Day 30: A Letter to Myself

Well Hi There Good Looking!

Wow, the temptation to hide this whole letter behind a thick curtain of irony is frighteningly strong right now. However, I’m going to try really hard not to do that, because to be perfectly honest, I’m so sick of hiding. I’m tired of finding the corner in a crowded room, I’m tired of trying to make myself small and un-noticeable (yes that is ironic, since there is nothing small about me!) and I’m just plain tired of hiding who I am behind who I think I should be.

A good friend of mine recently picked me up on the whole hiding thing. She said that my willingness to share my deepest and most personal life stories with every man and his neighbour is just another way of hiding. I shield myself with these stories like a careful camouflage, using them as a distraction. Much like the tail of a peacock. It dazzles the eye, distracting you from noticing that the bird is actually a dude, and that he’s dressed like the love-child of Elton John and Dame Edna (ironic). If you do happen to notice these things? Well, hopefully you’re still too captivated by the intricacies of that tail to care. Apparently I do that with my dazzling stories of depression, and being overweight. Who knew!?

So, what does all of this mean? Will I start wearing magenta spandex wherever I go now? Will I now announce my arrival into a room with a hearty rendition of ‘Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me’? No, I don’t think that’s the point of all this revelation. It’s not about me being noticed or unnoticed, it’s about coming to a place where I finally see the person I am and just accept her.

These letters have been a revelation. They have been a chrysalis, a journey and a birthing. They have revealed so much of what is within me, and they have opened my eyes anew to the extraordinary and miraculous people around me. I have been hugged, thanked, encouraged and embraced by people in a way I could never have imagined. I have reflected, and explored and articulated my life and self and I have been changed because of it. These things just don’t happen in a corner, they don’t happen when you are burying yourself in the sand, they don’t happen when you are trying so hard to be what you think is acceptable to everyone else. They’ve happened here, in this piece of cyberspace where I am front and centre. Where I have poured out my self and discovered a person I kinda like! she is caring, and insightful. She is witty and naughty. She is flawed and in some places a bit broken. But she is emerging, and she is brave, and I have a sneaking suspicion that she is also going to be a bit fierce!

I don’t know what the future holds, but I know it is big, I know it is good and I know I will play the main character! There are no limits, there are only possibilities and opportunities waiting for me to seize them. My life is immense and it’s about time I started to explore it!

And this will be my theme song!!

Now, chin up, shoulders back, and move away from the corner…

Love you xo

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Day 28: A Letter To A Friend I Haven’t Met Yet

Hi,

Image by Christopher Spiewak

I know we haven’t met yet, but I’m just going to write this to you as if I had known you forever. I hope you don’t mind but I have so many things I want to share with you, and to be perfectly honest if I had to stick within the traditional lines of friendship – well, it would take forever and there is no way I can wait that long! So, I guess that’s the first thing you have learned about me, I lack patience.

Another thing you will discover pretty fast is that I tend to jump right into the deep end, I love chocolate and I often have a highly inappropriate sense of humor, there’s probably lot’s of other stuff, but that’s what’s popped into my mind just now.

So, here’s where I  do that whole jumping into the deep end thing.

I hear that things haven’t exactly been going according to plan in your life, you know those plans we make when we are 8 years old and  playing with our Barbies or Cabbage Patch Kids? Did you have a Cabbage Patch Kid? Personally I preferred my My Child but that’s not important right now. What I was saying about ‘the plan’ is, that we only ever saw good things: a wonderful man, a beautiful wedding, noisily pushing out babies like they did on TV… It never enters into our mind that ‘the plan’ can make a major left turn and lead us along a path we never imagined. Yet here you are, in a place that you never pictured yourself, dealing with issues you really have no clue how to address. Perhaps have never felt so alone in your life, please don’t read that the wrong way, I know that you are surrounded by people who love you, people who care and are devoted to you in the closest way possible. But I figure, if I were in your shoes, there would be so many things floating (or bashing – which is more likely the case) around in my head – things that I couldn’t talk to any of those people about, so what do I do with them?

