1. Sometimes, I feel uncomfortable with my first name, because it feels like a name for a child rather than a grown-up, but I also like it a lot. I've always loved my middle name, which came from the Fleetwood Mac song, because it was about a mysterious magic woman. It took me a while to decide wether to change my last name when I got married, and I am so glad I did because I love being a little tribe together. And when I put all three together, it's the best name I could imagine. I am Whitney Rhiannon Till.
2. I grew up in a small farm community in Nebraska, and now I live in a funny little village in Ohio.
3. I moved here for a magical forest, and ended up finding my whole life.
4. I met my husband on the street one afternoon seven years ago when he jumped out of his chair to open a door for me. That is the best thing that has ever happened to me. We are really compatible and have a lot of fun together. I’m learning that partnership is not about being everything to one another, which is nice, because it means I can take care of my own stuff, and get to know him for who he truly his. I really, really love him.
5. I spend my mornings working on this blog and my upcoming creations. I hope to gradually create a way to make a living by doing this kind of thing. We’ll see;)
6. I spend my afternoons taking care of our son, Malcolm. He is amazing. He is so good at playing and smiling and I’m so grateful I get to take care of him each day. I craved a baby for years, and I'm so glad he's finally here.
7. I’ve spent about ten years deconstructing my childhood hurts, some of which I talk about here, some I don't. It’s been really helpful to my well-being and mental balance to identify and heal these early wounds.
8. I love lattés and chocolate croissants together.
9. Sometimes, I really struggle with the fact that I have thoughts and feelings. More and more, I am able to find a really peaceful flow with them, but some days, I just wish they would all go away.
10. I always dress as a witch for Halloween. When I was a child, my stepsister and I had two witches’ hats: a nice one and a tattered one. Each year, we would alternate between who got to wear the nice one. We had a lot of fun together.
11. I have visited eight different counselors through the years. Of these, three were really helpful, three were not so much, and two were extremely skilled and helped me heal and learn in huge ways.
12. I love my mom. I am rooted deeply in her love for me.
13. When it comes to religion and politics, I like to hear the different sides of the spectrum, but I usually end up right in the middle, or a little bit to one side or the other.
14. My goal when I write is to help your life become easier and make more sense.
15. I love fall. It’s when I was born, and with total death, the whole world becomes one big comfy bed.
May you find what you need most,
Whitney Rhiannon Till
If you could see me on this day, exactly ten years ago, you would see a scared, beautiful young woman, standing on the edge of an abyss so dark, so hollow, and so vast, you would think it had no end. My heart was shattered, and for the first time I could see that the sorrow coming up in me was not just about an ex-boyfriend. Suddenly, all my "issues" were staring me right in the face, demanding my full attention. I had some shit to work out. I had not caused these problems, nor did I deserve them, but it was clear that I was the only person who would be able to heal them. I had a choice to make: I could either jump in with my whole heart and fight for my own life, or I could stay on solid ground, and slowly waste away, losing more and more of myself with every passing year.
I chose to dive in, head first, with no idea if I would ever make it out in alive.
If I could write a letter to that confused, terrified, perfect person, this is what it would say:
To You, You Dearest of Souls:
I know that you’re having a really hard time right now, and it just seems to be getting worse everyday. I am so sorry. The sucky thing is, it's might be awful for a while longer yet. So here are some essential things to remember while you try to feel better:
1) Who you are is okay. I know you usually don’t feel that way (and that’s okay too;) but you are a good and beautiful person, exactly as you are right now.
2) Your inner torment will gradually loosen. It may take a long time, and a lot of effort, and some help from a few key people, but it will get a little bit better with every passing year. You may not always notice it because this kind of change is really slow, but one day, you will look at your life and be able to say “Things are still hard sometimes, but at least it’s better now than it was then.”
3) You are on the right path. Just keep going. Just keep looking for those things that help you, that give you a sense of hope and possibility. The more you look, the more they will magically show up around you.
4) There are some very real and important reasons for why you feel the way you feel. You may never understand perfectly what those reasons are, but your pain and confusion have actual roots, and they will gradually lift.
5) You will find love and joy. I know this for a fact ;)
6) Travel. As much as you can. As soon as you can. Physically, Spiritually, Mentally. Expose yourself to as much of the world as you are able to. It will help you understand your particular place in it.
7) You are completely capable of doing what you need to do in order to get to where you need to go. The keys are already inside of you.
8) You are not crazy. (But it’s also okay if you feel like you are from time to time;)
9) Have fun. Do your work. Sleep at night. Eat your food. That’s really all you ever have to do. The secrets you’re looking for will appear as they appear.
10) There is an Indescribable Force of the DIVINE reaching out from deep within you, adamantly pulling you toward the places you need to go. Let it do the work it needs to do, because it will NEVER stop loving you.
You are in a key place in your life. Offer yourself all the love and compassion you can muster, and come back to these words whenever you lose your sense of hope that things will, indeed, get better. You are a treasure to this world.