Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Love Letter

Either the dog woke me up at 5am, or I woke her up.  But either way, I was awake.  And I was worried.  Yesterday, I sent a link to this blog to about 25 or so friends and acquaintances.  I hadn't put that much thought into it, and now I was staring at the ceiling freaked that maybe it was the wrong thing to do.  Now, I'm not one to generally worry too much about what people think.  But this list included several people I've worked with in the past, and perhaps could work with again.  What if it was TMI?  What if they didn't get it?  What if they just thought I was weird and misguided (ok, well they probably already though that, but still)? 

I cautiously checked email at five this morning to see if I had any reactions.  And what I came across was a message emailed to me from a close friend with the subject line "A Love Letter" (perfect for this Valentine's Day time of year).  I mean, really?  I have ridiculously fabulous friends.  She agreed to let me post it.  You'll forgive me, I'm sure, if it seems a little self-indulgent...but since you're not the one baring your soul on this blog, you don't get to judge me for this one.  We all deserve a love letter.  Each one of us who knows we're not perfect and there's work to be done.  Especially those who are always focused on being more.

During your period of introspection, you are obviously focusing on your flaws/issues (which I suppose is necessary if your goal is to address them). However, I wanted to make sure that you do not lose sight of all that makes you so great! Therefore, for your reference, I have made a list of the things I love and admire most about you:
  1. Your wit/humor – you are one of the wittiest people I know and you’re just plain fun to be around.
  2. Your intelligence – not only are you clearly brilliant, but you also have an uncanny ability to understand and read people and situations. I don’t think there is anyone whose advice I value more than yours.
  3. Your beauty – you are extraordinarily beautiful, both inside and out.
  4. Your charisma – people are naturally drawn to you and you make others feel good about themselves. This is an extremely rare quality and you’ve got it.
  5. Your resilience – you are extremely well-adjusted and grounded given all the crap you’ve been through. Sure, you’ve got a few issues like the rest of us but you certainly have license to have many more than you do! :)
  6. Your fearlessness – you are open to any adventure (even if it’s flying solo in Europe)!
  7. Your independence – you have thrived and succeeded all on your own for your entire life. Nobody but you can take credit for all that you’ve accomplished. However, we all need to rely on other people and I want you to know that you can always rely on me to help you out in any and every way. Just make the call and I’ll be there.
  8. You’re a great sister – I’m so impressed by your connections and all that you do to help and support them.
  9. You’re a great friend – You are always there for your friends when they need you. It has been such a good feeling to know that I can count on you to talk me down from the ledge when I’m in the midst of my “crisis du jour”! In addition to being all the things a good friend should be, you’re just so much fun to be with/talk to (see #1 above).
  10. You are a phenomenal writer! Your blog is really compelling and very well written. I was glued to my computer until I finished reading every entry!
I know there are more items for this list but 10 is a nice round number and I need to get to bed now. Please keep these things in mind and appreciate yourself as much as I (and many others) do!

I shouldn't be surprised that I know some really, really talented and incredible women and men.  Over the last 24 hours I've received several emails from people sharing their personal journeys and struggles.  A desire to find something more.  People who relate to wanting to figure "stuff" out.  But not always knowing what that "stuff" is.  I cannot tell you how much this makes me feel like sharing all this stuff on the page is meaningful.  If for no other reason than to know I'm not alone in this wacked-out mind of mine.

It also struck me that I'm really fortunate to be able to take a full six weeks with little to no responsibility.  So many of you have husbands, wives, kids that you love but that maybe don't afford the luxury to drop everything for six weeks.  I think this line from one of the emails I received today captures it well...

I got a chance to spend some time today reading your entries (while someone was pulling at me saying "i-pad, mommy, i-pad, elmo, bball")...managed to shake the kiddos off (shh, mommy's reading) and catch up.

I hope everyone can find a little bit of time for themselves, and that my fumbling might provide a little guidance or, if nothing else, a little humor! 

A final thought.  I went to a meditation workshop tonight and wanted to share something the teacher said.

Anything you say after "I am" is fiction.

Yeah, wrap your head around that one!  Okay, yes, you may be a mom.  Or a brother.  Or a CEO.  But, really, you just are.  Think about it.  I know it sounds must be all this mountain air here in the Berkshires.  Thanks to all of you who are reading, and sharing.  And thanks for reminding me to be grateful.  For who I am.  For the time.  For you.

So, what's your love letter to yourself?  Hasta, sabbaticaljo


  1. For the record - I think you are a Dove model and have thought of secretly submitting a portfolio on your behalf - you are gorgeous and curvy - you also literally have the best hair and eyes of anyone I know (ok I swear I dont watch you while you sleep...well not the whole night)so please dont forget how beautiful you are - the love letter above is spot on about everything!!!

  2. Thanks, Anonymous! I'm hoping you're someone I know and not secretly stalking me. Though, if you are stalking me, are you attractive, male and single? If so, let's talk ;) Seriously, what a cool comment to share. Much appreciated - sabbaticaljo

  3. Kudos to the fierce lady who crafted that love letter. She obviously knows you well. Too many times we don't stop to say (or write) our heartfelt thoughts about each other. Her declaration absolutely rang true to my thoughts of you. Enjoy your journey SJ - we love to live vicarious through you and will love you more with each step!