Dear whoever the heck gets this,
Now, I’m going to call you Caden, dear reader. Because otherwise that would make me feel incredibly weird if you didn’t have a name. It’d make me feel like I’m talking to myself again, and I actually want to sound sane in this letter.
So Caden, I’m Elli. Or El, however you want to think about it. I’m a brunette, I get emotionally attached to fictional characters, and I love falling asleep to the sound of rain.
I’m different, though. In many different ways. I have no friends at school, I talk to people online, and I’m a total introvert. I get stressed over small things, but I still pressure myself to do well. Even though I have no motivation to get out of bed in the morning.
Ok, ok, ok. You’re confused, Caden. I can tell. This letter isn’t pointless, I promise. From the bottom of my developing teenager heart, I promise this letter won’t be boring. Or maybe it will, in which case I’m highly annoyed at you and you should give this letter to someone who can actually learn something from it.
I’m writing this to tell a story. This story is one that can do multiples things, depending on the person reading this. That’s why I want as many people to read this as possible.
Now, what I want you to do is listen to some white noise of a lake in the background of this. As you read, focus on each and every word, and how it makes you feel.
Caden, you will feel differently than another Caden. But you need to focus on how it makes you feel, and let that feeling stay with you for the rest of the day. Unless it made you feel horrible, in which case you should listen to your favorite song a cheer up again.
Ok, I’ll get into it now. The story starts after this sentence.
There’s always a single moment, a small second in time, when you really feel happy. When you forget about everything that’s going on, any horrible emotions you were feeling before. Mine takes place on a lake, far from my home. It’s waters were clear, with tints of blue and green as it got deeper. The rocks littered the bottom, mere feet from the surface of the water, until they dipped down in a drop off.
There’s a small strip of small cabins on the shore, only enough to fit a maximum of four people, maybe more if someone slept on the couch. They were huddled together in a line, with little privacy in the land between each one. The beach that the cabins line has a wooden handmade dock, leading almost all the way to the drop off. A bench was on the end, with a perfect view of the sunsets in the evening, and the sunrises in the morning. I would sit on that bench with my cabin neighbor, and we would chat about whatever the heck we wanted to chat about.
Past the drop off, there’s a swimming dock, floating high above the water. A plastic owl watches over it, guarding the raft from birds.
My memory was on that raft. I had been there so long that I had completely dried off from the swim there. Before, I had been dancing for 6 hours. It took a toll on my body. I don’t know what made me want to swim, and it was probably a bad idea. I did it anyway. Why? I don’t know.
But there I was. Laying on my back, the carpet on the raft irritating my open skin. The sunlight danced different shades of red under my eyelids, occasionally morphing to oranges and yellows. It didn’t just burn my eyes, but my skin too. It stung, but i still didn’t move.
It was when I opened my eyes that first time, when it hit me. The dazzling light of the sun reflecting off the water blinded me, and I was stunned with the sudden loss of sight. It scared me at first, but then I started feeling joy. Out of nowhere. My sight came back, and everything looked brighter. Even the thin line of trees across the lake looked clearer.
I fell in love with what was around me, and was grateful that i was there. Being out on the water, staring at the nature surrounding me, I felt truly happy.
In that moment, I forgot about my feelings. I wasn’t alone, I wasn’t sore, I wasn’t hopeless. I was shown what happiness feels like.
Caden, you’re a beautiful human.