Dear Celeste

Dear Celly,  

First off, imma call you Celly from hear on out, as it is how I normally refer to you. Celeste is a beautiful name, and a beautiful woman, but Celly is the dear friend that I am writing to. Also, let me offer a blanket apology for any misspellings or grammar errors, my English major friend.

Secondly, I’m sure you are wondering, what the hell is this? Well, let me tell you. You’ve had some rough times, my friend, and bad days and sad days and worse decisions sometimes. But you are a lovely, beautiful person, my friend, and exactly that-my friend. The implication in that descriptor is that I love you-unconditionally, unreservedly, and irrevocably. Because in my opinion, that’s how love really works, and it doesn’t count as true friendship if it doesn’t equal family, and it doesn’t count as family if it doesn’t include love. So, long story short, you are my sister, and I love you. As I write this very post, we have 100 days left of our senior year of undergraduate education–100 days of living and laughing and loving together. At least, in the same place and time. So I decided, in the vein of having been writing you notes this year whenever you need a pick-me-up, that I was going to compile a collection of letters, and sketches, and photos, and songs, and whatever else I come up with, for you to look at whenever you need them. Some of them will probably be intended for specific events or occasions, others just ’cause. I’m intending to make this a daily thing, so you’ll have roughly 100 (at least) things to read upon graduation, but we’ll see how it goes. Anyway, the idea is that you’ll have these letters and sundry as a way for me to tell you things that I wish I could out loud, or that I think you need (or will need) to hear, and a way to just remind you that, no matter what, you are not alone. You are loved. You have a friend in me always, and this may be the best that I can do to be there for you when you need it later on when we aren’t together, but I’m trying, I’m reaching out, and all you need to do is reach back, to ask, and I’ll be there. So, I guess, sit back, read, and remember that I love you.

All my love,

Bailey

We accept the love we think we deserve

Dear Celly,

I told myself I was done writing to you for the night, because I have lots of other things to attend to, and I still have months to write to you. But I needed to get this down before I forgot what I needed to say and what I meant. (I’m typing this from a handwritten version, and I know that I still ended up not managing to hold on and get down everything I meant, but I hope I’ve gotten enough.) I walked into the apartment just now, and you were on the couch watching the Perks of Being a Wallflower. It was right at the point that Sam and the-one-guy-who-is-the-main-character-but-I-don’t-know-his-name-’cause-I-didn’t-watch-it were in her room after her graduation talking. And that one quote that everyone knows came up; “We accept the love we think we deserve.” I stood there for a moment and listened, and watched, and then looked over at you because you were exactly what came to mind just then, especially because I had just finished writing you a different letter. I know you have to have heard it before, and probably have thought about it. But what I want to know is if you understand it, if you believe and apply it and realize just what it means in your life. I have watched you for the past four years, and this past year in particular, make some really stupid decisions, some that just trainwrecked down the line. You’ve been in and out of relationships with guys, been in friendships with both guys and girls, that I have just shaken my head at and wondered why. You may be aware that I do this a lot in regards to you. I have always done my best to be neutral, to be supportive of you regardless of your choices, and to try and offer sense and sound advice and be somebody that has your back without being judgemental at all. And I never have judged you. I have walked away from a conversation with you where it’s felt like talking to a brick wall, because even when you self-identify your bad decisions, or acknowledge that I’m right about my advice, you still walk headlong and eyes open into whatever choice you set yourself on anyway, and that’s made me frustrated and sad, but I’ve never once judged you, or held anything against you, or turned you away. I understand, conceptually if not emotionally, how and why you make the decisions that you do. You’ve said it yourself–you have a hard time saying no to people, or standing up for yourself. Me too. Receiving attention from another person gives you good feelings and validation. But Celly-you deserve better than that. You deserve better than what you’ve been finding and accepting and holding on to long past when you need to. And sometimes you’re doing the other person just as much of a disservice because you aren’t giving them what they deserve either, but that’s something else. You have people, me included, who love you as you ought to be, as you deserve to be, but you have a hard time seeing and accepting it.

