Three weeks ago, I moved out of my condo and like any unsupervised adult, I waited until the final hours were dwindling down to begin packing up my life into ratty, and slightly unstable cardboard boxes. Alone in my living room, I surveyed the mountain of cardboard that was carelessly chosen to be carted along with me into the next chapter of my unwritten life; and as I bid adieu to the waterfront view I was leaving behind, I silently cursed myself in the still summer night:
I thought I’d have it all figured out by now.
The only thing that calmed my fragile nerves besides the cold Corona in my hand, was knowing that nowadays most
twentysomethings thirtysomethings have the same recurring nightmarish thoughts. The truth is, most of us don’t have a clue what we are doing. We are all just walking around with out-of-sight hands shoved deep within our pockets, where our anxious fingers can be found tightly crossed. We’re all silently pleading for that long overdue Aha moment to finally show up, or bump into us like a familiar stranger on the street, quickly ushering us to the next phase of our lives.
A year ago, in the midst of a personal crisis, I found myself temporarily homeless and sleeping like a battered dog on my brother’s couch. One afternoon, my brother came home with a brand new typewriter and I did what any writer would do, waist deep in the depths of despair — I wrote.
I wrote lists of things that I wanted to accomplish, I wrote hate letters to those who had attempted to destroyed me and I wrote thank you letters to the people who had literally yanked me to my feet. And when all the Hilroy paper had run out, I ripped up the brown paper bag that carried my therapeutic vessel home and I wrote out my favourite last two lines from Mary Oliver’s, The Summer Day, and this time I addressed the letter to myself:
During the last tumultuous year, with its typeface slanted and letters fading, this scrap of a letter has found a permanent spot on my bedside table. It’s the first thing I see in the morning, and the last words I whisper out to myself at night. When I moved into my new place three weeks ago, the letter from my former self was the first thing I unpacked from those ratty and unstable cardboard boxes.
It arrived, crumbled and slightly battered with no Aha attached.