I don’t know the answer to that, but heres some stuff I have been thinking about lately instead.
Have you ever noticed how many people refer to hard times in life as storms? Heaps right? I think greeting card companies have made a fortune off that analogy! So, here are some of my own thoughts about storms:

  • Storms aren’t all bad – Sure they whip things around, they make a bit of a mess, but they always serve a purpose, even if we don’t know what that purpose is.
    I was in Beijing in 2007 and the smog got so bad at one point you couldn’t see more than 500m down the road, then there was this huge thunder storm, the kind that flash and rumble all night, while a steady deluge just buckets from the sky. Eventually it did end though and for the first time since arriving in China, I saw the blue sky. Yes, I know this is dangerously close to cliché but just bear with me. The storm cleansed a city, I’m sure it made life hard for many people while it rained, but that same rain cleaned the air that everyone breathes. It accomplished something that was completely beyond our ability to do for ourselves.
  • There’s an awful lot of space between raindrops – People don’t drown in the rain! I suppose this is a ‘glass half full/empty senario’. I mean, sure – yes it’s raining and there is no doubt that you are stuck in the middle of the downpour. You are dripping wet and surrounded by muddy puddles. But you aren’t swimming, so you aren’t even close to drowning, the reason you can feel where every drip hits is because of all the places they aren’t hitting! I have to admit, this thought made me want to go and dance in the muddy puddles and feel all the places the rain was missing me!!
  • Storms are a contrast, not a conclusion. They are a shadow that passes over a landscape, they are not the landscape itself. They are transient, no matter how fierce – they may impact, they may make a mess but they do not last forever.
  • There’s no point yelling at the storm, it can’t hear you.
    Imagine when Hurricane Katrina came rolling in, what person would waste their time on the shore, raging at the thunderheads? What would that achieve? So, when ‘storms’ strike in our lives why is it that we stand there impotently shaking our fist at circumstances we can’t change anyway? Yeah, I don’t know either.

I can get carried away, so I will stop there. I guess what I’m trying to say is, that I know you are having an awful time at the moment and I don’t know why. I don’t think anyone ever knows why bad things happen. I do want you to know that even though we haven’t met, and even though you might think this is really weird and strange – this letter is completely for you. 100% because I want you to know that I am thinking about you, praying for you and supporting you. I am a bit quirky, and I can ramble on, but I hope I have said some things that you needed to hear.

If you ever need to talk – especially about those things you feel you can’t share with anyone else, or if you just want to rage at the storm – you can talk to me. I am close enough to care but distant enough that you needn’t worry about upsetting me or hurting my feelings, most of all I want to be there for you. Because that’s what friends are for, and we are friends (great friends) even though we haven’t met….Yet

Love Always

Amelia xo

amelia@ameliahunter.com (just in case ;))

Day 27: A Letter To A True Friend

Hi,

Have you noticed that whenever we talk or write to each other it feels like we are just picking up our conversation wherever we left it last? I guess that lot’s of people feel that way, but it’s one of the things I like best about our friendship – that, and Matt Damon movies, and Zoolander, and iPhones, and Apple products.

You were a bit of a surprise really, certainly not what I expected when I first met you. To be perfectly honest I don’t know that I had any expectations at all.  You just showed up and promptly turned my world on it’s head, kicked me out of my rut, and pushed me back into the traffic flow of life (thanks for that!). You did all of this, and I’m still not sure that you even realised you were doing it at the time! But that’s just the person you are, you activate people, you flip their switches and push their buttons, you get them onto the path they need to be walking in order to reach their goals – or find their goals – or think about finding some goals to reach. You’re good at it too, don’t ever doubt that.

I love it that our friendship hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns , or beer and skittles, or paddle pops and milky ways either (I made that last one up). We have weathered a few storms, and believe me when I tell you, I thought a couple of them were the end of us. Yet, somehow we managed to navigate our way through them. I like to think that Matt Damon would be proud, in a Jason Bourne kind of way – you know, we triumphed in the face of insurmountable odds and all that. Seriously though, I’m glad we did make it through, because those trials – those times when instead of communication it felt like we were hacking at each other with samurai swords – yep, those trials somehow managed to transform into something beautiful and strong. A friendship that goes beyond the pop-culture brand of friendship and becomes something closer to family.

