Hello, dearest friends,

I wanted to write this while all of the emotions are still on the surface. ALL of the emotions. Because there is so much I want to say, and so much gratitude that I want to express. I’m not sure if there are even words for the depth of the emotion that I am feeling, but, I’m going to do my best.

I have been so truly overwhelmed by the response to my last post. Over the past two days, I have received comments, emails, direct messages, texts. I could never have imagined how many of you would take the time to read the post, or, a step further, contact me personally. And I am floored. That is the only way I can describe it. The past two days have involved a lot of crying. And for that, I owe you all the biggest thank-you. Scrap that, thank-you doesn’t even come close. I didn’t realise then, that I needed to relive those moments; revisit that darkness; in order to begin letting go of what I have been carrying around with me for what feels like so very long now.

I think the best way that I can summarise it; the emotion; is shame. I have felt ashamed of my ‘failure’. Ashamed that I wasn’t able to just be like everyone else. But, as it turns out, ‘everyone else’ has been something of a figment of my imagination. And my realising this, well, that’s down to you. Every single one of you beautiful human beings who took the time to respond to the post; with words of encouragement, compassion, and beautifully, words of your own stories. I can’t even begin to put into words what that has meant. I feel, for perhaps the first time, like I’m standing among people who not only understand me, and relate to my journey, but who are also telling me that it’s okay to be me. 

And I can’t even begin to tell you what that means.

We are all weathered by life, rough-around-the-edges, battered and bruised. Each and every one of us. But, instead of being engulfed by shame, and letting that be the reason that we aren’t talking about those things that scare us; I mean really, truly scare us, you have taken my hand, and shown not only me, but others, too, your scars. Your weather-marks. Your beautiful, beautiful patina. Isn’t that incredible?

And, if it’s okay, I’d like to show you something. Something I haven’t shown anyone before, and something I’ve been too scared to look at. Reminders of that time in my life, which for so long I have been ashamed of. But most significantly, reminders of the strength and resilience that is inside every single one of us. These are the words of some of those children, those Little Comets. Thank you, each and every one of you, from the bottom of my heart, for giving me the courage to haul these out of the place that I have been hiding them, for so very long. And thank you, Mama Booth, for doing the actual hauling. I love you.

What are the Little Comets in your life, friends? I’d like to encourage each and every one of you to take a moment to take note of them. And if you’d like to, please share them below. And if you don’t, that’s okay, too. Because taking note of them, and letting them be there, however uncomfortable those feelings are, is the best thing that you can do for yourself. Because, as my mom just reminded me (thank you, mom) – these are all a part of the mosaic of your life; and a part of who you are, and who you will come to be. And, I’m telling you, with not an ounce of uncertainty in my mind – you deserve the best. Because, you matter. And it’s as simple as that.

‘At first glance, it may look too hard. Look again. Always look again.’ -Unknown

With all of my love, always,

Caitie (and, of course, Soda) xxx