some serious self-love/healing & an offering for a free writing gathering
hi, lauren deborah! is free for subscribers every week.
feel I am not sharing enough? ask me a question and I will answer it in a future post.
if you would like to say thanks for this love letter, please like or comment (it means so much to me to hear from you 🧡), forward it to a friend who might enjoy it or if you’d like to, you can buy me a slice 🍕
To my dear feet, sorry for looking at you in disgust for so many years. When all the other girls in class were growing boobs, you were the only part of me growing, along with my height, and I resented you for that. I hated how far out you stuck, making me feel like you were the only thing people saw when they saw me.
Sorry for all the times I flipped through magazines seeing celebrity after celebrity with tiny, dainty feet, and wishing you were them. Sorry for the years that pointed-toed heels were trending so I shoved you into ones far too small for me so that you wouldn’t be made to look even bigger. Sorry for the uncomfortable shoes I squashed you into year after year, chosen solely for their shape and not how they felt or how I liked them, rounding you off and giving the illusion that you weren’t all that you are.
Sorry for the time I watched a television programme that every day tried to sell us something new to improve our ‘apparently’ imperfect bodies and as a result, I was *this* close to getting surgery on you to make you smaller, softer, more feminine — whatever that means. Thank goodness I could never have afforded it by the time I realised how ridiculous that all was. Sorry for all of the summers I skipped letting you enjoy the sand or the fresh air of bare feet if other people were around, wanting to hide the toes I saw as gigantic.
Thank you for supporting me as I grew tall and strong, even if I didn't notice it at the time. Thank you for carrying me through long nights, early walks, across dance floors, onto planes journeying the world, into someone’s arms, to the front row of a show, and holding me when I didn’t think I could hold myself, sometimes when I couldn’t. Thank you for being one of the reasons I knew I was loved, without someone having to say the words, instead they grabbed you unprompted and affectionately gave you the love I couldn’t yet.
Thanks for reading hi, lauren deborah! if a friend forwarded you this, you can subscribe for free here!
To my wonderful legs, I am sorry for the years I pinched and prodded, pulled and stretched pieces of you, thinking that if I did that enough, the parts of you I was told to hate might fall off. Sorry for the years I covered you in hot Australian summers, deeming you too big for anyone’s eyes. Sorry for the times I blamed you for my need to skip an ice cream treat. Sorry that from an age as young as eight I recall sitting cross-legged in class and comparing you to my muscly friend to one side and my slim friend to the other, and hating you for not being them despite us spending our lunch breaks doing much of the same thing.
I am sorry for the years I used you as a vessel to consume my pain, the years I was too sad to carry it alone and too inexperienced to know how many better ways there were, so I scarred you to take off the pressure. I am sorry for the ways I tired you out, forcing you beyond your limit, pushing you to do more and more steps in order to hit a count I believed would make us worthy. I was wrong.
Thank you for keeping my spirits high with fresh air and sightseeing during peak times of loneliness in lockdowns. Thank you for the softness of your touch giving pleasure to others, as I enjoy someone's hands or lips on you. Thank you for the way you help me enjoy the comfort of the ocean and keep me above the surface. Thank you for being the main canvas for my beloved tattoos. Thank you for the way you allow my wonderful trouser collection to shine.
Thank you for the balance you have provided and the support you have given me, even in times of past drunkenness, even when I treated you with complete disregard. Thank you for forgiving me for all of the mystery bruises. Thank you for taking me to great heights and amazing views. Thank you for your patience in all the years I took you for granted. Thank you for the pleasure you have brought me when I have been able to wrap you around the waist of someone else.
To my dear tummy, sorry for the ways I have constricted you, concealed you and fought you. Sorry for the times I punched you in anger for you no longer fitting into a pair of pants and making you get in them anyway. Sorry for the ways I compared you to photoshopped unreachable versions of what I thought you should be. Sorry for the ways I have starved you at times over the years as punishment for you not being perfectly flat. Sorry for the ways I held you in or manoeuvred you into a stiff position in order to make you look a certain way.
