Sometimes it’s easier to say things in writing than it is to say them out loud.
This is why “Dear John” letters exist, why a little kid apologizes for breaking the vase on the hall table with a note written in crayon, why workplace mea culpa emails arrive late at night, why post-its on the fridge announce that the milk is all gone.
You get to skip the moment of impact, and still say the thing you needed to say.
But it isn’t just the tough things that come out more clearly in writing. Sometimes I want to encourage or support someone I care about, or pull someone to their feet, but I know I’d somehow just end up mushy and blubbery if I looked them in the eye and said the things they deserve to hear. That’s what I do when I love someone.
Would that be the end of the world? No. But as my voice would trail off into quavery mumbling, I’d miss saying everything I needed to say. That won’t do. I want to say it all. I want you to hear it all.
You are stronger than you think.
Not just in the “you can take it!” or “you’ll get through this!” or “chin up!” kind of way, but in the way the root system of a tree stretches down into the earth, and radiates in every direction, just below our feet.
This doesn’t mean you’ll never feel raw or angry or bent in half by a wind that never seems to let up.
It means you are growing up and growing out into a stronger person every day, and I see it.
Your heart is a force to be reckoned with.
People who love fiercely are not as common as I wish they were. But you do, even when you don’t get it in return, even when it aches, even when it’s not understood, even when most would advise against it because it’s just too freaking hard.
I know that you don’t always see this as a positive — maybe ever — because it scares you.
But your family and your friends bask in it. Did you know that? They do. It makes their worlds make sense. It makes them feel all at once more safe, and more able to take big leaps and risks in their own lives.
And try as you will to tone it down, your passion shows.
You have wisdom to speak.
Many, many people like to say things. A lot of things. When people say the right things, however, their voices sound different. They bring clarity. They bring gravity. They bring direction. They bring peace.
Wisdom is not always received well; in fact, it’s usually barely recognized.
You’ve got it, though, like the person who can untangle the Christmas lights faster than anyone else because they have already worked out the knots in their heads before they pick up a single string.
You have an exceptional path in front of you.
We all do, of course, because we’re all different. Each journey is a new jumble of experiences and achievements and choices.
But the big dreams you dream — even the ones you never say out loud, even the ones you claim to have dropped, even the ones that seem straight-up ridiculous — are things I think you could do, if you wanted. If you decided to.
Your strength, your giant heart, your always-moving mind… those things make even the craziest aspirations less crazy. This is part of why people are drawn to you. They want to go along for the ride, because they know you’re headed somewhere more interesting than the mall.
Most of all, though…
You are good enough, right this moment.
Even if you feel broken. Even if you are tired of feeling love because it hands people a bat to bonk you over the head with. Even if you feel like you’ve been talking and thinking and talking and thinking and talking and thinking and not actually saying what the hell you mean to say.
Without anything I love about you being shiny and obvious and out there, right this minute, you are worthy of really good things, of being cared for, of being supported, of being encouraged, of success, of achievement, of hope… of a great night of sleep.
I know it doesn’t feel that way, and that you don’t always get what you deserve. Maybe you haven’t in a long time.
But I see you for everything you are capable of.
I see you for all the things you feel so strongly that you feel like you may pop, some days.
I see you for all the mountains you have the will to climb, ledge by ledge.
I see you for your clear eyes, full hearts, still-losing-at-times-but-a-winner-in-my-book-dammit-now-lets-DO-THIS!
You’re going to make it.