I know how hard things are right now. I know it feels like the weight of the world is crushing you, that you’re trying so hard to carry everything on your shoulders and balance it all gracefully. I know that it feels like there is a darkness creeping in, threatening to overwhelm any of the light that might be left in this year.
I know you want to put on a brave face, to keep pretending that everything is completely fine. That it feels like if you take a break, if you let your guard down for just a moment, you might fall apart. That letting yourself feel anything, even just for a second, will overwhelm you. I know that it feels like if you let yourself lie down for a moment, you might not be able to get back up.
I know that these times can make life feel impossible and frustrating and just so disheartening. But I hope that during these moments, you’re able to find space to remember all of the things that make it feel like there’s a point to the madness, to remind yourself that there’s more light in this world than we’re sometimes able to see.
I hope you remember the feeling you get when you go to a concert and feel the bass drum pounding alongside your heartbeat in your chest. I hope you remember the way that your eyes get misty when you watch those videos of dogs being reunited with their owners. I hope you remember the smell of cookies baking in the oven, and old books in your favorite secondhand bookstore, and the awful cologne that your first boyfriend wore when you were 15 (that may or may not still make your heart skip a beat when you smell it).
I hope you remember the feeling you had when you learned how to ride a bike, even though you spent days with band-aids on your knees from falling. The feeling of riding a roller coaster for the first time (the grown-up kind), trying not to throw up the entire way to the top, but screaming your lungs out with excitement the whole way down. The feeling of having your first crush when you were seven, and the tiny thrill you felt when your teacher reassigned your seating plans so that you were sitting next to each other.
I hope you remember the first time you were heartbroken over someone who didn’t love you back. How you thought that the hole in your chest would just keep growing until it swallowed you completely. The feeling you had when you realized that nothing you did or said could ever make them feel the same way you do. I also hope you remember the feeling of when you finally got over them, when you could see them dating someone else and feel nothing but a fond happiness for them.
I hope you remember the middle school dances, and family reunions, and sleepovers. I hope you remember reading books in the adult section of the bookstore with your friends when you were kids and laughing so hard when you inevitably got kicked out. I hope you remember study dates in the library, and midnight coffee runs in college, and making snow angels in soccer fields in the middle of the night just because you could.
I hope you remember all of the times you got back up after you fell. I hope you remember all of the tiny things that make you smile every day and the little moments that remind us that we will be okay again. I hope that you remember that everyone else reading these words has felt so many of the same things that you have, and that at the core, our desire to be connected is stronger than anything that drives us apart. I hope you hold onto the memories that make life worth living. I hope you find a way to make more of them today.