A Valentine’s Day Letter to Myself

Dear Evelin,

It’s February 14th 2013 and you’re on my mind. The last three years have been a journey from a good place to an even better one. You have done so much, learned so much.

Three years ago today you were getting ready to go on your second “big trip” alone. You had to convince yourself (not too much) and your family that a trip to Israel on your own would be a good way to spend the last weeks of the Swedish winter. You tried your best to pack smart things, getting ready for whatever might come your way in that small country with so many great places to see. And you eventually got packed and headed out on your journey. The first impression you got scared the shit out of you. Being questioned “Why are you coming to Israel?) not one time but THREE before even getting out to the baggage claim at the airport in Tel Aviv was hard. You thought you were just a sweet little Norwegian/Swedish girl that would be more than welcome to the country?! Even if you were, the reality in that country you’d chosen to go to was different. And you felt it. You were scared and uneasy because you really didn’t know how to react when someone actually questioned you.

But you handled it and you got out of the airport and took the bus out of Tel Aviv and out to the desert of Negev. You beat the heat, you rode a four wheeler, you hiked around and you smiled. You didn’t even scream your heart out when you saw a scorpion. You learned about a different climate and culture and you finally, after being intimidated for weeks, embraced it. You learned that you’re allowed to be LOUD, you’re allowed to be SEEN and heard. And you grew. You grew stronger, FELT more (feelings suddenly became real and grounded in the YOU that you were) and took on whatever came your way.

You left the desert for other adventures. You spent time in Jerusalem, in a tiny little town where you’d get to be a part of a jewish family during holidays, you hiked alone from Nazareth to The Galilee and you wandered the streets of Tel Aviv. Spent time in a bar, reading a book all by yourself. Alone but not lonely. You enjoyed the city without getting drunk, without getting swept off your feet by the charming dudes that wanted a piece of that blondness of yours.

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You went to the West Bank and had tea with the locals in the middle of nowhere and you ate a lot of wonderful food. This was the trip where you found out more things about yourself, and when you accepted who you were and what you were capable of. You had an open heart and mind and dared to love yourself in that way we should all learn to love ourselves.

And after those planned six weeks in Israel (that turned into 11 weeks) you had grown to be a different and more colorful and unafraid you. You got back to Sweden and wondered “What’s next?!”. You set up goals and you worked hard. And then you took off again. You left Sweden in company of your backpack, to relax on the beaches of Thailand. And you did! And this also turned out to be the journey that took you all the way from Sweden, to Thailand, to the US and finally to a life in the state of Hawaii.  Because  on one of those Thailand beaches you happened to meet the LOVE. And love turned out to hit you in the shape of an American man.

Together since then. You’ve been teaming up with a man that not only love and supports you but also challenges you. He’s the one to bring out your strengths when you forget you have them. He’s the one who believes in your greatness when you run away from the fact that you are pretty darn amazing.

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Dear Evelin, if you ever doubt who you are and what you’re worth. Look back at this. Remember that feeling you had in Israel – that feeling of being a strong woman! A woman who have faced the fears and difficulties of life and survived. A woman who isn’t afraid of traveling alone, who will get through even the toughest of challenges. And never forget to love yourself like you’ve learned to do. Never forget that you are worth it all – all the greatness that may come you way, even if you have to fight hard to get it!

And never forget that the man by your side is in love with you. The one you truly are. He knows your flaws and he lives with them. He helps you face them when it’s necessary and it’s not because he’s a bad man. No, it’s because he wants you to be able to be truly HAPPY. To be happy with yourself and all the things you are, and happy with him for who he is. And you two share a great story and a great life, which will only get better. The journey for you have only just begun!

 

Dear Evelin,

I’m so happy I’ve been getting the chance to get to know you better. That you didn’t give up life earlier like you wanted to. You are worth to live, love and be loved. Do not forget this.

I love you.