Not many people can honestly say they have a friend who has seen them at their worst. Now, I’m not talking about 6am bed hair, morning breath and panda eyes worst, no I’m talking about full meltdown, tantrum throwing, I want to scoop eyeballs out with a spoon worst  – just raw unadulterated ‘ugly-you’. Well I believe congratulations are in order, we have both been there – and survived! (can I have my spoons back now please?). There are lots of warm and fuzzy inspirational quotes which are applicable to this sentiment, but since you spend even more time on the internet than I do, I won’t bother repeating them here. I know you understand where I’m going with this.

Essentially, at some point you went past the parameters of friend and you became family. I don’t know how you did it, I’m impressed you survived to be honest, but now that you are family there’s some things you need to know.

  • You can never escape – I will hunt you down and bug you till you come back again, because that’s what a family is meant to do – stick together.
  • You never have to go far to ask for help – with anything (except body disposal, you know how I feel about your  homicidal tendencies) I will always be there to give you my best, even if my best is completely useless, it’s yours!
  • You will never be alone, you will always have someone alongside you – now read that carefully because it doesn’t say I will always be on your side –  what happens if I have to play against you in Monopoly or Scrabble?

In short I guess what I’m trying to say is that alone we are awesome, but together… WE ARE FIERCE!!!

I love you

xxoo

Day 25: A Letter To Christmas Shoppers

Attention Shoppers!

Since this is my 25th letter, and it’s the 1st of December I felt there was a nice sense of symmetry in addressing this letter to you. As you are no doubt aware there are only 23 full days of shopping remaining until all bets are off and the focus shifts from purchasing to cooking. The good news of course, is that shortly after the ‘cooking’ comes the ‘eating’ followed inevitably by the ‘sleeping’ for anyone over the age of 40 and all parents who were awake till all hours ‘preparing’ only to woken up pre-dawn by over zealous children for whom sleep was no longer an option.

So

Before you can get to all of thatyou have to make it through the next 23 days. I would like to share some friendly advice in the hopes that it will make these final frenetic days easier on us all.

  1. Carparks are not battlefields.
    Every year I am astounded by the collapse of civilsation that occurs in shopping centre parking lots. Generally speaking,  when we choose to go shopping in the month of December, it should come as no surprise that at least 80% of the population will have had the same idea. Why then, is it such an outrage to people that they will have to spend longer than their accustomed 5 minutes looking for a carpark? This is when you begin to see ‘competitive parkers’ at their worst, most psychotic, finest – they feel that speed and cutting corners will win them the prize. Then there are the ‘creative parkers’, they meander through the stipulated aisles for a time, then simply create a spot for their vehicle, regardless of nature, road markings or intended use. The list could go on forever, I could discuss the ‘irate parker’, the ‘greedy parker’ or the ‘hot-and-bothered parker’ (Christmas Down Under is in summer remember – much of our shopping is done in 40°C (104°F) weather!). Let me just ask that you take a moment before you even leave home to accept that parking is going to be a challenge, instead of succumbing to one of the above, choose to take deep breaths and relax until you find a space.
  2. $$$ Does not = ♥!!!
    Unfortunately we live in a world that is dominated by a commercially driven media. Said media has spent the last 30 years becoming masters at turning ‘wants’ into ‘needs’. Daily, we are bombarded by messages that manipulate and distort the way we see the world, ourselves and each other. At no other time is this more prevalent than during the holidays – “If you really, genuinely, deeply love her, then you must to buy her these amazing diamond earrings!”.
    “Parents, the only way that your kids will ever know how much they mean to you, is if you purchase them another, newer, more realistic (and way more expensive) video game console!”.
    This is so far from reality that it borders on the insane. For most of us, money is tight at the moment, yet millions of families will go further into debt this festive season in the vain attempt to prove that their love measures up to a bar that is designed to always be out of reach. Spend some time (not money – did you see what I did there? :)) and think about what really matters to your true love, is it time, adventure, or romance? Get creative and think outside of the retail grease trap. One  simple gift, filled with thought and love is worth so much more than a generic, expensive and mass produced ‘something’, which – more likely than not also contributes to the subjugation of workers in the third world! Don’t you agree? Spend less, but give more of yourself. 
  3. Christmas is NOT about gifts – It is about THE Gift.
    Don’t worry I’m not going to get preachy, but I feel we need a gentle reminder of what this holiday is all about. I mentioned earlier, the consumer culture we live in dominates the way we celebrate Christmas, the sad thing is it’s only getting worse. It’s sad because the more it becomes about spending and purchasing and gifts and stuff, the emptier we feel at the end. Every year people become more and more disillusioned with the entire celebration. Why? Because it has become a franchise. It has moved so far away from it’s actual meaning that it has lost all meaning.
    Christmas is the celebration of God’s gift to the world – Jesus, not Justin Bieber. People want to celebrate His birthday, yet can get downright defensive and insistent that Jesus has nothing to do with it! Sorry folks, He is Christmas. You can ignore what I’m saying, that’s completely up to you, but them’s the facts and ignoring them wont change them.

