an open letter to anyone who struggles

I had two different pieces written as options for today’s post, but neither felt fitting, so I stayed up to write this. It’s 11:33 pm my time so it’s still technically on time, too, if you use “on-time airline departure logic.” I’m okay with that. Somebody stop me.

just a shot of skiing, because it is one of the places where I find my joy

I just want to say, to anyone who’s struggling: you are seen.

To anyone who wonders what they’re doing in life: I feel you.

To anyone who feels like their problems are overwhelming or too much to bear: you can pull through.

This world can sure be a bitch sometimes. It has a way of it, doesn’t it–a way of taking what you love and turning it on its head, rendering the perfect unrecognisable, telling you it is your fault, making you doubt.

Please know you are so much more than this.

People have ways of coping, ways of dealing with things, ways of pushing blame onto others, ways of forgetting where another person is coming from. We’ve all done it, and it hurts to be on the receiving end, too.

I hope today is a day where you feel compassion. Not because you’re better than anyone else or because you’ve beaten all your demons, but because you know what demons look like and how frightening they must be to someone else.

I hope today is a day where you receive compassion. I hope a stranger smiles at you. I hope you pause on your sprint towards becoming more–that job, that location, that degree, that project–and allow the love and kindness of another human being to find its way in.

In all of its broken, vulnerable, messy chaos.

I hope you remember what it is like to run like a child rather than a chased thing or a lab rat on a timer or a girl trying to outrun her too-big shadow or a boy desperate to prove how big and strong he is, desperate to be seen, desperate to be told he’s big enough to never feel alone.

We all just want to be seen. We all just want to be with someone. We all want to feel safe.

Remember when you played tag?

Remember when your feet touched the grass, how good it was?

Remember running just to feel the wind on your cheeks, your own breathlessness, and then to collapse into a heap with a dog rolling over top of you?

Sometimes letting love in feels like the scariest thing we could possibly do.

Sometimes allowing ourselves to be free feels like torture. Especially if you’ve been through something horrendous or heartbreaking or tragic. Especially if you’ve had to pick up the pieces of freedom or love falling apart.

But–fucking hell–I just hope you know how much good you can do. We all doubt what we can do sometimes. But I hope you know there is another day coming.

You will do so much good.

And if today’s a bad day for you, just know that even the worst days pass.

Because that’s the thing: this life is so temporary. It’s so fucking fleeting. It’s not always kind, and it’s predictable until you need it to be. It’s good and it’s bad, beautiful and dull. It’s running as a child and running like a preyed thing. It’s coming back to running or climbing or swimming or playing cards or reading or whatever it is you love and rediscovering what it is to feel sheer pleasure, even after years of fog and grey and lostness. It’s finding your people.

If you’re struggling today, I’m sending you love.

I love you, and I hope you’re okay.

4 thoughts on “an open letter to anyone who struggles

  1. so wonderful to receive this email (ps. it’s Sammy Ginsberg- my other email1:P) i had a cry today and felt overwhelmed by my demons! so great to see this and feel hopeful.

    Sending compassion and love your way too! Sammy

    On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 8:18 PM CIRCUMSPECTACLES wrote:

    > emilylynncook posted: ” I logged on this evening to publish something very > different, but it didn’t seem fitting. just a shot of skiing, because it is > one of the places where I find my joy I just want to say, to anyone who’s > struggling: you are seen. To anyone who won” >

  2. I am not struggling today, but the last month has been very difficult when a virus lodged itself in my chemotherapy depleted body. It seems now at last to have departed. There is no alternative but to pull through. Never give up. Thank you for your words.

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