What is Dear Self?
Thanks for being curious about this Dear Self project of mine.
It is a pretty simple project really. Each day I write myself a letter. My goal is to be completely honest with myself — to reflect upon whatever is going on with the hope that doing so will help me better understand my experience of the world.
In turn I hope that this will lead to me being able to live a life filled with purpose. By embracing my daily vulnerabilities and strengths I feel like I get the opportunity to accept who I am in this moment and make choices about who I will become in the next moment.
It started out as a daily email to my friend Billie — it was naively called “How to Human”. It was quite similar to Dear Self only I saw it as a bit of a user guide for all of us trying to “human” well. After around 200 days my friend Matt encouraged me to make it public. This was brilliant because when I did I suddenly saw how wrong it felt for me to tell others about how they should manage being a human. I have no idea. I mean what would I know?
I had a bit of a crisis. I nearly threw the project out.
Then I sat down and re read everything I had written. I saw a theme. The best writing was when I was reflecting for myself on what was going on. I realised that by writing each day I was actually trying to help myself learn how to be in the world.
My best writing was an honest letter to myself.
And so Dear Self was born.
A couple of things…
The flavour of Dear Self changes dramatically from day to day. Sometimes they are quite mundane, other times heart breaking, dark, funny, poignant, joyful…if you are just reading for the first time I recommend you have a quick read across a handful, just to get a sense of this diversity. Here are some more you can start with. I also wrote some more about the whole project here...
They are generally quite short. Not always — but generally.
If you would like to hear me talking more about Dear Self and how my experiences growing up informed it then you can listen to this podcast from a talk I did at The Weekly Service.
Most of all I hope that reading Dear Self inspires you to reflect upon your experiences in the world.
If you like what you read please share it with a friend. If not, thanks for reading this far and taking the time to understand the project a bit better anyhow — we need more people like you in the world.
All the best
ps: I'm in the process of moving this project from an external site onto this site. So if you want to read the full history...go here and if you want to follow the daily progress then you have come to the right spot . The project is always evolving so joining the mailing list (below) is the best way to keep in touch with what happens next.