I am sorry for all the times I rolled away in bed, trying to position myself in such a way a loving hand would never find you and the way you let gravity take you into a squishy pillow. I am sorry for all of the times I looked at you in the mirror and hated the sight of you. I am sorry for all of the times I resented you for altering the way an outfit looked at the end of a day or the end of a delicious meal.
Thank you for being the vessel to hold so many sources of joy for me: a meal shared with people I love, the first ice cream of summer, morning coffee and banana toast delivered to me at my computer from my Poppy. Thank you for being the place someone can rest their head, maybe a tired niece or nephew before they get too grown up for that, maybe someone who shared my bed and wakes in the morning to kiss you and use you as a pillow to show me how much they care about me without words.
Thank you for alerting me to situations I am uneasy in, so that I can trust you to tell me to get out of there. Thank you for the butterflies you produce when I am excited or happy or proud.
To my dear nose, I am sorry for all the times I looked at you in anger. I am sorry for all the google searches of make-up tricks and surgery costs. I am sorry and grateful that every saving mission for plastic surgery was a bust because I could never get the money together. I am sorry for the needles I paid money for, having you poked and prodded with them to distort your muscular make up.
I am sorry for the times I looked at others in my family with the same nose and laughed with them at how much we disliked you. I am sorry for the times I looked at my grandparents and failed to see that you are a symbol of me coming from them, that every time I look at you, I can see where I came from.
Thank you for holding my jewellery in various places in my younger years. Thank you for being the bearer of a nice highlight on a night out, speckling glitter on you and my cheekbones and finally feeling grateful for my bone structure that comes from my family. Thank you for the gift of memory, when you smell a perfume or an aftershave or food and transport me back to another time — sometimes decades gone — and I can be there for a moment. Thank you for the way I see people I miss, far away, when I look at you.
Thank you for the gift of scent to alert me when my dinner is burning, or my crush is close by, or which roommate just came through the door, or the incense I burn to calm me on stressful days, or the way my bedsheets smell after the right company. Thank you for slowing my tears in their tracks when they fall.
To my dear mouth, sorry I ever listened to anyone else whose words did not have my best intentions. Sorry, I internalised all the bullies who told me you were too big or too loud. Sorry I hid your beauty on so many occasions. Sorry I kept you shut when I shouldn’t have. Sorry I blamed you for rejection and heartbreak. Sorry I didn’t see you for what you are.
Thank you for allowing me to utter the words “I love you” to a friend or a family member. Thank you for helping me poorly carry a tune on karaoke night. Thank you for lips that allow me to kiss and converse. Thank you for the way I can add a different shade of lipstick to you and accentuate you even further, to show how much I love you now. Thank you for the ability to allow me to enjoy food and drink. Thank you for helping me ask tough questions, thoughtful questions, clarifying questions and important questions. Thank you for your strong teeth.
Thank you for your smile, that I can say without a doubt is not too big, not too much, but can light up a room and my own soul too, the second it appears.
If you feel like it, leave a love letter to a part of your body in the comments that you were once cruel to. (or let me know if you go and do this practice privately). Thank it for being there for you.
here are three things I struggled with this week:
🚶 Oooooh, this weather change means I do not want to go out for my early morning walks. It is still pitch black out there and I am too scared of not knowing if a creep decides to follow me if I do. But if I go later when it gets lighter, then people are around and I like my solitude on my walks, so how do I win?
🛏️ Oooooh, this weather change means I am not wanting to budge from under my duvet when my alarm goes off, despite having had enough sleep and lying there awake.
🌞 Oooooh, this weather change means I am still — even more than last week — craving a person to cuddle. HELP. NO. NOPE. Australian sunshine, I am coming for you! Hold on until then!
here are three blessings from this week:
🎃 It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s time for the most wonderful holiday of the year soon. This week we held our first Hocus Pocus viewing of the season, and I booked a trip to Salem (via Boston but let’s focus on witchy things) in October.
🎸 Speaking of Boston, it’s the home of Aerosmith so you better believe I will do all the things my future husbands Joe Perry and Steven Tyler did during their rise to fame there.
