Dear self.

liebe + letters blog photo

Dear self,

Okay, writing this letter isn’t going to be easy. Because frankly, you need to be told some home truths, so I’m going to just going to be blunt. So here it goes: you need to stop it.

Yeah, that thing you do where you put others over yourself and then as a result you suffer mentally and emotionally. Yeah, that. You need to stop that.

(Here comes the vulnerable bit.)

You’ve invested so much in helping, loving others that you’ve lost track of who you are.

You’ve invested so much in helping others you have some how managed to self-doubt who you are and what you can do. You’ve let yourself be overruled by your lack of self-confidence and let your self-consciousness influence far too many decisions.

You’ve lost yourself so much that each day blends into the next and you’re still running on the same spot. You don’t set goals anymore because what’s the point you think. You don’t set them because you (somehow) think you’re not going to reach them.

No matter how many notebooks you buy for writing notes in (because this time you’ll set goals and stick to them), you don’t let self-confidence seep past your barriers of hurt, doubt and pain.

But enough is enough.

You are important. You are kind. You are smart. But most of all, you need to stop this disassociation with the positive, confidence-filled words you write for yourself and what you actually feel.

You need to start prioritizing yourself. Start setting boundaries. Because you are important.

And you know what? This whole “I’m just as important as everyone else” thing starts today.

No buts.

Sophia x

Dearest Opi.

liebe + letters blog photo (4)

Lieber Opi,

Mama reminded me last week that the fifth anniversary of your death came and went. I thought I’d be okay, but I spent the entire day thinking. Thinking of memories we made together. Thinking of how much I miss you.

I never thought that even after you passed away, you’d still teach me so much about life. How you teach me to strive for something, how to be better, how to love unconditionally, how to be quietly proud of loved ones. I never thought that you’d teach me why you loved Loriot, until now.

I never truly understood what it means to have an important pillar in my life to fall down so suddenly because you are not here. I miss you Opi, with every year that passes. But with every day, I understand that the pillar never truly fell down. Because you are still with me, every day. No matter where I go, you are with me.

I am reminded of you with the smell of freshly percolated coffee at breakfast time. When audiobooks are played during long car rides. I see you in my mother’s face. I am reminded of you when I bake Vanillakipferln.

You taught me to hold on tight to family, because life changes so suddenly. So I’ll do that. I’ll treasure my family, and all the memories made.

I miss you with every year that passes, but I know you will always be with me and for that I am grateful.

Sophia x

Dear self

liebe + letters blog photo (1)

Dear self,

Clean room, sunshine, coffee, different shades and hues of purple and pastel pink. Remember this combination. Because someday you’ll need something to calm that panic attack brewing within you.

Sit, breathe, pray. Feel the last remnants of stress ebb away, the way the ocean waves ebb away from the shoreline.

Always, always remember that you are loved by so many different people. You can’t control everything so just sit and observe. Observe how the world continues turning and you’ll come to the realisation that you can only control how you react to events, so you may as well react with love.

So this is your mandate for this week – sit, breathe, pray, write. Laugh, cry, smile, frown.

Breathe, smile, pray and laugh your way through the week.

Sophia x

Dear Papa.

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Dear Papa,

Today is the 9th March and it’s a special day for me. Here’s why:

  1. I graduated with a Bachelors of Economics on International Women’s Day.
  2. You were there to see me graduate.

You see, I probably would never have graduated with an economics degree (let alone with two degrees) if it wasn’t the emphasis you put on the importance of education for us kids. Or your support.

Funny thing is I didn’t understand or know why you placed this emphasis on your kids’ education until two days before my graduation when I learnt that you did most of your learning via correspondence. Opa and Oma told me over lunch that you did your last two years of high school via correspondence, with the last three months in Perth studying for your exams whilst Opa and Oma were living in Bougainvillaea.

You weren’t expecting to pass your exams, so you had a job lined up. But as the story goes, you passed your exams and now you have three degrees.

Your ability to persevere, to do your best at everything (even if it felt like you weren’t going to pass) is my inspiration and why I ended up with this degree.

So thank you Papa. Thank you for encouraging me to continue with economics (especially in the times I struggled) and helping me to get where I am now.

I love you Papa.

Sophia x

PS: If you were wondering why I am proud that I graduated with a Bachelor of Economics on International Women’s Day, and why it’s important, here’s why.

Dearest Gabby.

Dearest Gabby

Dearest Gabby,

It kills me to know that you will never ever get to see this blogpost, that I never ever got round to telling you how grateful I am for our friendship.

How grateful I was, how grateful I am for your smile, for your take on life. For your passion for the Italian language. How blessed and fortunate I was to have met you in highschool.

I regret not taking the time to see you more often. I regret that I only saw you sporadically. It should never have been that way. Half of me is continuing on this line of thought of “I should have done this, I should have done that…” and the other half is reasoning with me about how I couldn’t have known that you were going to pass away so suddenly.

I know this post is not as eloquent as I want it to be, but I’m in shock. Gabby, I miss you. I really miss you. I’m sorry I never got to tell you how grateful I am for being able to call you my friend, for having the opportunity to have known you.

Gabriella, may you rest in peace.

Mi manchi molto bella

Sophia x

“Sometimes there are things in our life that aren’t meant to stay. Sometimes change may not be what we want. Sometimes change is what we really need. And sometimes saying goodbye is the hardest thing you think you’ll ever have to do, but sometimes it’s saying ‘hello again’ that breaks you down and makes you the most vulnerable person you’ll ever know. Sometimes change is too much to bear, but most of the time change is the only thing saving your life.” – Unknown.

Dear Perth

Dearest Gabby (1)

Dear Perth,

Today you were stunning. Life often gets too busy or I’m too caught up in my own dreamland to take a step back and admire the bigger picture. But for the moments, like today, when I am able to stand back, I’m grateful to be able to call you home.

Yes, you have your bad sides (I’ll just mention the urban sprawl, the high prices and the inability of Perth drivers to merge) but so do all cities. It isn’t the purpose of this letter to tell you of the things that you need to improve on, so I’ll just leave this there. You aren’t perfect Perth, but I’m grateful that I don’t live in a perfect city.

I’m grateful for the little areas of nature around the city, the coast, the suburbs. I’m grateful for suburbs like Fremantle, Subiaco, Cottesloe. I’m grateful to have the ability to be able to head to the beach and unwind by the Indian Ocean. I’m grateful for my friendship circle, and the communities in Perth. But most of all, I’m grateful to be able to call you home.

Sophia x