So, as you embark upon what is in reality a wonderful and joyous, sometimes insanely busy time of the year, I hope that you take a moment to really examine the things you’re doing. Be it battling in a parking lot, parting with your hard earned (or borrowed) cash or figuring out what it is you believe. I want to encourage you to make room for Jesus in your celebrations, because it is after all His birthday you are celebrating.

I hope you have a safe and happy Christmas.

Love Always

Amelia xo

Day 22: A Letter To Make You Smile

Hi,

My last couple of letters have been fairly deep,  perhaps not my letter to Santa but still, Christmas gifts are nothing to laugh about, so I decided to write you a letter that would make you smile. The problem with this concept has been that so many of the letters I’ve begun tonight have had to be abandoned due to content concerns.

For example, my first idea was to discuss what my life would be like if I were a man. I know, in theory it’s a great idea right? The problem was, that about a third of the way through I became so frustrated with my perception of how a man would see my life that I wanted to throw the computer through the window. It wasn’t funny, it was sarcastic and small minded and cliched – it also focused far too heavily on breasts.  So I took a break and started watching Criminal Minds instead. For anyone out there who may also be trying to create something humorous or uplifting, Criminal Minds probably isn’t the best ‘mood setter’ for your creative juices.
Next I tried something similar to my previous attempt and simply examined the differences between men and women. No, not physically, but rather looking at how they experience the world. I was actually really enjoying writing about this, until I realised that once again I had written nearly 200 words about breasts. Not appropriate at all and at this stage I was beginning to suspect that I may have issues.

So by this time I wasn’t just struggling with the frustration of writers block, but I was also considering my possible need for counseling – due to my disturbing preoccupation with breasts (I’m doing it again aren’t I?). I hadn’t achieved anything more than  350 inappropriate and therefore deleted words.
I was fuming, I needed chocolate. Turns out we didn’t have any! Why was there no chocolate in my house?

What on earth could I possibly write about that would make you smile. There was clearly nothing left in the entire world that was funny. All humour had been sucked from the universe (along with all the chocolate in my house), leaving nothing for me to write about tonight that would elicit even a smirk from the most lighthearted reader.

So I’m sorry to inform you that this letter contains nothing hilarious, funny or even mildly amusing. I misled you with my affable and enticing title, instead I have spent the last 400 words telling you exactly how I have tried and failed to deliver on that very promise. I have learned nothing, I did not grow as a human being, there was no journey, arc or epiphany.

Wait a minute.

I did learn one thing.

Did you know that there are over 138 slang words for breasts?!

Ha! Made you smile!

See Ya! xo

Day 19: A Letter To Santa

Dear Santa,

Define Good…?

Do you mean ‘good’ like Mother Theresa good? Because I don’t know anyone with leprosy, and if I’m being really honest changing a nappy makes me nauseated , I just don’t know how I’d go with bits of people falling off.

Does that mean that I’m not good?

Or do you mean ‘good’ like Steve Jobs was good? Because while I really really love gizmos and gadgets and all things techno, I don’t have the slightest idea how they work and I don’t know my 1’s from my 0’s when it comes to binary! How am I supposed to measure up with a guy that has changed the face of technology for longer than I have been alive?

