Dear Drink Koozie,

Oh, my sweet, simple Drink Koozie.

On these hot and humid days, you prove yourself tenfold.

No longer do important papers stick to a condensation ring on my desk.  Never again do I have to stand uncomfortably as an iced coffee drips water down my arm.  Forever I am saved from melting ice water making a mess of my life because I have you, you little promotional gem.

And that’s your other beauty: you remind me of my favorite things.  Whether it’s a radio station, a food product, or a TV show, I got you because I loved something enough to get it.  Or you were handed to me at a fair.  Or I randomly found you.  Either way, you directly or indirectly my three favorite things: free, random, productive products.

So, it’s safe to say this is love.  You’re a year round necessity that makes me appear more put together.

You, dear Koozie, are sacred in my books.

Love,

Olivia

Dear 13 Year Old Olivia,

By the time you write this, you’ll be too old for it to be effective.

I’m trying to remember who you are crushing on currently.  Is it Skyler or Josh or Max or that guy who plays piano on Main Street in the summer? What was that guy’s name? Dave? Yeah, it was Piano Dave.  Not that it really matters now, you never really kept in touch with any of them.  Especially Piano Dave because, well, he doesn’t know you.

I wish I could be there with you right now.  To tell you that you’re okay.  To warn you that some men really do wear sheep’s clothing.  To remind you that you are loved no matter how different you look from your family.  To hug you late at night when you feel lonliest.

Some of the things that will happen over the next few years will really define you.  The music you listen to and the books you read are still with me today.  The bad days that will inevitable come will seem so dark but know that the next day becomes brighter.  Time keeps us moving on even when it feels like it should stop out of respect for our pain.  It’s important to know that this pain will teach you how resiliant and caring you truly can be.

In a nutshell, here’s what you need to know:

Talk to someone.  Anyone.  The person you trust the most.  Don’t wait until it gets really bad.  Don’t fall inside of yourself for days.  Let someone know how sad you feel and maybe you’ll learn how to manage it earlier.  It’s okay that you get sad, you just need to learn what makes you tick so you can avoid such long sprawls.  It will be a problem in college otherwise.

Look up from the books once in a while.  Talk to people in your class.  Try to be more social and don’t rely on the popularity of Molly and Katie to get you through these next few years.  You are friends with them because you share traits.  The traits you love about them are in you and you will be as well received as them if you only put down the book and interact.

Don’t be afraid to love.  You are, I know, and that’s not completely your fault.  There have been deceptions and you fear what’s lurking around every corner.  Part of you believes that you don’t deserve love.  Part of you doesn’t know what love means.  The biggest part of you is still waiting to be swept off your feet regardless.  It will happen one day.  It’s as cool as we thought it would be, FYI.

That’s it.  Pretty painless right? Years 13 through 19 were pretty rough, not going to lie.  And even after those years, the road is bumpy.  I forecast that it won’t be less bumpy for me going forward either.  But you truly are a resilient and strong woman.  You can do anything when you look forward.

Love yourself,

Olivia

P.S.  In a couple of months, you will want to try and cut your hair yourself like Mandy Moore in “How to Deal” — I know she is perfect and angsty like you want to be but don’t do it.  You’ll totally regret it.

Dear Robert,

It’s nearly a year since I ended things between us.

It’s nearly a year since that time I called out of work so I could spend the day in your room watching Dr. Who and fooling around and reading in bed next to you.

Part of me is thankful for what we had and for the closest thing I had to love in my life at that time.  Part of me hates you for those metaphorical scars that I still bear from our relationship.  Part of me wishes I knew how to stick things out.

If I didn’t have an innate desire to flee after something bad happens, I’m almost certain we would have gotten back in touch.  We’d be friends now.  Maybe those metaphorical scars would have faded faster.  Or maybe I’d still have a hard time looking you in the eye.  Most likely the latter.

When we broke up, we sat in the park next to my office and you told me that what we had was good.  And that I was afraid.  You were right, I was afraid but not of our relationship.  I was afraid of how reckless our relationship made me.

Sometimes I look you up on Facebook.  I try to see if you’ve found a new girl to see plays with on hot summer evenings.  I look to see if you’re happy.  I don’t know why I do this.  I’m in a relationship with a man who I love in a way that I understand and I have no business looking at your page.  Perhaps I’m hoping that everything works out for a reason.  Or I’m looking for a happy photo of you so I feel validated in being happy now.

You probably don’t read this blog anymore but I wanted to put this out there for you to see.  Our relationship was both good and bad for me and I don’t regret a single day of it.  I hope you are happy and content with your life, now and always.

Your friend,

Olivia

Dear Absence,

Oh, hey.

It’s been a while.

But you get it, don’t you? Time passing without saying hello doesn’t necessarily mean there is a lack of caring.  This time has been time to heal.  It’s been a time for change.  It’s been a time to get life back on the tracks.

You’ve provided me time to write more letters.

Thanks, Absence, for allowing me to be well enough to have a fresh look at the world again.

And with that, I say, hello to the world! And will be ever grateful for you, Dear Absence, for giving me the time for contemplation and love.

Now it’s time to get back into the saddle.

Love,

Olivia

Dear Laptop,

If I thought creating a Kickstarter page in your honor would raise any cash, I wouldn’t be writing this letter.  Instead, I’d be posting a pathetic photo of you (they all look pretty pathetic these days) or a montage of your photos set to a Sarah Mclachlan song … actually I’d do both to incite the most empathy.

But people have their own needs and wouldn’t care that you need replacing … er … I mean … that you need a vacation.  A long vacation to a farm in the country where you can wobble sadly alongside other later models.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate everything you’ve done for me.  You’ve been through all my major writing accomplishments with me.  You were there when I finished my first play; my first book of poetry; my first children’s book.  Heck, you were the one I wrote my first letter for this crazy blog on.

And let’s not forget all the late-night Facebook stalking we did together.  All of the social media induced evenings that we spent laughing and crying at all the postings #memories.

So, don’t think that I do this lightly.  You are quite the companion.  We’ve been together over seven years.  Longer than most of my human relationships.

But you look tired, Friend.  Your keys are discolored; your fan barely works and makes a disheartened whining noise; you can’t handle more than one window to be open at a time; your monitor doesn’t shine as eagerly as the first time you powered up.

I think we can both agree that you aren’t as young as you used to be…

But, since I can’t create a Kickstarter to replace you – we’ll probably be together a while longer as I gather the necessary funds.

I’ll enjoy you for the time I have left with you.

Thanks for the memories,

Olivia