Dear Rachel

A Letter to myself on my birthday,

Slow down a minute and breathe. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your tendency is full speed ahead, especially when anxiety is a little high.

Slow down enough to enjoy life. Enough to take a deep breath and enjoy all of the relationships you have so thoroughly invested in.

Keep loving people hard. This is one of your biggest strengths.

But I want you to take the time to love yourself as much as you love those closest to you. As much as you love missionaries, as much as you love Haiti, as much as you love your partner.

You don’t have to draw your worth from how much you give and do.

Remember and keep living the lessons that Haiti and God and life and people taught you.

And keep writing down that story because you’re a better person when you write.

This last year has held some high highs and low lows. Keep holding onto that tension, rejecting the brain lie that says life has to be categorized in one box or the other.

Keep missing Dani because she’s so worth missing. She loved so deeply and her void is real.

Keep facing your fear of commitment and keep loving hard, not holding back or placing attached strings on the relationship.

Receive, Rachel. Ask for what you need and receive it. Just like you love others, let others love you. Your soul is thirsty for the healing that love brings.

Live worthy and receive it, confidently.

Keep missing Haiti and keep writing about it. Keep loving Haiti fiercely. Keep speaking out against poverty and privilege and keep trying to listening to the voices of the oppressed and marginalized.

Keep crying when you feel the tears welling up. You’ve done too much work to keep pushing those feelings down. And there’s a lot of pain in this world, in your world.

Fully enjoy the big moments that the next year holds. Dive into your Enneagram 7 space and live the spontaneous adventure. Be completely present, let go of worries, and feel the joy deep down in your bones.

Be honest about how you feel. Constantly invalidating yourself isn’t helpful. You are beautifully human. Imperfect. Raw. Honest. You’ll make mistakes. Be brave and authentic. Say sorry and move on, no need to beat yourself up to no end. Again, when you know better, you do better. 

Keep showing up to this one beautiful life. That damn book will eventually get finished and others will be born.

Happy Birthday.

photo credit: Lauren Neal (click image for website)