I’ve been writing letters lately

Mel Howard | June 22, 2016

To people I love and some that I don’t. To people who pop up in my heart or are caught in my throat. It’s cathartic. I’m expelling toxins and tensions that live mostly in my hips and head. Often when I’m writing I have to pause to happy-cry. I’m so grateful to have had a feeling so intense about the letters recipient.

I’ve been writing letters lately that I may or may not send. I started writing them for myself. Because I have things in my head that maybe aren’t okay to say out loud, or are and I’m just not brave enough. Writing for myself because since coming to this place, I’ve been shedding the weight of words and promises that hold me back. It’s confusing. It’s hard to know what actually is me these days.

So far, it seems I’m really smiley. And chatty, but I knew that already. I like making people smile with me.  I love lying in the sun and riding bikes. I love having a home space and filling it with candles and books. Books! even if I can’t sit still long enough to read them at the moment. So far I’m not writing much like I thought I would, but I’m also kind of okay with that right now. I can sing! I have a really horrible habit of saying I can’t and believing it when in fact, I can and usually, well. I miss acting. I miss creating. I miss the rehearsal room and the conversations it inspires. Although I love the feeling of lying in the sun, I love jumpers and beanies more. I can’t be alone for too long or I start getting sad. Or melancholic. Or heavy boots if you’ve read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, that’s the best way to describe it. I get heavy boots about life some days.

I’ve been writing letters lately that make me hold my heart up a little higher. That prompt photo searches through my archives evoking ridiculous all day/night smiles. That prompt proactive Google searches about doing things I’ve wanted to do forever, like see Gang of Youths.

I’ve been writing letters lately because I’ve been struggling to read like I used to and I’m trying not to watch so much Mad Men and Gilmore Girls, although the latter makes me so nostalgically happy and season five, episode five of Mad Men is possibly the best piece of television writing I’ve ever watched(!).

I’ve been writing letters lately because I’ve been journaling (almost) everyday for four months now and before that (almost) every other day while in Europe and that practice has made me think differently about what’s important to me.

At some point I chose to write in a specific order;

Firstly what I achieved today.

Simple dots points that aren’t in list form because lists have negative connotations for me, and can include any achievement. For example, biking, because I’ve only been doing it for a month and when I think about how far I’ve come in that month it really cheers me up.

Secondly, something I am grateful for.

Sometimes it’s simply wine, or more aptly red wine. Other times it’s wide windows or colder weather, having a home, possibilities of Asia. Often it’s family and friends and strangers who somehow make my day unbelievably wonderful.

Lastly, I write a few things that I might achieve tomorrow.

I’ve always been a list chick, but I realised how much pressure I put on myself when I have lists I tell myself must be crossed off. I feel guilt and disappointment when I can’t tick off washing because something else popped up, or worse, I’ll say no to something potentially wonderful because I have said list to tick off. If there’s no pressure in the way I’ve written the words, they may or may not happen. I get them out of my head and clear my mind for a little dreaming, then read approximately four minutes of my book before my eyes close without me and I’m rudely awakened by aforementioned book falling on my face.

I’ve been writing letters lately because I started titling each night’s entry and that spins them creatively in my mind. Gets the proverbial juices flowing.

I’ve been writing letters lately because my friends are far away and sometimes a phone call doesn’t cut it. Because I’m meeting people here that remind me of people I already love and that makes me miss them more.

I’ve been writing letters lately because we should tell people things like this all the time. We should tell ourselves too. Part of the reason I moved to Byron was to appreciate the good things, the simple things, and it’s become overwhelming.

I’ve been writing letters lately because letters are a beautiful thing to receive and to write. It is a blissful act to put words on a page because they are true and full of love. I take that love, rock it gently back and forth in my body for a while and throw it up and forward into tomorrow, each time taking a step not away from my old life but into my new one, my present one. My here today life, because it is bloody glorious and I’m spending so much of my glorious time looking back in love and while its very poetic and sometimes necessary, the forward momentum is starting to get some traction and I’m feeling like a self again.

The pieces of me are within grasping length. I can see them floating in different coloured bubbles, dancing to different fabulous songs and waiting to come together like the sweetest house party you’ve ever been to.

There are pieces of me floating on the sunny waves, I’ve finally got a board out and I’m ready.

I bloody love puzzles.


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