Dear Hollie -
So it's your birthday. You have made it to 26 - I am so proud of you.
I am so proud that you have been so resilient in the last year, never mind the last 10. You went into 25 with rose colored glasses and you are going into 26 with a chance to be yourself again.
You learned so much this year - some of it was good and some of it was bad. But I hope to tell you these few things that you have been reflecting on all day...if you can actually hold onto these, I promise that this will be a better, brighter and bolder year.
1. You are stronger than you think
You were surprised you made it to 16, 18, 21 and 25 because you thought that you'd kill yourself before then. You've finally gotten the power over your depression and anxiety this year. It almost killed you, but you finally stand 6 feet taller than you ever thought you would. You are a champion and a warrior. This was one of the shittiest years of your life and today was a birthday that you felt like you were worth living.
2. Love yourself
Yes, I know that your self esteem got dragged down by gas lighting and then you got kicked while you were down but...you should love yourself more than anyone does. Smile at yourself in the mirror, bring more laughter back into your life, treat yourself kindly, remind yourself how loved you are. You aren't getting any younger so embrace yourself before it's too late.
3. No one can take away your power
Your curves have carried you through hell and back, your thighs are that of a goddess, you were not built to have a flat stomach, love your body for you, cut your hair the way you want to, you can wear black every day if you want, carbs are allowed, your music taste isn't bad, there is nothing wrong with being who you are. No one can take away your power.
4. Summon the life you want, not the life that you think is expected
Deep down, you know what you want in life - happiness. Chase a career that makes you happy, go back to school, finish writing your book, pay some bills, surround yourself with live music, don't let anyone tell you that you don't have hobbies, stay sober and stop doubting your greatness.
5. Love deeply
You spent your life running from your own truths and trying to band aid your problems by fixing others. A lot of people suck, but there are people in your life who care deeply for you. Give them your time, your affection, you love. Love those people deeply and you will be rewarded with unconditional love. Love your family, friends, pets, coworkers and those who pass through your narrative.
Happy birthday my darling, read this over and over again and have a wonderful year. I expect to see great things of you.