In my first letter to you, I told you that I believe love should be unconditional, unreserved, and irrevocable. Love should be boundless and overwhelming and full. I’ve got the belief and the balls to demand that kind of love in a romantic relationship. (At least in theory-you know full well I haven’t really had the practice, but I maintain that’s because I have high standards and good sense, plus a really small pond to fish from.) I refuse to give the time to a relationship if it isn’t going to be a full commitment, if it can’t be from either my end or theirs. And I haven’t found anyone worth the effort or time. It may be me and my cat and Jesus till the day I die waiting on that kind of love, but that’s okay. Animals and God seem to be the only ones that love that way, all the time. I admit, I have a hard time letting God in to be able to love me, and I sure don’t give it back the way I need to. I’m working on that. I’ve always believed that He loves unconditionally and forgives us everything if we only believe in Him.

For all my tough talk though, I have yet to find the guts to demand the love I deserve from my friends. I make dumb choices there, in a stupid blind hope that this time will be it. This time, this person, will be the best friend that for once I am their best friend too, that I’m not second or third or fifth fiddle to someone else. Some small part of my heart continues to hope that one day it would be you, even though the rest of me knows better by now. Celly, I don’t need or expect to be your first choice, your best friend, your favorite person in the universe. I can’t give you what you seem to want and need from a best friend-I just don’t have what it takes. And that’s okay. I’ll keep on waiting til God gives me the one who is supposed to be that for me. I think (and again, it may be a stupid hope, but I’m hoping anyway) that He may have done so already. I accept that everyone who enters my life does so for a reason. I’ll probably keep making friends with people who I give my love to, who I put my expectations and trust in, and will be let down. I talk a big game, but I’m tired of being lonely. It seems like every attempt, every new hope just sucks more out of me. But I’m an eternal optimist, and a sucker, so I’ll keep on trying and giving because we can never run out of love. I believe, as I’ve said before, that friends=family, and family=love, and love is unconditional and unreserved. So I’ll keep pouring out my love to friends that may not be friends back in the way that matches my equation. And I hope that at least my love is helping those people in some way that they needed at that point in their life. But Celly, the point of all this as to say that you shouldn’t let this happen to you. You continued to accept and cling to people, friends and boys, that don’t return the love you give to them, the way that I do. But unlike me, you have people waiting in the wings to love you like you deserve. Like your family, like me, like (I think) a certain boy who is crazy about you, and keeps waiting and hoping while you keep him dangling as you turn to everybody and anybody else for the love he’s holding out to you.

Baby, you need to learn to accept the love you actually deserve, not just what you think you deserve. Loud and fierce and bold and courageous and full and neverending. Let God love you. Let your family love you. Don’t waste your time and love on people who don’t love you like you deserve-wait for the ones that do. I will always be waiting with all the love you deserve, as soon as you recognize it as such, and that I’m holding my arms out waiting to give it to you.

I hope this came off exactly the way I intended, and not one of the many ways it could maybe be misconstrued. I didn’t tell you about my thoughts and feelings and experiences to make you feel bad or guilty, but as statements of fact and examples of the point that I am trying to make. We accept the love we think we deserve. We deserve love that is unconditional and endless. We only have to learn to think and believe that that is the case. And I’ll keep on believing it for you till you catch up.

All my love,

Bailey

9 Cutest Things Ever

Dear Celly,

Please. This…is amazing. If you have not seen it already by the time you find this post, are going to love it. But, knowing the speed of the internet, social media, and how much you watch interweb funnies, you probably already have seen it. If so, well then…enjoy it again.

All my love,

Bailey

Unity

Dear Celly,

I’m pretty sure I’ve sent this song to you before, but it’s been awhile. This is one of those bands that I’ve never heard of before, but I caught part of this song on the radio one day and fell in love with it. It is one of my favorites, and I think it has a really great story. Take a listen.

