Dear Younger Self,

Today you may not believe it, but that dark tunnel, well it’s bad but it isn’t the end of everything.

A vapor.

That is what life has been like. Nothing seeming real and everything changing. It will start in 2010, you will have the moment in January that it is time to get your life together. You will have a partner in crime and one day that will end. It is interesting thinking about life in the midst of death, because you won’t know where one begins and one ends.

One day it was a magical land of make-believe and the next day everything will feel dark and heavy. But knowing and doing are two different things and a year and a half later denial still washes over you daily. You will hope that one day you open your eyes and find that it has all been a bad dream But one day something better will happen.

You’ll open your eyes.

Love, Joy, Grace, Mercy and Faith. No matter the pain, they still exist. You haven’t lost anything, you gained something. Strength, patience and something you may not be able to described. And then you do something, you leave your eyes open and you take a step.

In August/September 2011, you will sign up for a belly-dance class. It may start as joke, but it will become something more. It’s one of the many steps. Six weeks becomes twelve and then it’s twenty-four and your find yourself preforming again. Somewhere in there you will find a piece of yourself again. You’ll get on a plane in April 2012 and meet your photography inspirations, it will lead to a small whisper that says, you can do this. A week later you will find yourself in a room of 12 women talking about hopes, dreams and becoming a woman of action.

For the first time, you believe it all again.

Dance becomes your outlet. Ballet, belly-dancing, contemporary jazz, modern. Don’t run from it, embrace it. You’ve always known the impact that it has, because there you will feel the love, joy, grace, mercy and faith. Somehow it will be a vital step to relearning you.

So yes, right now may seem life the darkest place ever and I wish I could say that one day you won’t remember any of it…but the past brings lessons learned and prepares you for a future that also won’t be a breeze. Somewhere in a place and time unknown, you will recall that God is big and great and merciful and fruitful. Nothing is without a reason. You will realize the grace given, the mercy bestowed and all the other lessons that you have always know. But there is one more thing, you will embrace the uniqueness that is your life. Embracing the dark, the pain, the guilt and the heartache and knowing they don’t go away will make all the difference, because somewhere along the way it becomes okay to be broken and in return, you’ll find yourself whole again.

Be whole.

Your almost 27-Year Old Self

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