Wow, as I near the end of this year’s Birthday Resolution, the number of inspirations I have left to write are dwindling and yet my list of inspirations keeps growing. As you know, I put many of my lifetime inspirations into a hat so that I could draw one at random everyday and write a letter of gratitude to it. Because I get new inspirations everyday, I made sure to make “random inspiration of the day” an option of drawing several times throughout the year. I’ve decided to share one of these letters with you all today because the inspiration, Lori Dunn, is one of my fave bloggers! This is how I format them when posting them on social media.
October 31, 2019
Dear Raising My Rainbow and its author Lori Duron and her Family,
For my 35th Birthday Resolution, I am challenging myself to writing a letter every day this year to a different person, place or thing that has inspired me throughout my lifetime. Every inspiration, no matter how big or small, has been thrown into a hat, and each day I will draw one at random. Today I have drawn you!
OMG! I’m totes excited to have drawn your name today! I know how much this day means to CJ! It’s my fave holiday! You are so brave for sharing your story. And you did it to help others who have a gender creative child. You are a talented, humorous and endearing writer. It’s clear that you respect your family’s privacy and love them very much. You fight for the rights of your children at their schools and for the rights of future children at those schools. You help people understand a different perspective. Your blog and book were an amazing tool and resource for my project Cleaning Closets®. And your family is so strong. It took me a long time to find myself and my voice, and I applaud you for helping each other do that everyday. You are encouraging and loving and that shows. And you’re adamant about learning and growing and teaching. Thank you for all that you do to help others!
When writing my letters, I sometimes feel as if I have to write long epic pieces. But then I realized that each inspiration has a different level of impact to me. And a thousand words aren’t necessarily any more grateful than a few well-phrases sentences.
When writing my letters, I sometimes feel as if I have to write long epic pieces. But then I realized that each inspiration has a different level of impact to me. And a thousand words aren’t necessarily any more grateful than a few well-phrased sentences.
I have to admit that as the year goes by and more responsibilities and opportunities fall on my plate, it gets harder to keep up with my letters. However, I still love when I get the chance to sit down and focus on them because they remind me of where I come from and who/what has gotten me to this place in life and has dropped these opportunities in my lap. I still try to write the letters each morning on the train but some days I’m getting things together for my day or decompressing on my morning commute or writing about a lovah in my journal.
Even when I get behind, though, I’m glad I challenged myself with this Birthday Resolution and grateful to for the reflection.
Yes, I’m a little further behind than usual because I was travelling and then there was the 4th of July holiday, and then I was also just living my best life at the beach and with friends. We Chicagoans only get a few months of outdoor weather, so we have to take advantage. I’ve got some REALLY special people in this next batch of letters. And I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. That’s what’s really empowering about this project–it allows me to reflect upon the things that have made me who I am today. I totally encourage you to write a letter to someone or something that inspires you. Maybe not 365 letters, but I think that you can really learn a lot about yourself when you thank others for their contributions to your life.
Well, May 9 was the official halfway mark for my resolution, thus June starts the last half of the year. As you can imagine, it’s getting harder to randomly draw a number that hasn’t already been drawn before (because if you’ll recall, I actually use a random number generator online rather than actually pulling remaining names from a hat).
So that does take a little extra time each morning when I have to “draw” a new number two, three times in a row. And sometimes that takes even more time because there’s no WiFi on the train, and I’m usually outta data so I’m constantly getting yelled at by my dad because we’re on a plan together. Ha! But it’s a time well spent because it’s something I’m dedicated to. Although I suppose I could re-sort the spreadsheet in a way that could make it easier? I’d have to think a little harder about that. Ha!
Well…this round of letters includes dedications to two people who have impacted my life immensely: The Scientist and my sister. This is part of the reason this batch has taken me so long. I’ve been equally excited and nervous to write these letters, and I wanted to do them justice.
It’s ironic that I drew The Scientist on the day that I did because I’m pretty sure it’s the anniversary of (or close to) the date that I sent him flowers as an apology. He will never know how sorry I am and how much he’s truly inspired me to be a better person. Writing “to” him reopens those wounds of heartbreak, but I can’t deny the fact that he has influenced my life in a variety of ways. I want to tell him a thousand times that I’m sorry. But that’s not what any of these letters are for. This letter is to thank him for his inspiration, so that’s how I’ll keep it. Besides, I’m not actually sending him the letter anyway; I promised him I wouldn’t bother him again. So it’s up to the universe if he ever sees these words.
As for my sister, I will love her so deeply until the end of time. But love rarely comes without heartbreak and it’s not like we haven’t hurt each other. But I don’t think I can ever describe the power of her inspiration on me in a few words. But I shall try…
This year’s resolution came about while working on my most recent birthday show where I wrote duets with my friends. My 2017 show was all about my path to independence; for my 2018 show I wanted to honor the people who helped me get there. And so I wanted to continue this theme of gratitude throughout the year with my Birthday Resolution and write letters to the folx who’ve made a difference in my life. Since there are so many influencers in my life, it only made sense to write a letter everyday this year! And believe it or not, that’s not enough days to express thanks to all my inspirations!
Okay here comes another excuse for my tardiness in posting. But I’ve been distracted lately with finalizing things for my unemployment and food stamps. I also had a couple birthdays last week. And then I started a contract job last week. I had a very terrible couple days last week. I mean just the worst I’ve had in a very long time. And believe me, I can handle stress. Struggle is all I’ve ever known, so when it gets to a point that it effects me, then it’s a lot all at once.
But these are exactly the times I need my inspiration. So writing my letters has been slow this week but very much needed.
Well…I wasn’t quite so successful at planning out dates for myself on a monthly basis this year. I did, however, take myself out by myself on occasion, but usually impromptu and for only a nightcap. Which is one of my fave things to do at this cute local cocktail bar.
I also went out quite often with friends, both on planned and impromptu outings. I realize that’s exactly what I needed. I wanted to celebrate life with loved ones. My chosen family. Last year was all about my path to independence and this year was all about spending time with the ones who helped me get where I am today. And my annual birthday shows reflected that the past two years respectively.
My favorite part of the night of my birthday show was making everyone feel like royalty, literally, and watching everyone find the perfect crown just for them!
As for my 35th Birthday Resolution, I’m going to write a letter each day to a different person, place or thing that has inspired me in some way throughout my lifetime.