(This letter is more to myself than to you. I hope you don’t mind. ) Laura. If you are reading this in the future, this is your eighteen-year-old self talking. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we tend to forget the little things that are really big things, and I’m not just talking about the smell of coffee in the morning or the way the light falls across your room at magic hour. Yes, you should pay attention to those things, but I have a feeling you already do. I’m talking about the ideas that resonate with us in the moment but get lost in the jumble of other thoughts vying for our attention. Ideas like: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”- Annie Dilliard. And: “Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.”- Neil Gaiman. And: “Don’t back away from something because it’s difficult.”-Me. I am reminded of these things when I find them in obscure word documents on my computer, or scribbled on a page in my notebook, but for some reason they don’t stick. Weeks later I’m still leaving stories unfinished, and hesitating when faced with a challenge. Maybe by this time next year you’ll have figured out a way to live your life according to these principles, but something tells me it’s not just about remembering. I think the best we can do is try to internalize these ideas, to turn them into habits, values, intrinsic to how we live our lives. That way, we don’t need to be reminded of them. And like anything else, our habits and values aren’t perfect, and we can’t live up to them all the time, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. I’m still a long way from that stage, but maybe this letter will serve as its own reminder. So if you’re reading this, don’t forget: Finish what you start. Embrace challenges. Live each day knowing that it is not some isolated moment, but part of your life, and you are always living it.
Song of the day: "Eet" by Regina Spektor