Hello Family and Friends,
Good news! Whenever you get a letter this late in the month you know it’s going to be short. For those of you who are new to my email list and don’t know why you are on the list you should just keep reading.
This month I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the role Rebecca and John Kurtz played in my life. FYI, I’ve never met them before. I don’t know what they look like, what they do, or where they live.
I do know they used to live in my apartment. Four years after they moved out my roommate and I still regularly get their mail. Infinity always sends John offers for internet deals. Rebecca apparently had some animal because Petco regularly (tries) to dissuade Rebecca from shopping at other pet stores by offering her ubiquitous 20% coupons.
I never really thought about the people who inhabited this apartment before Faith and I moved in. With the exception of this letter, I don’t really care.
Last night I began thinking about how this was their home first. They built many memories in the same space. They probably fought each other and had tasteless decorations. It made me ponder the places we inhabit and what we leave behind.
The Places We Inhabit
Your home. Your job(s). Your favorite chair at the dinner table. Your favorite chair that only you sit in. The driver’s seat of your car. Public buses. Open highways and rush hour traffic.The same seat at church that would make you act unholy if someone was sitting there.The window or aisle seat on a plane (because no one likes the middle seat). Your therapist’s couch.
Your favorite grocery store. Target. Your favorite piece of clothing. The highly coveted position as the middle child. Your assigned locker at the gym. The places you volunteer.
That horrific photo of you. The picture of you with someone that is no longer with us. Your best friend’s shoulder.
The places where you are a leader. The places where you are a supporter. The alone places. The lonely places. Places of influence. The places of hope and faith. The places where you are other people’s hopes and dreams and aspirations. Places where you are the answer and solution. The places of desperation and uncertainty.The circumstances when you intervene on someone’s behalf. The memories of good times. The memories of bad times. The places in people’s heart.
Your name resides on someone else’s junk mail. Your name is on my email list.
What we leave behind
Shoes and clothes we’ve outgrown. High school varsity jackets. Blue eyeshadow. Bell-bottom pants. Childhood. Adolescents. Early adulthood. Late adulthood. Your favorite lunch pail (unless you’re my friend Dawn). Jerry Curls. Jazzercise. Insane collections of trolls, beenie babies, baseball cards and pogs.
Best friends forever and first love. Toxic people. The one that got away. The one that wouldn’t go away. The first times. The last times. Fears and anxieties. Missed opportunities. That one job that would have/ actually had changed your life. Regret. The hope that you will one day become_________.
The fear of losing hope.
And so what?
I don’t know. I really don’t know. If I had to give an answer- or some conclusion with a pretty silk bow- I guess the point is that we are never really stuck in one place.
A patient last night was telling me her life was in disarray. Yeah, it was pretty bad. Even with her hallucinations she was able to get herself together enough to get herself to clinic and ask for what she needed.
If she could do it, you can do it too.
You are never completely stuck. You are never your worst failure or biggest mistake. You are more than what you do for work. You are worth more than what you make. You are not beholden to debt forever.
All of that is just one aspect of your life because the places we inhabit now will all eventually be the places we leave behind.
As always, I love to hear back from you when I haven’t heard from you in a while. Every month I like to stop and contemplate something that I’m grateful for. Ever since 2014 I’ve been writing these letters when I realized that I don’t stop to be grateful for life.