When I turned 40 I told myself: enough with the waiting. Begin. Write this letter, and the others. Give what you have to give. Say what you have to say. Even if it’s clumsy, imperfect.
But then I waited some more. And here I am at 46. A new year has just begun. Cold is harsh in Quebec City and the days go by.
But I won’t wait anymore.
And I tell you, as I’ll be telling you in the upcoming letters: you are a wonder, Wonder. Just as you are.
Not something I’d say out loud if you were standing in front of me, mind you. Discretion, or just the habit of not expressing enthusiastically what I feel would have make me limit myself to a slight smile or a wink.
Which would be a pitiful and clumsy way of alluding to what I really want to say:
You are a wonder, Wonder. An all-time wonder.
It’s only here, within this letter that I’ll be sending without seeing you, that I can say it loud and clear.
You are a wonder, and this is why I’ll be calling you by this name from now on.
Maybe you don’t believe me. Maybe there’s a disconnect between the words you’re reading now and what you feel. It may seem to you as if those words are not even remotely connected to what you think is true about you.
Because you haven’t completely lost this old habit of secretly being your own harshest critic. You’re still holding yourself accountable of every one of your missteps, every one of your shameful moments.
So when I say the word « wonder » and pretend it applies to you, I see you raising your hands in front of you and shifting your head to the side, as in an attempt to dodge something thrown at you. I hear you say: « No, really, no. Me, a wonder? What are you talking about? If you only knew… »
Hard to receive a compliment in a straightforward way, isn’t it?
Me too, Wonder, me too. I’ll have ample opportunities to tell you about some of my not-so-glorious moments and some of my b.s. in subsequent letters. Like the fact that I let several years go by before sending the very first one, the one you read right now.
Fear, of course. Fear of exposing myself, and thus be vulnerable. Fear, which is merely the flip side of the desire to share and to express myself.
But fears and wanderings are not what really matters. I mean, it’s not what counts. What counts is only determined by what you decide to count (I’ll talk more about that on another day).
Out of all the moments you’ve lived so far, which ones define you?
Which ones count?
The best ones, those who shine a light on your potential? Or the others?
The choice your make regarding this will determine what you’ll express of yourself tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow.
No pretending is needed to be fully who you already are, Wonder.
No, no need to pretend anything. All that is needed is to honour the Wonder beating in your heart, animating your brain, the same Wonder that is beating and animating the heart and brain of all those around you.
And start to move from there.
As for me, I’m not waiting any longer to start sending you this weekly letter. I remember E.M. Forster’s prescription to all those who wish to create something that matters: « Only connect ».
So here I go.
And I’m leaving you with this question: Is there something you’ve been waiting to start for too long?
p.s. I’m sure you know other Wonders. Would you please forward them this letter?
And to receive future ones by email: