Dear XXXXXXXX,    

On the last day of July, I said goodbye to my quaint, little mountain town that I grew to love and hello to the concrete streets that raised me. In just a mere 2 hours, I traded my upstate paradise for constant car-honking and the garbage truck that roars at 2 in the morning. Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck.

Being back in my childhood home overnight made the last 4 years feel like a foggy dream. The air wasn’t as fresh down here, there were too many people on the streets. My spirit felt deeply disturbed. Simultaneously, I felt more alive than ever. Childhood friends were already blowing up my phone. “We out tomorrow?”

The month of August was the honeymoon period of coming home. Juicy $1 dumplings, ice-cold milk tea from Chinese bakeries, the love and laughter of those who raised me. The days were long and I felt like I could go all night. I missed this feeling. The warm city summer air gently blowing onto my sticky-sweat-glazed skin. A little musty, but in the best way possible. But as you know very well, life is cyclical and this cannot last. And it definitely didn’t.

August slipped away and so did I. September began and suddenly I was working 6 days a week. 3 days, unpaid, pursuing my passion for film and 3 days waiting tables to pay my bills. Thursdays were my day off. That was for laundry, grocery shopping, and whatever other errands I had to run. I felt myself deteriorating. Mind, body, spirit. Everything was being challenged during this time.

I was feeling uninspired, unmotivated, un-everything. So this is adulting, huh? I was on the verge of tears everyday, I think. That feeling of the lump in your throat just before the tears come. But the tears never came. It was just this perpetual lump-in-your-throat-feeling. I spent many days in the last warm moments of October introspecting at the park.

Reading. Meditating. Writing. I tried everything to make myself feel better. They worked to calm my mind and spirit for those brief moments in the park. But there was still something deeply wrong. I couldn’t get rid of that lump in my throat. I questioned everything. What am I doing here? What’s for dinner tonight? Should I just move back in with my parents? Do I need to buy more toilet paper? What is my purpose in life? Did I lock the door before I left? Am I going to make it as an artist?

You saw me at my lowest point in the bitter, cold, harsh months of 2021. You saw me lost my grip on reality. I needed a lot of grounding and you saw me figure out how to do that. I am still trying to answer some of those questions that haunted me during this time. I don’t know if you’ll ever give me the answers to some of them. And I think that’s okay. I’m slowly learning that answers come to me when the time is right.

These months broke me but I’ve learned that destruction is necessary for rebirth and reconstruction. But you knew that already. I just needed to learn that myself.

Sending you my love and always thinking of you,