Happy New Year!
Ashley, from You're the Charlie Browniest, wrote a really great New Years post of a letter written to the version of herself that existed one year ago. I thought that was a great way to look back over the year, so I've written my own letter.
Dear Julie of December 31st, 2010,
You are so happy at this moment-- hold onto that feeling. Hold onto it tightly. Because you will need to draw on that reserve of happiness so much for the next year... but you will make it through.
There's a man next to you right now, and you are absolutely convinced you're going to be spending the rest of your life with him. You'll actually only be together for a few more weeks. But even though you're heartbroken and furious at first, you don't stay bitter for very long. You've learned how happy and alive you can be, and how deeply you can love.
April... in April, you lose another love. I wish I could tell you that you get over it quickly and painlessly. But it does get easier, and eventually you're able to remember the quietly joyful moments and smile instead of cry.
When your dad gets sick, spend as much time with him as you possibly can. Losing him is the worst thing that you've ever experienced and you won't understand how the world could possibly go on without him.
That still hasn't gone away. Hang in there, Julibee Roo.
The year does have some good points, though. You do very well in school, and you grow up more this year than in any other period of your life. You learn that having an amazing best friend is an invaluable gift. You learn to deal with overwhelming grief by channeling it into your art, even if you can't put it into words. You learn that, as one friend puts it, "there's a tiger hiding under all those ruffles and bows." You're a strong girl. Keep trying to find a balance between that strength and letting yourself be soft and vulnerable.
Be gentle with yourself, busy bee.
Love, Julie of December 31st, 2011