Unsent Letters #1: Amelia Jean

Friday, August 10, 2018


“What if the things that ended –the things that broke and break your heart- what if it was the end of a chapter but the story keeps going? What it life comes back? What if love comes back? What if you would not be who you are and you would now know what you know it not for all those sleepless nights? I’m starting to believe those things, that the best is yet to be, that life comes back, that the dreams that live inside me are there for a reason, that life is not just a tragedy, not just a story about losing. It is also a story of surprises and grace and redemptions, of conversations and moments that feel like miracles.” ― Jamie Tworkowski

I've been writing a lot of bullshit over the past few years. My life has existed in a vortex of "fake it til you make it". The past six months has forced me to grow and come face to face with things I've been running from my entire life. Personal growth isn't fun. It's absolute bullshit, rip through your identity, mini crisis's educing, and living in a constant  state of depression naps.
Personal growth sucks. It's tiring, dark and lonely.
But it's absolutely crucial. You can't just run from it because it's hard.
The thing I realized in the past six months is, I'm not the kind of person who can live inside my head too long. I'm the kind of person who does everything for others. My ambitions and goals revolve around correcting injustice. I discover myself through other people.

 Over the past few years I've met incredible people who are at various stages of their lives. Each one telling a story that could break your heart or inspire you to do incredible things. I've been so fortunate to be a part of their stories.
Through them, I've learned so much about who I am and what I value.
There have also been things I wanted to tell these people.

Here is where our story begins.

*Obviously fake names out of respect for the individuals involved.*

My dear Amelia Jean, (Andrew McMahon reference FTW!)

I wish I could say something other than life fucken sucks. When it rains it pours. Sometimes we're exposed to days, weeks, months, years and sometimes a decade of absolute shit. And it doesn't make you a better person. Despite popular belief. It's kinda like bird shit on a window isn't lucky. That's just something we say to make up for a bird taking a dump on your car.
That might make you feel like shit. But here's the thing, it shouldn't.

There's no other way to say this. You've been through some serious shit.
It's absolutely bullshit to go through the personal and health problems that you've been exposed to over the past few years. You're an absolute fighter, even on days when it doesn't feel like you are.

I admire your kindness. I admire the undying strength you posses. Your grace has gotten you through so much. And despite all the bullshit you've been through, the world hasn't made you hard.
You could have easily shut down, walked away, quit and become hardened.
But you still light a room up and have undying love for everyone you meet.
You are filled with so much light. Please don't let the world dim it.

One of my favorite ideas is this German Philosophy of Dasein. Which means to exist/be present/be a part of something. It's literal translation is "being there".
It's the idea that we're not alone in the universe. We're all a part of each other; our lives will always intersect. We meet people for a reason. Sometimes we needed our heartbroken. Just like we needed to feel alive at that concert-that-one-time. Dasein says we're not alone and we're not random bursts of energy. Our lives are experiences. And even when we don't feel alive. We're alive.
Dasein is the idea of having a purpose without the whole, "we have a greater purpose" bullshit. It's simply existing and the excitement of being alive.

Amelia Jean, I wish you a dasein that brings you to life.
I wish you being front row at your favorite bands concert. Screaming your face off to your favorite song with 3000 strangers feels like healing.
I wish you enough melancholy to make life interesting. Depression and sadness suck the life out of you. But it facilitates growth. I hope you don't stay stagnant and subject to your circumstances. Grow, adapt, fall down a bunch and become a bad ass. Afterall, there's a fighter under this skin and bones.
I hope you feel powerful beyond measure. Nothing scares you to follow your dreams. Because here's the thing Amelia. You've been through more shit than most people. You can handle the terrifying realities of following your dreams.
Maybe that's why you were put through so much bullshit.
I wish you enough difficulties to grow. I hope you have enough opportunity to spread love into the world. And share your passions with everyone you meet.
Mostly, I wish you that the love you give is returned back to you.
I hope you find people to facilitate your growth and stand by you when things get difficult.
Over the past few months, I've learned that intimacy isn't sexual or romantic. It's just something you feel with people who care about you. Find a tribe you love and trust. Be honest when you're struggling and when you need a break.
We're all human. You're not Atlas*


*Sidebar: Atlas is the god of astronomy. And he has two renditions of his story. In the first one, he led a rebellion and was sentenced to holding up the heavens for all eternity. In the second, he was chosen to protect the heavens.

Whichever story you believe, you're not Atlas. You don't need to hold up the universe. That isn't your story or your responsibility.
You're human. And that makes you flawed and capable of love. Which makes you even more flawed. And that's okay. I don't know what our purpose is, but I like to think that we exist to send out as much love in the world as we can. Even if you haven't received as much love as you needed during your upbringing or from those you love. I still think we're all meant to love unconditionally.
The world's filled with enough depressing bullshit. We need sunshine, even if we need to personify it ourselves.

My last wish for you is that you find your Holiday From Real. Andrew Mcmahon wrote this after his lukemia diagnosis. It's about getting better and escaping from things that cause you pain and want to hurt you. The first time I heard this song, I was 11 years old and sitting in my bathroom wanting to end everything. I was heavily depressed and wanted the world to stop turning. And I wasn't in the position to understand why my thoughts belonged to me. I felt like I fell down a dark hole.
Sometimes I don't think I ever stopped falling.
This song made me feel something other than sad. At the time, it was all I needed. Holiday from Real felt like healing. I didn't know why. But I was so desperate to hold onto something real. So I did.
This year I celebrated the hardest year I've been through by going to an Andrew Mcmahon concert. I went through heartbreak, sexual harassment, finding myself in depression (once again), health scares, losing friends to suicide, omitting toxic people from my life, financial difficulty and a bomb threat. I was finishing up a Bachelors of Administration with Honors. It was supposed to be a time of possibility. But all I wanted to do was crawl under my covers and never leave.
Somehow standing front row at an Andrew Mcmahon concert, listening to the song that saved me once, saved me again. It felt like healing.
Screaming the lyrics with 2,000 other strangers made me feel apart of something larger than myself. I wasn't alone in this fucked up world. None of us were. Through this one common interest, we all had each other. No matter what, we were each others community.
I want you to find your Holiday From Real. Find your people. Find the song that makes you love living. The one that makes you cry and washes away all your difficulties.
Remember what it's like to feel alive and carefree.
And hold onto it.

Amelia Jean,
I picked this name for a reason. Partially because Andrew Mcmahon is my alltime favorite musician. But mostly because you embody the traits in the song. Fictional Amelia Jean is this badass who isn't scared of anything. But everyone around her is filled with concern. Amelia in her own right is a superhero like protagonist.
Just like you.
All the hardships in your life didn't destroy you. You have no kryptonite. You're a superhero in your own regard.
Some people stay, some are born to run away Amelia Jean, I'm sure you'll get your turn.

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