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A meeting of two mending hearts on Valentine's Day
I’m writing to you from a couch in Atlanta, where I’m visiting my dear friend Samantha. In May, she called off her wedding and moved away from New York City. Since then, we’ve been each other’s constant support system, and I’ve been looking forward to traveling here to explore this city for the first time, and celebrate her new home.
She’s come a long way in rebuilding her life. We both have. But we’re not “done,” and I’m starting to understand (though not yet accept) that we never really will be. Change will be our constant companion, as human companions fade in and out, as the unplanned descends upon us and priorities suddenly change, over and over.
When Sam and I talk, we see each other. We see that we’re wounded, gingerly stepping back out into the world with fresh scar tissue. We still carry sadness. We’ve fought like hell to reclaim ourselves, to drain the heaviness from our bodies. We whisper about the dark summer we both spent in separate cities as the walking dead—you may have seen us then, even spoken to us, but we weren’t really there.
Today, we are both doing so much better. We got here through staggering amounts of self-care and mental health work and reflection and stillness, work that continues, though it no longer requires hours of daily attention or reverential concentration and discipline. We’re hopeful for the future, excited about love, and more open to life’s possibilities than ever before. The plans we once had fell apart. Others will too. We’ve decided to lean in.
Tonight at a restorative yoga class, our teacher asked us, “How comfortable are you with uncertainty?” I wanted to both sob and burst out laughing. It still doesn’t feel good to understand how little I know or can control—it probably never will! But I can control how I approach the world, and myself, and I’ve chosen to do so with an open heart. I see you.
Unmarried, happily ever after by Hilary Sheinbaum in the New York Times
I love Elizabeth Gilbert, and you can too by Sarah Menkedick at the Outline. I will read and listen to anything and everything Elizabeth Gilbert touches.
Tinder’s most notorious men by Kaitlyn Tiffany in the Atlantic
Our mothers as we never saw them by Edan Lepucki in the New York Times
My father the heartbreaker by Laura Zinn Fromm in the New York Times
Deleting your social media accounts after a breakup will set you free by Katie Way at Vice
Rob Krar’s never-ending race with depression by Christine Fennessy in Outside
I’m listening to:
Questionable self-care advice
Support I got that you might need to hear
This cheered me up
Exploring a new city with my best friend.
Anthem of the week
Thanks so much to novelist and Elite Daily senior dating editor Hannah Orenstein for calling out Cruel Summer Book Club as women’s media she loves over at the Clipped newsletter. And thank you for helping me realize that CSBC definitely needs a tagline rebrand, because yes, absolutely, one thousand percent, this is a newsletter about healing:
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