By Sarah Huntington, Runner / High School Basketball Coach
A self-love letter
Dearest Sarah Emily, Emy, Lil’ P, Sra, Sradada, Hunt, Hunty, Em, Coach, Ms. Huntington, Sarah, ME,
Where do I begin? Perhaps I should first apologize for all the times I’ve put you down. For all the times I looked at you and thought: not pretty enough, not popular enough, not fit enough, not funny enough, not outgoing enough, not strong enough, not worthy enough, not good enough. I am really sorry for treating you like shit and taking advantage of all that you are. So, I am writing this letter to tell you how much I love you.
It has been a long journey. Ever since you were little, you were not the outgoing, loving type. Your love always ran deep and quiet. You were often critical of yourself (although never judgmental or critical of others), and you always held yourself to some pretty high standards. This too is what I love about you, your relentless drive, but I also wish you weren’t so hard on yourself.
Some of the beautiful memories I have of you are on the beach, laughing, with sweat and salt stuck to your skin. You are most beautiful when you have just finished a run, no makeup, stripped down and running into the ocean. You, sitting in a beach chair watching the sunset, with a good book in your hand and an ice-cold beer in the sand. Or, when you and your brother and dad are in the waves chanting “We want a big wave not an itty bitty wave”…
It is in the sparkle of your eyes when you are truly happy. The way you get excited about the little things in life. The way you light up when one of your students has a brilliant idea, or how you cry when you are so moved by love. Your laugh and your playfulness (when you feel comfortable) are like sunbeams on a summer morning.
Additionally, your strength is one of the most beautiful things about you. You are by far one of the strongest people I know. To go through the complete and utter upheaval of this past year and to still be here standing and smiling – look at you living and shit. You are utterly amazing. And it is true, when you have seen such darkness you have two choices, and your choice to love more deeply and more wholly is unbelievable. Where most people would be bitter, you have chosen love and acceptance for your journey. That is so admirable.
Your biggest struggle has always been in feeling attractive and beautiful in the skin you are in. It is easy for you to love your brain, because you are an intellect. You love your capacity to think and be; it is the acceptance of this outer shell and recognizing that you are worth a great, deep love where you waver. And, if I could just let you in on something, you deserve to be loved deeply, soulfully, intellectually, and physically. You deserve it girl – you really do. And, frankly you aren’t too bad to look at either.
Your spirit and life force is Spartan-like. I am so lucky to have gotten to know you more deeply in this past year. It wasn’t pretty, but I love you even more now that I have witnessed your pain and struggle. Your passion, empathy, kindness, caring, commitment, awareness, intellect, and deep soulful love are what will keep us alive. I will always love you even if I still sometimes get mad at you, berate you, or wish you were different. There is no one I would rather be…
I can’t wait to find out more about you. To continue to grow old and find out all the secrets – to maybe become a novelist or a sports model, or just to sit in a cabin in Maine with a wood stove and be. I can’t wait to see what is in store for us. Whatever storms may blow, I am really happy it’s you and me.
With all my love and sincere gratitude,
A vagabond by nature, Sarah Huntington has traveled to Egypt, Argentina, Turkey, Austria, Vietnam, London, and France... to name a few. She loves to travel, hike, and explore the world. She played collegiate basketball and studied Literature, History and Education at Connecticut College, and is currently a high school English teacher and basketball coach. Sarah is also a runner (completed the NYC Marathon), and her newest workout obsession is kickboxing. Sarah currently lives in Wilton, CT with her pitbull Jada, and enjoys spending her "free" time writing, reading, practicing yoga, working on meditating, and investigating all things related to fitness, fashion, and literature.