the joy of falling, the pouring rain, and growing through pain

to continue living with childlike wonder & hope, even when the world tells us we should live otherwise

things i should be doing: studying for my ecology final. things i am not doing at this moment: studying for my ecology final. things i am doing: writing about trauma and growth for the 10 people who read these letters.

i’ve been talking with friends recently about trauma and what it means to let someone lift some of the weight off of your back—something i seem to do for everyone, but never let anyone do for me. go figure.

there’s a quote out there that goes something along the lines of “no one will ever know the amount of violence it took to become this gentle.” i’m really not sure who said or wrote it first, where it came from, but i know that if i had to explain myself to anyone with words, those are the words i would use.

it’s like knowing that the reason why pebbles are so smooth is because they’ve been eroded by the water. i am smooth and gentle and full of love because i am a pebble and i have been beaten down by waves my whole life and i think that in some way, that’s pretty rad.

it took me years to get here. it wasn’t easy. i wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. i love who i am now, but i think that i would take rough edges over being a smooth pebble any day if it means i wouldn’t have had to go through what i have.

these days i stand with my feet planted firmly on the ground because i have had to learn how to anchor myself. at the same time, i keep my head in the clouds because i have had to learn how to find hope and light on my own. i am full of childlike wonder because i make a conscious choice to find wonder in everything around me.

i am relearning what it feels like to fall in love and not with anything or anyone in particular, just with the world at large, because reader, life is more beautiful and complicated and fun when you let yourself fall in love.

fall in love with the way it feels to hold a friends hand, to hear an open chord on an acoustic guitar, to jump over large puddles when it is pouring and you are walking back to your dorm at 11 p.m.

sometimes you fall in love with your friends in a special kind of way. sometimes it’s just the feeling of wanting someone to be in your life for a long time and wanting the stability of knowing that they will be there when you have a good story or a good joke or need to talk about something heavy.

sometimes it’s just like wanting to hold onto someone for a long time. sometimes it’s knowing that you want this person to be at your wedding, sitting at a table with everyone else that you love. sometimes its knowing that you want to be able to laugh with them over old stories some 30 years down the line.

i’ve been told by many that this is just a ry thing and that baffles me.

because i think there’s room for love and romance in all our relationships, even the ones with our friends. maybe this is the hill i’ll die on.

what is romance anyway? a genre? a set of actions? a candlelit dinner? a journey on horseback through a medieval kingdom? i don’t know—and i don’t think you do either—because i don’t think it has a shape.

love and romance are choices and commitments and right now i am just a person falling in love with my friend’s voice when she sings, the way that my friend’s hair falls flat when it’s wet, the way that my friend smiles, the way that words flow from my fingertips and the sky and the clouds and the rain and i am choosing this—choosing friends and being radically kind and i love that about me.

forever yours,

ry

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