In March 2014, I wrote a love letter to myself, right in the midst of my quarter life crisis. When things get a little too crazy in my head, I type out conversations between Whit (me) and Suni (the author). It helps to calm my anxiety and figure out what I’m bugged about. This letter came about right when I was in the midst of figuring myself out, and it’s pretty telling about my mental state.
Hey girl. How ya doing? I know it’s been a little rough lately – what with all this self-discovery, vulnerability, and all that jazz. I know work is being obnoxious and you’re frustrated ’cause dudes are dicks. And I haven’t been very helpful, popping up and filling your mind with thoughts like we should quit our job and write (for the record, still think we should).
I wanted to write this letter to let you know that I support and understand and love you. I know you freak out about money and stability, ’cause you’re afraid of the unknown. I know that you want to run marathons to prove to all those voices in your head that you aren’t worthless. I know that you want to be an executive because that’s what you’ve spent your whole life believing that you have to be.
Here’s the thing though: I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do anything you don’t wanna do.
I know you’re afraid of letting go and being vulnerable. I know years of conditioning to be stoic, driven, and infallible have made you think that you can’t make mistakes, your emotions are not valid, and you have to make and save money at all costs. Which would be okay if it didn’t make you so fucking miserable.
I want you to know that I appreciate you letting me talk and sharing me with the world. I’ve had so much to say, so much to offer that I feel you’ve been embarrassed by me. But every time you tell someone that you’ve written a book, or that you’re getting published, or show someone that book cover, you inspire me. I have it easy – I just live in your head. But you are out in the wilderness, looking at people and having to endure their reactions. You are amazing.
I also want you to know that I have your back. I will give you the fire and creativity to knock them dead at work. I will be your personal cheering squad when you run (but please, no more marathons after this year, I beg of you). I will be there to make you smile when the world is mean to you, and beat the ever loving shit out of anyone who dares cross you. But, just like Meatloaf, I won’t do just anything for love. I have demands:
- I want weekends to do what I want.
- Any money we make off this book is MINE. And I want a new computer.
- I want you to call on me before you get too wrapped up in your own anxiety
- I want to go on a writing-cation this year.
- I want the freedom to spend money without you bitching at me every five seconds. We have enough, I promise.
- I don’t want you to sacrifice me for the things you’re “supposed” to do.
- Make me a priority.
Most of all, I want you to work on being happier and more confident in your own skin. I don’t want to hear you hating on yourself or the way you look, think, talk, whatever. Try to see the beauty in yourself more often. Stop being your worst enemy and sabotaging yourself into thinking you don’t matter.
After all, you made me. And that’s an incredible feat in itself.
It’s been three years, and holy cow. How “crazy” it seemed then to quit the job and write full time. I’ve been doing that since November 2015 (to varying degrees of success). Far from keeping any money I make writing, I have a damned EIN and business checking account.
When I step into this Suni-Whit mindset, it’s the time when I can be completely honest with myself. This has been my most-used tool in the mental health arsenal. Suni gives me a safe space to speak what I’m afraid to say, and once it’s out in the open, we work through it together to come to a happy resolution.
I’m honestly incredibly proud of myself for all the work I’ve done since then–book-wise and life-wise, and also emotionally.