You Are a Gift to The World

Mar 1, 2024 | 2024 Spring - Letters to Myself

By Anna Kochetkova

I often want to hug my younger self and promise that I will keep her safe. The truth is, I couldn’t keep the promise. Not back when she—I mean, I—was burning the pages of my journals, notes, and stories. I used to yell into my diaries, because I couldn’t actually scream. My voice was bottled up by the trauma of growing up in a dysfunctional family and in a country under dictatorship, crime, and political unrest. My unrequited queer love seemed so irresponsible, childish, and frivolous, especially when its objects were people on the posters on my walls or magazine cutouts in my diaries. While I used to fall in love with all my older brother’s male friends, I was torn by the desire to kiss every female character in all the animations, films, books, and stories. The heat of desire, confusion, and fear was stirring up and boiling my teenage hormones to the point of no return. Life felt so unbearable so often. 

When I finally left Russia and eventually found an aligned somatic therapist as a young adult, she helped me see my younger self as a courageous survivor whose nervous system did well, given the extraordinary events I had experienced. Shame turned to pride. And many of my words found homes in books and online.  

Today, I have a photo of my younger self on the fridge. Every time I pass her, I thank her. 

That is how this letter to myself came to be. 

My beloved little Anna, 

I know right now there is little sense in being alive and yet you are terrified of dying. You feel like you are dying all the time. Kissing your summer friend’s sister complicated everything for you, especially since you thought you were in love with your brother’s friend. But it’s simple—you are bisexual. 

And I love you for keeping yourself safe all throughout those years of not understanding your feelings and suffering from the experiences. I am sorry that she rejected you and that he tried to abuse you—sometimes people you love do weird and unfair things. This was not your fault. 

Nothing was your fault. You are a gift to the world. Your love is so huge and magical it can heal others, and your sensitivity is so deep you can swallow Earth. The world needs you. 

I know right now you hate it all and you wish you could be a psychopath (I know you read a lot about them) so you can feel as little as possible. I know you think you want to fit in and be cruel and ruthless (feeling-less, really). You are trying to protect your squishy parts, like your heart. Growing a hard shell around it won’t make others love you. 

But I love you. It may not feel like it right now but, I promise you, you will feel it very soon. You see, right now, as the adult I am, you are living your best life—all your soft parts are in the open and yet no one can hurt them. And that’s because of you! Sure, we both are a little bruised. But we’ve healed. And we continue healing. You will have mind-bending bisexual orgies, deep and meaningful conversations that make you cry with joy, divine connections with nature (you will even live in the forest!), and a meaning of life no one and nothing can shake. The world will continue burning all around you, and yet being alive will make so much sense to you. Your life will beacon light to those on the edge of theirs. Your squishy queer self is the most powerful thing on Earth. Please keep going. I need you. And I promise to hold you tight so that you can fall apart, rest, and put yourself back together again and again and again.  

Anna Kochetkova is a Russian-born Australian author and poetess, and a passionate bi+ activist based in the Yaegl Country, Northern NSW, Australia. Anna is the author of Bi & Prejudice, and the creator of the @biandprejudice Instagram space and of @sydbiclub for Sydney community-led events and gatherings for multisexual and queer humans.

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