Whenever I finally give you these letters, I will have given you a billion things to think about, to reflect on, to hopefully inspire you. You will hopefully see years of life pouring out through my words. And I hope, no matter what, you see joy and hope.
There is a lot to be angry about. A lot to be sad about. A lot to be disappointed in. But there is this amazing thing called hope. Cling to it. It is so easy to get cynical (I have to talk myself back from cynicism practically every day), but there is something so much more beautiful about rising above. Looking ahead. Making something from ashes.
Hope and joy. Not happiness. Not glass half full, or half empty, or no glass at all. Hope and joy are the ultimate goal. Those are the things that will hold you together when your world gets torn apart. Those are things that will make you savor the human, vulnerable, and beautiful moments you stumble on. Hope and joy are born out of pain, grief, and broken things. In order to gain them, you’ll have to know suffering. And when you’re going through the suffering part, you’ll want to say,”to hell with it,” but then that little thing called hope will whisper in your ear, “Keep going.”
I know the weight these words come with. If I’m wishing hope and joy for you, I know that carries a double-edged sword because I will have to watch you be hurt too. And that kills me. Every time. (By the way, it’s amazing how you reflect on your own mother and father when looking at your daughter. Knowing all the things I’ve experienced that your grandparents have had to watch me go through. Being able to reflect on that — it’s a really incredible thing). And when you’re going through the fire, if you need me to remind you, I will tell you that beautiful things come from broken places.
Sink your teeth into this incredible life. Know what you’re against, but promote what you’re for. Seek the type of joy that fills you up, and gives you resilience. The one that says, “This may be a dark world, but I am light and power and peace and beauty.”
Your name means life. Remember that.