I hope this letter finds you well. There are so many questions I have for you, though most should be left unanswered. Was the journey what you thought it would be? Did you live abundantly? Were you at peace with your company? Did you accomplish the greatness you had set out for yourself to endure?
I am 22 years old and still trying to overcome none other than fear itself. Fear that anxiety will continue to take my breath away. Fear that my aspirations and goals will be overridden by the need to survive. Fear that freedom is a weekend or the psychoactive effects of a substance. Fear of regret, love and — most of all — death. All things seemingly rational, from my perspective at least, but what will I choose to give my power to?
Part of me wishes that you were here to guide me, and part of me doesn’t. It’d be nice to have external direction from a source who has all the answers, but the part of me that doesn’t knows that I wouldn’t really be living if I knew the answers before taking action. My mind is in a thousand different places, but I hope reading this gives you a sense of clarity and is reminiscent of what you were once feeling.
Did you ever figure out God? Do you feel closer to the unfathomable or even further away? Growing up Christian taught me how to be faithful. Leaving that ideology taught me how to be free. So, I’m wondering what your fully matured version of that is, if you even know? Writing this letter feels more liberating than I thought it would — almost as if I’m talking to my own angel. In some ways, maybe there’s nobody who would know me better than me, but in other ways the exact opposite. Confused, eager and excited with stakes high, I hope I can look back on this as you, knowing I fulfilled everything I’d hoped for.
Were you ever married? Did you have kids? Was the desire for true love the antidote or a curse? Not just romantically. I hope you helped people, using what you’ve always loved like music, film and even daily conversation to love other people around you. Out of all my fear, tangled thought processes and tenderness for the unknown, the highest hope I have of all is that you’ve achieved contentment for who you are and given everything you are to the world without fear as a boundary. If that rings true, I’d like to be you.
Roman Nova is an artist, producer and creator of many other things from Seattle, Washington. He takes pride in being the truest version of himself and sharing his journey to be of service to others.
This article was published as part of a partnership between Real Change and Creative Justice, where Roman serves as a Peer Mentor Artist.
Read more of the July 20-26, 2022 issue.