🎙️ Fans of me or fans of Doctor Who (OR BOTH!) will be thrilled to hear I had the PLEASURE of appearing on this month's episode of Dr Who Book Club Podcast. Thanks so much to Chris and Matt for having me on! (of course, I want you to listen to the whole episode, however, if you can’t wait to hear me, you can scroll to 18:30 for my reading, and I may also make an appearance in the end credits…)
here are three goals for the coming week:
📺 Inspired by someone who was inspired by someone — I have cancelled my Netflix account because, well they aren’t the best people, and also I want more time away from the screen for drawing, walking, and connecting (but my plan will go until October 17th so, you know, will binge finish everything before then).
💸 Try not to spend unnecessary money. After 17 months (as of last week, thank you very much) sober, I am yet to learn the art of being good with money, as if getting sober would have made me better. Nope, it has just made me more aware, and instead of spending all my money on booze and drugs and late-night food deliveries, I am spending it on, actually, I don’t know what. Come to think of it, I just think I don’t have as much of it these days on account of being a creator and a freelancer. Huh. Okay, well there we go, I wrote my way to the source of the problem. Now to find the solution. Don’t bring up the trips booked, it was a work trip paid for and I added on days and this is not unnecessary money spent but rather fulfilling dreams of my inner child, thank you so much.
📄 On that note: update my resume. A very kind human has offered to give me pointers and tips on it, as it still holds so much of my “old” life that I am struggling to let go because then who am I and also who the hell do I think I am? These are two different questions, it is all about how you read them. WHO. THE. HELL. DO I THINK I AM? So the goal is to make a resume that reflects all the freelance community manager work and writing that I am doing now and have been doing for a wee while. Hire me for more contracts, casual and part-time work. I am amazing.
here is something I enjoyed this week:
I have had the pleasure of attending a few Saturday sessions of Community Discovery Writing Gatherings with Maggy of Regarding Dew, and I am pleased to have a few more lined up on my calendar. Here is the testimonial I wrote after my first occasion, as I was so blown away by this experience and felt unlocked on so many levels, in the gentlest of ways:
Maggy's Community Discovery Writing Gatherings are a sacred space. The tone of welcoming and ease is set by Maggy far in advance, in the way she delivers the information via email up until the end of the gathering. You know you can show up as your honest self, in whatever that might look like on the day. For me, without Maggy ever having to directly say so, I know I can show up in my PJs with no make-up, and just be there to focus on the writing, if that is what I need that day.
I love the comfort in which I can be vulnerable in the space, and share my work. Maggy has curated a wonderful and inspiring environment that sees zero pressure but one hundred percent encouragement. I love connecting with new people from all over the globe (and some surprisingly close to me, too)!
The prompts are thought-provoking and the instructions given allow me to express my answer in any format that comes to me, giving me multiple options to do so. I feel more than enough in this space, thanks to all involved. One of the prompts from my most recent attendance turned into a short piece to submit to a competition — you never know what will come from these gatherings, but one thing is for certain, you will leave feeling wonderful.
As promised in the subtitle of this volume, an offering: The Community Discovery Writing Gatherings are expanding to reflective writing nights every Tuesday evening and will be free to paid Regarding Dew letter subscribers for the entire month — so $5 to attend all of the month's Tuesday sessions!!! They will continue as a sliding scale invitation after October. Regarding Dew is a beautiful substack publication that I delight in it landing in my inbox every time it does. Community Discovery Writing Gatherings aren’t just for ‘writers’, they are for everyone. Trust me, it is such a magical space.
So subscribe to Regarding Dew, and enjoy the beautiful love letters in your inbox then as a marvellous bonus, attend the gatherings for free all of October.
one more note from me:
Did you know that 1 in 5 people experience symptoms of mental illness each year? In fact, every day in Australia, 8 people will die by suicide. Mental illness can be debilitating and can have a devastating impact on not only those living with it, but those around them. This October, I’ll again be taking part in One Foot Forward to show people living with mental illness that they are not alone.
I'm walking to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute to support crucial mental health research and support services to help Australians impacted by mental illness and suicide.
It would mean so much to me if you'd support my walk this October.
Together, we can create a mentally healthier world, for everyone.
If you’re able, you can donate here.
pics or it didn’t happen:
I love you,