An Open Letter, Because You Are More Than You Think

 

Kat-hospital-foot

I wrote this as an open letter to me. Because after almost 3 years of flaring, I’m starting to lose myself. I’m starting to go to some pretty dark places. And that’s ok. I know it happens. And I don’t need the barrage of ‘it’ll be ok’ and ‘I’m sorry’s (not because I don’t love and appreciate the people or the sentiments) but because I need to be ok with things even if they aren’t ok. Even if things don’t work out the way I want them too.

 

Every week I try to make plans. I make meal plans so I can prep and cook from scratch for my IBD, and I make life plans— plans with my kids. Plans to make money because you know, life. And every week, I desperately cling to this magical schedule. Like, because I’ve written it all there beside the numbers of the clock, it’s all going to be ok. It’s going to happen. Because that’s my life written there.

And every week, I look at this beautiful compilation of events. And every week I make the calls. And I cancel. And I have to say ‘no’. Sometimes I blame it on my kids but it’s always the same. It’s me. It’s this weird disease. And I feel like a failure.

But I know I’m not alone. And I know how scary this is. So I’ve decided that I will write this letter for myself— and if you ever need it, it’s yours too. It doesn’t matter what you’re going through or why, you have this to remind you.

 


 

It’s ok not to have control over something.

It’s ok to have control over something but decide that you can’t at that juncture in your life, whether it’s in 5 minutes or in 5 months, see it through.

It’s ok if everything goes wrong.

It’s ok to wake up and not know what you want to be when you grow up, or even what you want to be that day.

It’s ok if you get fired. If you step down, or step up, or away from a role.

It’s ok to do something you badly wanted to, or not be able to, and feel so frustrated because of it.

No matter what happens, or why, or how—

You are still you.

You are still loved.

You are still perfect, beautiful, and so important.

You might not think you are, but you are.

You so are.

 

You are not the only person who has felt left out.

You are not the only person who has felt irrational and emotional surges of envy, competitive twinges, or simply an all-consuming cerebral yearning to belong.

You are not the only person who has felt terrified that, if for some reason you were no longer a wife or husband, a writer, a doctor, a gym-goer, an entrepreneurial success, a well-kept fashionista, a perfect size 6, the smartest, the funniest, the you-name-it; you would no longer be loved.

Worse—

You would no longer be visible.

You would no longer exist even.

 

And in your head you fear “If I am not ‘X’, then”:

You will lose all your friends.

You will be a laughing stock.

You will be forgotten, or remembered, or worse; neither at all.

You will never amount to anything.

You don’t deserve anything.

You are pointless.

 

And somehow you believe that all of this is because you are not:

From the right background, the right school, or the right town; not in the right profession or not playing the right game. Not playing for the right team, or not followed, liked, or on the right list. Not doing or saying the right things to the right people, while wearing the right things at the right places or times…Not getting the awards, the accolades, the results, the applause that deem you on equal footing for those other people that are so important to talk to.

 

And a part of you that tries to fight this wave (that feels smaller and weaker as the moments pass) knows that it’s all bullshit, but still, it’s easy to get caught up in the spiral.

It’s easy to forget to take a look at the substance that your flesh and fortitude present just by being you. Somehow it gets easier to subtract a point from our purpose on this planet when things aren’t going the way we think things should be.

 

But, you know that’s just a feeling, right?

Even if you’re lying to me right now, just lie. Just nod your head and pretend. Please.

Just pretend that you know that whatever you want so so badly— whatever you thought was worth it all, whatever you have been fighting for so hard, whatever the reason we have put on these roles— you know you can step away from it, right? Just by starting again? And that it’s ok?

You know how, when you take that make up off at the end of the day— you know when you’re your most vulnerable— that’s also when you are the most wonderful and appealing to your best and closest friends and family?

Without a stitch of makeup, without your amazing outfits, without the witty comebacks and all the things you think make you who you are; without the overtime or the late-nights; without the work ethic, the ambition, the vision, or any achievement whatsoever—

If you did nothing but breathe all day you would still be relevant.

If you did nothing but learn to nurture and heal yourself, you would still be a success.

 

Because you are still you.

You are still loved.

You are still perfect, beautiful, and so important.

You might not think you are, but you are.

You so are.

 

And when you stop seeing that.

And the smiles feel forced and words stop flowing, putting more things on your plate and covering things up and achieving more and more— it’s not going to help. It’s just going to get heavier.

And it’s ok to want to feel light again.

It’s ok to say no.

It’s ok to say yes and then drop all the balls because that’s how you learn.

It’s ok to not ‘be’ anything. Or ‘do’ anything.

It’s ok to say ‘I changed my mind.’

It’s ok to say ‘That wasn’t for me.’

It’s ok to ask for help.

 

And you are still you.

You are still loved.

You are still perfect, beautiful, and so important.

You might not think you are, but you are.

You so are.

 

I promise.

You are a gift.

You are a whisper of tomorrow, and the proof of a dream.

You so are.

 

I promise.

 

Kat Inokai

Kat Inokai

Editor and Publisher

As editor and publisher, Kat is the brain (and the bump) behind The Bump & Hustle. She was also a featured blogger for YummyMummyClub.ca, and her writing has appeared in Huffington Post Canada, and Metro News.

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