Dear Fucking Amazing Human,
Thank you. A million times over.
When I posted that I needed a love note or two it felt like an excessive act of vulnerability; one of the scariest things I have shared with the internet. You probably know by now that I've shown more skin online than many people are comfortable with and consistently write about my mental illness + other difficult topics that purposefully put me in tender positions because being real is important. My ask for love letters was twenty times scarier than all of those things combined.
But it was worth it because YOUR LETTERS HAVE CHANGED MY GODDAMN LIFE.
Before your notes showed up in my mailbox, I was thoroughly convinced of one thing and one thing only- that basically ALL people were and are horrible. It wasn't a hard conclusion to arrive at; I've had the unfortunate chance to see people at their worst. Millions of reactionary comments/emails/conversations that have shown me some of humanity's worst, unabashed colors. I have been handed every shred of proof that I've needed to assume that most humans are incapable of compassion and critical thinking. And the expectation of intentional kindness? Well, that has always seemed out of the question.
That week, my therapist of eight years (that woman has seen me through some shit) finally said the words I needed to hear- "Jes, this is killing you." And she was right. I had emotionally reached the point where I had nothing left to give.
Five years of working on the internet had changed me so drastically that I convinced that there was not a single flicker of light at the end of any tunnel. Not a good thing. Not a good thing at all.
So I sent out a social media flare. And then you showed up. In all your handwritten, sticker covered, mermaid patch filled, glitter dusted glory.
Gifts, inspiring quotes, love letters, music suggestions, cross-stiched unicorns, drawings from your (v. talented btw) children, pieces of art, Vegimite (+ other rad Aussie things- shout out to Prince) rock candy rings, simple words of support. And they're still coming from all over the world. You may have not realized how much I needed them when you dropped them in the mailbox... but I NEED YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU'RE EVERYTHING WONDERFUL IN THE WORLD OKAY?
Now you know.
I've read many of them. I've also have piles saved for later. I often pick a few new ones out each morning before I start my day so that I have a beautiful reminder of why persisting is a good decision.
I expected to feel a few warm flutters. What I did not expect was to feel a large part of my heart split wide open and to suddenly have energy to give back once again. In fact, after the first two weeks of overwhelming love notes (I cried at the post office multiple times, guys), the influx of kindness gave me the emotional room I needed to pack half a dozen care packages for other activists that I knew could also use a boost. This mail also touched them like yours touched me; they shared that it gave them the energy to fight another day and it's important that you know... this is because of you.
Your kindness and support will continue to ripple out... beyond me, beyond the other activists, beyond all of us. I've been so anti-woo and universal love for so long yet somehow you've been able to reach the lost parts of me that can now acknowledge how empowering compassion and love can be. You've restored my Woo.
I have more room for hope than I have in years. I have more room to give (and appreciatively receive) than I have in years. All because of you. It may take me forever to write back to all of you but I'm workin' on it.
ALSO, what no one tells you is writing a memoir is pretty much a mental horror show and opening a couple letters before writing is super helpful. So thanks for saving my ass there too, y'all!
Did I say thank you yet?
P.S. Is it against blogging rules to use emojis in your post titles? 🤷
P.P.S. If you sent me a postcard or envelope without a return address (I have a huge stack that I'm sad I can't write back to) and you would like a THANK YOU sent your way, drop me a note at themilitantbaker @ gmail dot com with a description of what yours looked like/contained and I'll make sure to send you some personalized love back when I can.