summer of transition. I graduated in December and have been home since, but some of the angst of growing up and growing apart from friends didn’t occur until some of my other friends graduated. It hurts me to see them struggling to find their place in a home they’ve been used to leaving when I’m just as speechless and drowning in emotion as they are. I don’t have the words to say, and we don’t have the time to be the friends who are never apart in summer anymore. Being an adult is weird and hard. I went to Peru for a week and learned a lot from the connections that arise on two hour van rides through the Andes Mountains. I’ve celebrated friends getting married, yet grieved at the same time as I selfishly want to be more of a priority than I am now. I’ve worked on letting go of the idea of this man who I let myself fall in love with before anything even began.

    This summer has been full of big ugly cries, but it’s also been filled with renewed wonder at the beauties of every day life and the world we live in. Thanks for asking 🙂

  37. HB,

    Your words are such gifts… but they are not “given”s. It is a blessing whenever a new post shows up but we can not hang on your words alone. I say this yet I have had ‘Hannah withdrawals’ for about a week now! True confessions 🙂 …But “without you” for this past while I have been pushed to interpret the world on my own rather than wait to see how you put it into words. It’s like the old saying “give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.
    You are teaching us to fish, my dear. And you’re a wonderful fisherwoman to boot. I am thankful for you that you are taking time off. And I am anxious for when you will post again!
    You are deeply appreciated.

  38. Hey Hannah! We’ve missed you too!
    My summer has been a time of growth for sure. I got an internship that was challenging but it was work that I would be happy spending my life doing. I start my senior year this fall and this summer I’ve been thinking a lot about life after college and where I’m going to go from here. Thank you for your writing, Hannah. Thanks for pushing us to go further than we would on our own. Thank you for making me believe that I can be a force to be reckoned with in this world. (In fact, earlier today I printed out my favorite writing of yours and posted them on the walls of my new place. It’ll be great to have your pep talks to glance at before I leave every morning.)
    I hope your summer has been lovely 🙂

  39. Just seeing your email in my inbox makes me smile. The best one has been the apology one. I felt like somewhere along the way we had met and you knew how much I need to hear that. I’m the 43 yr old “I’m sorry” Queen. Even this morning….I’ve already been sorry two times and I haven’t been up for but an hour. I guess I’ve sill got some more work to do on that.

    That being said…my summer has been crazy, chaotic and confusing. I’m happy to see that fall is creeping around the corner. It’s my favorite time of year…football games, hoodies, popcorn, falling leaves, bonfires….And of course, more emails from you.

  40. It was a fun surprise to see your post in my email. I remember very clearly the time my mother told me to take an apology out of a blog post. We don’t owe any explanation. Life happens 🙂
    Glad to have you back. I always feel a little smarter and wiser after reading your posts.

  41. Summer was over before I knew it, but not in a bad way. It was living and sucking in each moment of a new life. Starting a career almost 2 years after graduation, breaking off old relationships and finding peace with those who hurt me, and beginning new and promising relationships with the kind of people I only thought you would read about. It’s been a blessing, even on the worst days.

    My mornings always start with your blog from my office in Pittsburgh, PA and a cup of coffee from S&D cafe. A secret spot I found.
    Best wishes,
    Kara

  42. Refreshing post for a newbie blogger like myself. Since starting my blog I have found that writing is not only enjoyable, but is hard work also. Just so many thoughts of posts, stories, etc that I want to write rumbling around in my head. Reading your post this morning reminded me of the most important thing you need to do if you are going to write, that is JUST WRITE, period. Thanks John T

  43. Hey Hannah,

    I just wanted to say hey and say thank you for your sweet sweet blog. My best friend and I always say that it feels like you are just another one of our besties. Your honesty and vulnerability on your blog are so sweet and seriously you always say things that just make sense to me!! My friend and I constantly find ourselves saying ‘she just gets me!’ So thank you. thank you for writing and thank you for living and thank you for loving. I can only hope to one day sit and sip on lattes with you too!

    Emily

  44. This is a lovely post, I had a lovely summer spending time with my husband and little girl! We stayed in a beautiful blue cottage by the sea and made lots of sandcastles and collecting shells, exploring castles and eating ice cream while the sun shined brightly on us. It was lovely and just the rest we all needed! I miss the sound of the seagulls and the feeling of sand in our shoes! 🙂

  45. I spent my summer dancing in every open space and every tiny nook in Toronto. Exploring words and sounds and people. Learning about so many people and what inspires them. I have chased every sunrise and sunset and wandered into tiny forests to gaze at the stars! Swimming with my clothes on, creating a space for kindness in every silence, and melting every concrete interaction. I have used social media sparingly and conciously, for the inclusive good, and have shouted joy at the top of my lungs when my heart can’t take it anymore.

    I miss you, I feel really lucky, and I love you.
    Thanks Hannah xo

  46. Hey,

    Just started reading your blog and thought it was fantastic! I had an amazing summer, just so sad to see it go. I was a team lead at a leadership camp this summer for teens aged 16-18. It was such a surreal experience, it is so awesome to see the kids grow throughout the week and build life long relationships. I also had a baby this summer, although it has only been 3 weeks, I can tell you it is the most rewarding thing ever! Cant wait to read more of your posts.

    Rob

  47. Oh Hannah! Beautiful lines! I know about that guilt of leaving people to click on your page & having nothing new for them. To disappoint them. Thank you for the words you typed out and twirled around in your head! So wonderful!
    My summer was a new kind of summer. For the first time in my live I have almost all the Saturdays scheduled with weddings to photograph. It is new and very exciting for me. Last week I took a 6 days break and went to Roma. It is the country of my heart and I feel at home even when I arrive in a new place in Italia. Every wedding day I get to photograph I wake up and thank the Lord it is a new day I am going to live my dream. I´m so grateful for that. This summer is a time to grow in my art and in gratefulness.
    – Many warm greetings from Germany!!!!

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