All my love,

Bailey

Procrastination

Dear Celly,

Procrastination. Something that you and I both are Olympic champions at. Writing a paper 3 hours before class. Pulling an all-nighter because you just couldn’t stop clicking on internet videos. Putting an end to a relationship. We need to work on that. My philosophy though, a lot of the time, is that when it comes to some things like papers and homework versus, say, a cool sketch or a new poem, that sometimes what looks like procrastination, and sounds like it, and oftentimes produces the same results…really is just a different kind of prioritizing. Yeah, an A on that essay is important to your grade. Having enough sleep to be functional and alert and able to participate is pretty important too. But the memories, or the emotions that are tied to what we are replacing those things with–those are pretty important too. As I write this, I am procrastinating on a ton of homework-which prompted this post topic. But I am banking on the fact that this collection of letters and such, the amount of love I’m pouring into these for you, the difference they may make when you are reading these at some point in the future of when I am writing it –these things are way more important than reading some dead guy’s book. Goodness knows I never sleep enough anyway, and I think this is worth the difference in a hour or too. So when we get the chance for a 2 am Waffle House run, or get inspired at a totally inconvenient time…let’s take advantage. We aren’t procrastinating. We’re prioritizing living over just existing. So Celly-take a moment, or an hour, to push everything away and just do something fantastic, however you may define that.

All my love,

Bailey

Charlie Kaufman Lecture

Charlie Kaufman Lecture

Dear Celly,

So, you may or may not have gotten around to watching this yet. If so, great! If not-do it now. Or, you know, whenever you have a spare hour. This is a lecture by the filmmaker Charlie Kaufman about screenwriting, and I think that you will appreciate a lot of what he has to say, both in regards to writing, and also little gems that apply to life. Please make sure to take the time to watch this at some point-it is so worth it.

All my love,

Bailey

I Told You So

Dear Celly,

Yeah, that probably doesn’t sound very nice. I promise, I mean it with good humor. This morning you admitted that I gave you sound advice months ago that you should have followed, and lots of warnings against a poor life choice, and that you should have listened to me. Well, duh, I responded, I’m always right. Which is not entirely true (I’m like Lysol-it kills 99.9% of the germs, I’m right 99.9% of the time), but I have a pretty good track record. You have made lots of decisions over the past years, and this year in particular that I shake my head and give you a disapproving look for, and you laugh at me and go on your way. And, well, I’m always right. You recently had a conversation with a friend about a boy you both knew, and were dogging on him, and I distinctly recall both of you being over the moon about him once upon a time. And me thinking you both were nuts. Who was right? Oh yeah, me. Anyway I’m reminding you of this now not to rub it in your face, but as a reminder. As you read all of the letters and sundry I am putting together here for you, remember-Bailey is always right. Ergo, you should listen to all the things I have to say and take them to heart. So when I tell you that you need to go fix a bowl of ice cream with all the toppings and dig in for some soul comfort, you should go do that. Or if I tell you to Google fluffy kittens, guess what? You oughtta do that too. And when I tell you that you are amazing, incredible, capable, and that I love you? Well…

I’m always right.

All my love,

Bailey

Your goodness will be at the forefront of any mind that loves you fiercely, boldly, with no sense of tomorrow.

Your goodness will be at the forefront of any mind that loves you fiercely, boldly, with no sense of tomorrow.

Dear Celly,

I am once again borrowing the words and sentiment of Hannah Brencher. Or rather, passing them along. I hope you check out her blog and her old letters at some point and read them. Honestly, there will probably end up being a lot on here, as she is a) a wise woman, b) a freaking poet, and c) somehow writes a lot about things that I think may speak directly to you. Hopefully you don’t burn out on them, but I haven’t yet. Anyway, read and enjoy.

All my love,

Bailey