A letter to myself a year ago: Alessia Solipaca

Dear past me,

Look around you; what do you see? You can see people’s faces, you can sit on the train looking at that person smiling while reading a text on their phone. But you don’t really notice it, do you? You are not looking for clues in other people’s faces; you feel so distant from them. It’s just another morning, it’s just another workday, it’s just the same old life going on. If only you knew that in one year all of this would just be a memory, maybe you would have given attention to those faces, maybe you would have felt less distant from them.

Looking back at us, I see an unhappy person, stuck in an unhappy relationship, stuck in an unhappy workplace. I wish I could cheer us up, telling you that today we are living the life of our dreams, but it wouldn’t be fair. You’d have high expectations, and we wouldn’t be able to meet them. Truth is, we won’t be able to see people’s faces anymore, all of those unknown faces around you will be covered by masks, yes, the ones doctors usually wear. And we will feel a bit less distant from those people.

The coronavirus pandemic is already around, but it feels so far away from us, you are sure it won’t affect our life, and maybe in a couple of months, no one will talk about it anymore. But our life will change. We will be ordered to stay at home most of the time, we won’t be able to see our friends, our families, as much as we would like to, we will feel lost. Mind you, don’t despair. We will be just fine.

Although in a difficult situation, you will be able to let go of that unhappy relationship, you will let go of that unhappy workplace, and we are in a much better one right now. Don’t be afraid, you will be able to relax and take a lot of time for yourself. You will still smile at strangers, and they will see that smile, from your eyes. So, keep smiling.

You are ready to face what’s coming our way, and you will be able to take the good from it. You will cry, you will laugh. You will feel lonely, and you will feel the support from those around you. You are strong enough, we are strong enough, and you will get to know yourself better. You will understand that through loving yourself, through our love for ourselves, you will find the strength to keep going, and as long as you have yourself, you will never be alone.

Wipe those tears and chin up. You can take it, we can take it.

Image courtesy of Annie Spratt.

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