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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

baby, do you like my sweater?

cause when it's colder 
i feel much better 
when i cry on my own shoulder 
i'll just throw on a sweater and go 
 and i'll go to undergo a change of heart, 
a change of clothes 
and when i'm home, 
i think i'll go eat cereal 
and stare out the window.
Jefferson Aeroplane, Relient K

It hasn't felt like fall yet. Not until this morning, when I woke up and I could tell before even opening my eyes that it was raining. The gray light leaked in through my blinds and I sat up and peeled the blinds away from my window, only to see my window mottled with raindrops and condensation. I went downstairs and felt that familiar chill on my skin, that chill that says, Fall is here.

And so I've been enjoying this rainy day, and I just got dressed into a sweater and fingerless gloves, because this is the kind of weather that deserves such a thing. No, I'm not completely happy. Life has been hard for me lately... really hard. But this rainy day, ironically enough, has cheered me up a little bit.

And so I'll sit here and try to ignore my headache, and let these words flow. I haven't been able to write lately, so this is glorious. It feels like me again.

Last night I was having a hard night. Mom and I were standing in the kitchen, and she opened the kitchen window and beckoned me to smell the rain. I love the smell of rain. Then she took me by the hand and dragged me outside, the joy sparking the air between us, and we stood on the front porch and drank the air in. Then my brother came outside and dared me to run down the steps into the front yard, which I did, and we ran around the dew-soaked grass and I felt the mud slightly squish beneath my toes and I loved it even though I'd just taken a shower. "Tag, you're it," my brother said and darted off and I chased him like I haven't been able to in a long time, forgetting for a little while the pain in my hips and in my head. And for once I actually tagged him, but whether this was because he was sore from football or was humoring me remains to be seen. It made my night.

After we'd skittered around the lawn for a bit, the energy in the air faded. I stood there looking up at the purplish night sky and thinking about the stars, and looking at the black outline of the tree branches above me. I remembered something my mom  had read me from the book Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge—about how sometimes we're closest to experiencing Jesus when we're in nature than we ever are by using words to understand or describe him. I held my hands out to the sky and just let that thought wash over me for a second, feeling close to Jesus again.

I looked down the street at a lonely streetlight that has always captivated me, and I debated whether I wanted to walk down there. Just in front of it, I saw a square of moonlight on the sidewalk, and I got it in my head that I wanted to stand in that light. So I took off across the lawn and our broken-up concrete, walking with my bare feet and all, until I was standing in the moonlight. It didn't feel any different, and sadly the moonlight looked prettier from a distance. However, down the sidewalk there's a tree, next to the streetlight. I've always loved that streetlight and its tree, for reasons I can't describe. The golden light filters through its branches and it's one of those things that seems like it's so much more than just a streetlight. I don't know how to describe it. I wish you could see it and feel the things I do.

So I just stared at it, thinking about how much I wanted to bottle this moment, this moment of adventure, of spontaneity, and how much I wanted to write about this feeling... whatever it was. The wind howled around me with its whistling chill, and I couldn't help but feel so, so small. I still don't know what happened in that moment, or what it is that I felt. But I felt like I was experiencing all the things I read about, all the things I hope to capture in my writing. What is that feeling called? Beauty? Hope? Adventure? All of the above? I don't know, but regardless, that moment was beautiful. It's one of those moments that make life seem worth living, and remind me that life is so, so much more than what it seems.

I have these moments a lot more than you'd think—the ones I can't describe, the ones that make me feel like a dreamer more than ever. Do you have them too?

I went inside, with mud caked on my feet and a new hope in my heart, and I felt much better. No, my problems didn't go away. Yes, I am still dealing with grief and sadness and pain. But I have hope. And that makes me feel brave.

This morning I'm not feeling totally amazing, but that hope is still slightly there, with the presence of my sweater and this rainy day. There's nothing better.

Oh, and do you like my sweater?

(The title of this post is from Sadie Hawkins Dance by Relient K. If you haven't heard it, go and do so. Now.)


  1. I have no words. that's one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. YOU are one of the most beautiful people I've ever known.

    love you so much! <3

  2. So, I read this post, and I felt like my Sam was back. For a little while, the one that I remember running in the snow with, and playing spy with, and laughing till we had tears rolling down our cheeks cause of some stupid plastic sea horse rings on cupcakes, and "pick Jesus" jokes, and... I realized I really miss you. So... when are we gonna jump out that first floor window AND SURVIVE!? :P Loves.

  3. This was perfect, Sky. I wish you could feel better, I really do; the only consolation I can give is that it isn't a mistake.
    I love rainy days, sweaters, tea/hotchocolate/coffee, writing...this post was just beautiful. I could almost feel it. :)

  4. What a gorgeous moment for you - and a well deserved one too! Like you, I'm a great lover of rainy days and the smell of damp earth.

    Sending many warm sweater/jumper (curse you Americans and your confounding phraseology!) hugs and good feelings from me. And lots of warm moments curled up in happy places. Or outside in happy places. Just lots of happy placs.

    Love, hugs, and chocolate,

  5. This post was beautiful, Sky! The ESSENCE of fall is now frozen forever right here in your post. <3
    What I love about fall is that it makes even mundane days feel adventurous and exciting. I don't know what it is - maybe the chill in the air.
    Oh, and I love your sweater. :)

  6. Ah, it's so wonderful to read the words of a dreamer and find I am not alone. What a beautiful post.

    I do have moments like this sometimes. Actually, it sounds like we've been going through some similar circumstances. Though life is full of pain and heartache, the smallest things can bring the greatest joys and changes. I've been looking to those little joys and finding that life, despite the many pains, is truly beautiful.

    I hope you have many more beautiful moments to come.

  7. ((hugs friend)) I loved, loved, loved this post. It was so beautifully written. I felt like I was right there with you. <3


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