113

a thousand miles from my front door
I’m farthest from any
comfort-zoned concept
of home

we’re drinking, clinking
celebrating the future of everything
eulogizing the last twenty-some years
of figuring it out and miraculously
ending up here

I wonder how explorers felt
when their feet planted on unchartered land
and realized that
home is anywhere you make it so

111

does it ever cross your mind
heart eyes across the telephone
so dejected, disconnected
some company you are

screen cracked, rose-coloured glass
maybe you’re all tied up
I’m curling the corkscrew wire
tousling through my fingers like
those fall nights when we’re alone

casual cruelty, always
aglow from your phone
read receipts left on read
are you even seeing me?

seeking quiet(er) moments 🤫

dear, you (1)

 

Another month gone, another new love letter. October came and went in the blink of an eye and I’m sure you had it jam packed with endless events: late nights, sleep-ins, hard work, Netflix binges, the list could go on. Today, let’s talk about just how busy our lives have become.

I spent all last week striding through these stunning scenes of red, orange, yellow leaves and the sound the wind makes when it dances through it. An ode to a crisp autumn, it’s amazing just how much you hear when you start really listening. Birds pecking away, leaves crunching underfoot, a dog barking in the distance. And the silence.

The moment I started to realize just how quiet it was, I realized how loud the rest of my life is. Head-down-headphones-in, meetings galore, cars honking, endless chatter. Since coming back to my reality this week, here is my two cents: clear up some space in your life to let great stuff come your way.

Our concrete commutes and dedication to the #grind aren’t the only things we have going for us. We have long lives ahead full of innovation, boundless creativity and genuine human connection.

The best parts of great thinking are in the times when you can actually hear yourself think. Let yourself have that freedom. You don’t have to always be plugged in, you don’t always have to be as successful as your Instagram says you are. Sometimes, you can just be you. And that’s pretty damn great, too.

***

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love,
ELLE

106

perfectionism, permeating
everything I do
making competitions out of conversations
hoping, always, for a bronzed statue in my name
for a race that didn’t exist

I fought myself to push harder
to be better when I was fine as is
exhausted to impress others
and maybe even me, too
perhaps the silver lining
is that I grew weary of winning
when everyone I met was my opponent

I’m passing the baton and
throwing some matches
catching up with myself again, I’m
watching sunsets, golden
emboldened to be calm
to be anything I want to be
in any given moment
even if I’m not a winner every time

103

On summer days, I’d dream of flowers
wildly tamed in a tweed bouquet
delicate daisies, soft touches
I feel the wind in my fingertips

Often I dread how
summer passes in the blink of an eye
in the heat of the moment
I hope it slows down
I hope the cool will calm me

102

I’m finding myself in hidden places
in foods I swore I hated
in places I swore I’ve been
perhaps in a past life
I could’ve been them all.

I think of each time I’ve grown
when I’ve nurtured myself from seed alone
tended to leaves that withered
waiting for them to grow back, stronger
I’ve been told that I overprune
that I’m quick to discard
failure as incurable

Perhaps one day I’ll learn
growth from grief
and leave the ugly parts alone.

pick your battles

dear, you (1)

 

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything is a quote I heard a year ago that I often play in my head when I’m feeling overwhelmed. There have been times where the goings have truly gotten tough and I wonder to myself: “How can I do all of this?”

I’m not here to tell you to get an agenda or planner. I’m here to tell you a simple response to that inner monologue:

You don’t have to.

Whether it’s at work or at home, you have a team of humans who were pulled together as a team to well, do it all as a team. There is no honour in being a martyr who can do it all, and there certainly isn’t honour in struggling but not telling anyone you need help. Sure, there may be praise for getting it all done on your own but in my experience, that praise never comes. Because when you struggle and complete the nearly-impossible tasks without asking for help, no one really understands the breadth of how much you did and thus, your hard work may go unnoticed.

Look around at the stuff you have on your plate and consider,

“Do I need to do all of it in this timeline?”

“Do I have anyone who can help with some of this?”

“Am I doing my best and still can’t do it all?”

Then, decide. All anyone can ask of you is to do your best. You have the knowledge and strength to take on anything this world is going to throw at you, but you can’t fight every single fight. Pick your battles and make these decisions out loud. Ask for help when you need it, and take a break when you know you need that, too.

 

***

Did someone forward this to you? Subscribe here to receive a pep-talk straight to your inbox on the last Wednesday of every month. See ya then!

love,
ELLE

mind your beeswax

dear, you (1)

 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what success means to us. Is it a nuclear family and a solid median household income? Is it travelling the world and learning new languages? Is it spending time with friends and writing your book? And if it isn’t one of these things – is that a failure?

There are so many paths to take at every point in our unique adventures. People in my life are pursuing dreams bigger and smaller than mine, but that absolutely doesn’t mean that any of us are doing this wrong.

It can feel terrifying to compare yourself to the folks on your Instagram feed. Some might have a Masters, a new family, a house, a beautiful wedding, a cool job. If you’re comparing notes with people on social media, it’s no wonder you feel like you don’t stack up.

When was the last time you shared a post online about something awful that happened to you? Probably never. And why would anyone else? In fact, maybe someone looks at your perfectly curated life online and thinks that you’ve got it all. We’re all in on this charade together.

Live your life in whatever way you’re happy with. There’s no how-to manual on navigating the rest of your life. We’ll all get there in the end. Take your time. Have fun along the way. Turn off your wifi sometimes.

 

***

Did someone forward this to you? Subscribe here to receive a pep-talk straight to your inbox every Wednesday. Until then, see ya next week!

love,
ELLE

92

There’s a carousel of people I know
nestled into my phone feed
that are having kids, buying homes
doing everything right and
looking good doing it

There are nights I stay up late
and imagine all the things I’ve done wrong
and how I could’ve grasped perfection
plucked it off the tree
if I had tried hard enough.

By morning, I’m forgiving myself
heading to the market and seeking
only the best fruit
I’m digging my fingernails into the flesh
making sure the peach is sweet
I’m poking and prodding and
making sure there’s not a single bruise
that I end up creating one anyway.