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From the Bottom of the Pit

Author: Kirsty Crawford
Year: Hope

Dear Me (from 2014)

Ten years have passed. You are currently sitting on a yoga mat on your living room floor. You have a house, a husband and sleeping upstairs, watched on a night-vision monitor, you have a ten-week-old son.

Things are chaotic. I know you are feeling the chaos in a different way, and I have never forgotten that sensation of utter loneliness that is sitting in the pit of your stomach right now. Moving to a new city in search of a new pursuit. A box bedroom in Zone 6. I know that sometimes you carry the weight of this isolation so deeply it feels like you can only take shallow breaths. The path you are trying to go down is not the right one. Living as a performer in London will not bring you the peace you deserve. Trying to squeeze and mould yourself into an artificial set of expectations; trying to change your appearance, your accent, your attitude will not bring you fulfilment. Of course there will be a lot of fun on the way, but these are not your people. Some of them will continue to exploit your genuine nature. There will be many traps laid out for you.

Your love of performing, the creativity and expression of being on stage, of how dancing makes you feel - that is true happiness. But in the circles you have found yourself, the baggage that comes with simply trying to exist as a performer is too heavy.

Remember the little girl from before, the one who loves to be outside? The one found digging through the earth, watching cows in the field and running barefoot in fields glossy with dew? She has the key all along. The world is changing. In the ten years that have passed, the planet has burned. Oceans have gradually become warmer, sea levels have risen, coral has been bleached. Unfathomable hectares of rainforest have been felled, and species have quietly faltered to extinction.

You know that you care about this planet. I look back and I see you notice the birds in Regent’s Park, recognising their calls, stopping to admire the early Spring bumblebees. I see you hiding this part of yourself. You don’t need to have that science degree to be able to make a difference (and in any case you work late into the night across several years to achieve a Masters degree in Wildlife Biology). You don’t need to do that. There is nothing to prove. But I am proud of you for the achievement. There is such a rewarding path waiting for you, working in nature conservation and as a product of this, falling back in love with dance by letting go of the pressure.

You will slot into different job roles connecting communities to nature, rewilding the land and improving mental and physical wellbeing – especially of children. You will successfully fund projects that have a genuine positive impact, meet lifelong friends and create pockets of change across Scotland that will help heal this fractured planet (even just a little bit). You have no idea how much drive and purpose you will find in planting wildflower meadows, campaigning for legislation to secure a plastic-free future and safeguarding Scotland’s mammals. You’ll have hedgehogs live in a box in your bathtub as they wait to be rehabilitated, help hundreds of primary school kids to discover the joy in nature, plant seagrass beds at low tide before sunrise and clear a mountain of plastic debris from remote Scottish beaches.

In time you will find true connection. There is hope. I know that even now, alone on the single bed through the summer heatwave, the smell of the high-street chicken shop hanging around the open window, that you can feel it. You have the quiet knowledge that things will work out. This path has to loop back on itself many times before hitting a beautiful open straight that will take you to this point in time.

There is still pain. You can’t escape the losses that are inevitable. Some you could never have predicted, but people do not last forever. Babies aren’t always made first time around. Trust is sometimes there to be broken.

But I promise you, the embers of hope that you feel right now, they never burn out. Not once in ten years. You can climb out of the pit, right from the bottom surrounded by thick moss and black shiny beetles. But I’d encourage you to look around at these dark companions and see the beauty of nature in all its forms. You have the answers.

Right now in 2024 it’s certainly not perfect, but it’s possible.

Love you always,

Me (from 2024)