A Letter Of Reminders To Myself On My Birthday

A Letter Of Reminders To Myself On My Birthday
Almos Bechtold

I know you’re feeling nostalgic, a little blue, a little thumbs down on all that is bruise. There’s something about today, something that for some time now hasn’t gotten easier to shake. I know the weight on your chest somehow feels a little heavier, a little harder to carry. You’re waking up thinking, here’s another year of shifting this dark thing from shoulder to shoulder. I know you’re turning older and thinking that looking forward somehow feels a lot like looking behind. Tonight you’ll want to smile, tonight you’ll take a sip of your drink and try not to think here’s to another dead year to bury.

I know that nothing will stop you from feeling this way. I want you to know that it’s okay. But I want you to try. Try to smile and mean it. Even if hurts. You owe it to yourself today. Be kind to yourself today. Remember everything there is to love about yourself, about the places you’ve been and the places you have yet to go. Let people tell you they love you today, don’t clam up, be open to that warm and fuzzy feeling.

Let’s make this year a little different.

Learn to define yourself not by the mistakes you’ve made, but by where you go from them.

I know you’ve got a list a mile high of what you feel are losses, but remind yourself you’re not a quitter. You write your own rules, change the game if you need to. If you are unhappy with where you are then move.

Learn that just because you haven’t been loved in the way you deserve doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it. That just because some people found it hard to love you doesn’t mean you’re not easy to love. Repeat this to yourself. I can still be loved, I can still be loved. Love yourself so much that you don’t feel the wanting from loneliness. Love yourself so much it doesn’t matter who broke your heart in the past or who breaks your heart next. Love yourself so much you become complete. Love yourself so much you stop accepting anything less than what you need. Love yourself so much you stop accepting any less even from yourself.

Look in the mirror. The person you see standing in front of you is the love of your life. Feed her just as much as you’ve fed the mouths who bit chunks out of you. Find the places from which they did, kiss them and let them heal.

Tell yourself you’re more than the sum of all the wounds you’ve acquired through the years. Than you’re more than all the things that have ever happened to you. Face those things, stop trying to bury the things you wish you could forget. Remember them, even when it hurts, steal back from them your power. You’re more than the things some monsters stole in the dark.

Remind yourself that self-preservation isn’t the same as being selfish. Love yourself first. Choose yourself first. Make yourself happy first. Save yourself first.

Sever the ties with those who make you swallow poison, to those who don’t reciprocate what is given, to those who don’t have your best interests at heart. Walk away from situations that make you unhappy. Anything or anyone that steals your lighter energy has no business being in your life.

Stop looking for love in all the wrong places. Look for love inside of yourself, happiness in its purest form can really only come from within.

Stop putting yourself down and selling yourself short. Speak to yourself in a kinder voice. You have the whole world inside of you. Anyone can tell you this but it doesn’t mean anything and it isn’t true unless you believe it. You are rare. You are beautiful. You can do anything.

Now is a good time to stop giving away pieces of yourself to those who don’t deserve a taste. Stop thinking about the guy who could only ever give you words, the one willing to exchange everything you deserved with his favorite three words “I miss you,” the one who said I love you each time like a promise he could never keep, the one who has always been in someone else’s arms and not here. This year is the year to let go of what isn’t for you, of what and who doesn’t fight for space in your life, of what has only ever brought you ache. (Finally) let go of him.

Stop being chewed up by mouths that will forget your name. Stop renting out space for men unworthy of it. Stop ending up in hands only interested in how your skin feels in the dark. Stop kissing lips that aren’t forthcoming and lips that aren’t inquisitive. Stop doing any of this just because you’re drunk off of loneliness. It’s much lonelier renting out your body to those who don’t realize your worth than it is to be alone.

I know you’re starting this year off drowning in waves that come and go in both sadness and emptiness, that you’re thinking about all the places you thought you’d be by now in lament, that you’re feeling more alone than you did last year and the year before, and that you think it will only get worse, but it doesn’t have to.

Remember that life isn’t just about crossing off a to-do list. It’s a lot more than that. You won’t suddenly be happy because you landed your dream job, got into a relationship, or you live in a house with a white picket fence. It’s so much more than that.

Be grateful for your accomplishments and work for those you still yearn for. You got this. This year tune out the voice that says you can’t.

Take care of yourself. No one else will do it for you. No one else can do it better.

Think about the rosy-cheeked, head full of curls little girl you once were. What would she say to you today? What were the things she always wanted to have? Would you treat her like you treat yourself now?

Do what makes you happy. It’s as simple as that.

I know you’re feeling like you want someone to hold your hand until you can feel your pulse again.

Darling, you don’t need anyone but yourself. Anything you’ve needed has always been inside you.

Make this your year.

Think about how a year from now you can look back and think I’ve come so far. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Houston-based writer and artist.

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