For the past week and a half, I’ve been doing everything and anything I possibly can to avoid writing this post. I didn’t feel inspired by anything enough to write about it. Until, that is, I confessed the block’s arrival to a fellow writer, Darya Danesh. She shared a blog post she had written a few days before, one that wasn’t as structured and well written as she would have liked but that had me tearing up with its honesty and the message of love that ran through its core. Her reply to me telling her she had inspired me is the match that lit the flame creating this post right now.
“That makes my heart smile,” she wrote. “All I want to do is inspire in this life…”
There was something about the way the words jumped off my screen that triggered the revival of inspiration I felt last month when I came back from the UK premiere of the documentary Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise.
It was my sister who encouraged me to attend the event and, I confess, I was reluctant to – Maya Angelou was her thing, not mine. But sitting in that room filled with men and women (some of whom were only just discovering her, like myself, and others who had overcome dark chapters in their stories because of her), listening to the difficulties Maya Angelou overcame, the philosophies she lived by and the encouragement, inspiration and beauty she spread, it was hard to retain that belief.
I came out of the event feeling the guilt, grief and upset I had been harbouring for longer than I can remember slowly leaving me. But it wasn’t just a balloon being sent off to fly the open skies, it was leaving me in the form of word.
Suddenly, I decided that these letters (to the people who had hurt me, to the people who I felt I had hurt, to myself…), once written, wouldn’t sit in a drawer to gather dust or be burnt and turned to ash. No. They’d be released. Posted to the internet. I would bare my heart and soul, not to have the recipients read them, but in hope that any of these letters, filled with realisations that replaced the guilt, grief and upset, would stop someone from feeling the way I was feeling as I wrote them.
So, dedicated to my sisters, my parents, Darya Danesh and Maya Angelou herself, I'm starting a new project: Letters From The Heart.
I'll be releasing these letters online, two a month, from my twenty-fifth birthday onwards as a way to celebrate the life I've been lucky enough to live so far and the encouraging a more beautiful, brighter future. Keep an eye out for them!
If you want to join in with the Letters From The Heart project, drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org!