I really think you could have been a little clearer on this stipulation you’ve put out there for us! Good, what is good? How good? How often? Are we meant to be good all the time? If that’s what you had in mind, then only Jesus should expect a visit from you at Christmas. That’s kind of ironic since Christmas is also his birthday, and that would mean he’s going to get presents anyway – not that he doesn’t deserve them, he does because he’s good. That’s my point! Do you see my dilemma? I really love gifts at Christmas time but with all this confusion over your qualifications I’m more than a little concerned that I’ll be disappointed on Christmas morning.

Do you have a scale of ‘good-ness’? Are certain behaviours rewarded more than others? Are those times that I am good, cancelled out by those times that I’m not? Do my acts of kindness get erased by my moments of bitterness or selfishness? When I speak with anger and my words cause hurt, does that nullify the times that I seek to comfort or encourage? It’s all very confusing, and I’m a grown up, how are kids meant to understand what you want from them?

So I’m just going to go out on a limb here and come clean. I’m not good. Not really. I know what I think when I’m hurting or angry, I know how I’ve wished for others to be bought low just so I didn’t feel so bad. I have have lied, I have cheated (at pictionary) and I have stolen. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m pretty sure none of those things qualify me as being ‘good’. It’s much easier to sigh and accept the fact that I don’t measure up than it is to constantly try and convince you and myself that I am better than I probably am.

There it is, the facts. I am a human being. I make mistakes, I hurt people, I make bad decisions, I get grumpy for no reason and sometimes I get really bad road rage. So, if that means that I miss out on a visit from you this year or (baring a lobotomy or sudden divinity) any year, then I guess I will just have to accept it.

However.

Just in case you decide to be a wonderful and upstanding example of ‘good’, please find attached a list of things I would like for Christmas this year.

Anything from Pandora
Lots of stationery
Pretty red shoes
An air-conditioner
Anything sparkly and shiny
*You have always had wonderful taste in the past, so if you think you know better feel free to improvise 🙂

Sincerely (trying to be good)

Amelia xo

Day 17: A Letter to a Twi-Hard

Dearest Twi-Hard,

I am writing you this letter, because quite frankly I feel that you’re in need of a voice of reason before you watch the newest installment of the Twilight Saga. Now I like the movies too, although perhaps not as much as a certain English girl on YouTube (I won’t post the video here because she swears so much!), but I have to admit that some fans make me a little embarrassed to be a 30 year old woman at the movies…

It isn’t the screaming youngsters who disturb me, they’re entitled to their share of teen obsession just as every generation that’s gone before them. I’m thinking for my parents generation it was Elvis and The Beatles, while the faces that adorned the walls of my friends growing up were Christian Slater, NKOTB and for a brief meteoric moment Edward Furlong. So, as I was saying, todays teenage girls are welcome to swoon at the sight of a life-size Edward shaped cardboard cutout at the local shopping mall, this doesn’t disturb me in the least.

No, the demographic that has me cringing are the host of 30-somethings who, inspired by the angst-filled first-love drama in these stories, sigh and pine over the barely-past-puberty lead characters. Frankly it’s gross. I mean ladies, I sat in the theatre on opening night of New Moon and was horrified to see women older than me ogling Taylor Lautner when he took his shirt off! Taylor Lautner was 17 then people, that is just very very wrong.

You need to understand that you are a grown up now, your days of wanting to your life to resemble an episode of  Neighbours or Home and Away are long behind you. By now you should have figured out that real life simply doesn’t happen like this, if it did, you would have survived 2 fires, 3 explosions, 1 hurricane and 1 freak tidal wave, 4 fatal car accidents, 1 case of amnesia and 3 pregnancies 2 of which you were uncertain of the father. I say thank God for a mundane life!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy the movies, or even allow yourself to indulge in the nostalgia they evoke. I am simply asking you to control yourself, keep those feelings inside and instead smile indulgently at the teens whose turn it is to obsess. Your life is what you make it, don’t make it a sad and pitiful thing by mooning over children who were still in nappies while you were having your first kiss!

Please just bear it in mind okay?

Sincerely grateful

xo

 

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