A November Letter

Dear friend,

There is something about the fall that makes everything seem deeper, isn’t there? Maybe it’s the cool air dancing on your skin or the urgent knowledge that you have to hold onto this perfect in-between time before the frost and ice come and overstay. It could be those spicy, pumpkin-y, rainy, baked sugary smells that make you take notice. Maybe it’s just the feeling of change that can’t be dodged as it envelopes the air. Maybe it’s the holidays that make you remember what really counts. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I know it happens to me every year.

Things with me are fine. I’m learning how to be a wife and also a human. I know I’ve been away a long time and haven’t written to you. I think there’s a period of time when you start a new life that requires you to cocoon yourself in it until you know what it is. That’s what I feel like, anyway… like a new world has started. I still don’t know how to balance things yet. I’m learning slowly. But it does make sense as to why my friends would marry and disappear from my life before. Going from a “me” to an “us” is tricky. It’s especially complex when you dive into another culture outside of your own. You are jolted with shocks from all unexpected angles regularly. It can be quite invigorating and quite terrifying all at once. And sometimes you forget entirely because it doesn’t matter at all. Isn’t it beautiful how two worlds can collide and create something confusing and fresh? I really do love change. Sometimes it racks me with anxiety, but it always erodes at least one of my rough edges a little.

I have come to the conclusion that I don’t think I would be good at being famous. I always thought I was very confident. This is actually untrue. I am fueled by praise. When I am boiled down to only my own self-love, without external influence, I nearly drown in insecurity sometimes. And as extroverted as I can be, I am always shocked when I learn someone is thinking or talking about me when I’m not there. The thought shakes me to the core because I’m genuinely baffled I would be important enough to discuss. And it especially causes me fear that it might be uncomplimentary . Does this ever happen to you? I think this is one of my great follies because I also often don’t realize that I can actually affect others with what I say or do – I don’t process that it would be important enough to cause offense. I accidentally offend often. And if I think too hard about it, I am afraid to speak at all for fear of being an inconvenience. I laugh at myself now, even writing it. How foolish and hilarious it sounds.

My husband is not like that. He doesn’t move out of anyone’s way when he’s walking. He doesn’t bother trying to impress or befriend anyone who isn’t friendly. He doesn’t feel pressured to small talk if he doesn’t have something to say. I admire this about him. He has the most deeply reserved, abiding, internal confidence in himself, and people love him for it. You’d love him too.

That’s what I’m thinking about this fall. I want to get to a place of self-worth where it doesn’t even matter who does or doesn’t think well of me, because I know in my deep heart that I’m all right.

The sun is setting as I am riding the train home now. The flares are coming through the window and warming my cheek. I’m going to walk home toward the sunset and smile into the increasingly chilly orangey-pink air and love myself today. And I will love you, dear friend. It makes me smile to think you can see the sunset, wherever you are, too.

xo,
Aubrey

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