letter #024 | dear younger me: remember how good the sun feels.

remember how good the sun feels.

Letter #024

March 2, 2024

dear younger me,

The last 3 months have felt like some of the hardest of my life.

And to be honest with you, some days I wanted to give up entirely—on my business, my health goals, my spiritual practice, my visions for my life, my life in general. There were many days when it felt like darkness was closing in on me and would soon swallow me whole. It was scary and some days, I wondered if I would, or even could, make it out of that.

Thankfully, over the last few weeks, I feel like light has progressively started flooding my world again and pushing out the darkness. I finally feel like I’m rounding the corner of that very dark season of my life and stepping into a new one… but, knowing myself, and the nature of what I experience with bipolar, I’m sure it won’t be the last time I go through a deep storm like that.

I’ve thought a lot about how I wanted to return to my lil letters with y'all and I've opted to record part of the pain I felt as well as the light that brought me out of it, rather than just present you with a list of lessons learned and highlight moments.

I chose this route as a thank you to my younger self for remembering how good the sun feels even on my darkest days.

in today's letter, we'll explore:

  • why having faith is not synonymous with not having hardship
  • "if you're not speaking it, you're storing it"
  • when depression comes for a visit...and then doesn't know when to go home 🙄
  • the last year's 16 major plot twists 🥴
  • the extended ✨ glimmer gallery ✨ (year-in-review! it's long, but what else is new here? 🥹)
  • credits

beginning my walk with Christ

As someone with bipolar, I’ve known for a while now that my overall mood tends to take a dip during the winter. I anticipate this most years and try to sort of prepare or brace myself for it, but this year was a little different—I knew I was getting baptized the weekend after Thanksgiving and I thought that once I made that public declaration of faith, that even when things were hard, they would never again be as hard as they used to be because I had publicly professed my newfound walk with God.

Lol. Yeah, so I was definitely wrong about things not being as hard.

It seemed like from the day I got baptized, a series of progressively hard months began. As the weeks became increasingly intense and challenging, I first leaned more into my practices of daily Bible study and gratitude, my morning walks, and my weight-lifting sessions to sustain me. I even remember telling my trainer at one point that my morning walks and gym sessions were the life raft that kept me from sinking into depression.

But I placed so much pressure on myself to not mess up and to maintain perfect consistency so that I didn’t get depressed, and this—as many best-laid, rigid plans often do—eventually backfired.

Eventually, my daily routine got disrupted and one by one, I let go of my habits thinking they weren’t working anymore, and these two things together sent me down a very deep spiral.

"if you're not speaking it, you're storing it."

I realized recently that I was so afraid of experiencing any strong emotion that wasn’t happiness, joy, or gratitude, that I would constantly try to “brace for impact” and convince myself that with enough willpower and determination, I could stave off any feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, shame, and depression.

Doing that this winter led me down one of the darkest roads I’ve ever traveled in my whole life.

Through this and returning to therapy, I’ve learned that emotions are meant to be felt. And not just the “good ones”—all of them. Feeling an emotion is what allows it to pass.

Resistance to feeling emotion can also lead to chronic pain in the body as well as disease.

"i'm tired of this grandpa"

I find now that there’s a sort of beauty in not clinging so hard to a particular emotion. In trying to force myself to only feel positivity and gratitude for others (while often withholding it from myself), in the end, resulted in me temporarily closing myself off from the deep and truly meaningful bonds that are born through shared adversity, support during hard times, and expressed vulnerability. In my experience, that is where the truest, the deepest, and the most meaningful bonds are made.

I’m no stranger to depression, but I wouldn’t say we’re friends either.

I’m aware of when depression is visiting me (though this past time, she really overstayed her welcome and I was over it).

In the past, and including this most recent visit, depression’s presence in my life has often brought with it a lot of fear and anxiety because:

  • I don’t know how long she will stay
  • I don’t know how intense she’ll be this time around
  • I get scared I won’t have what it takes to overcome it if she gets “too intense” or “too comfortable” being with me

On one of my darkest days these last few months, I called off work, grabbed a notebook I bought months before with a handwritten “Trust the Journey” scrawled across the front, and stepped outside.

It was bright out. Much brighter than where I had been a few minutes before and it took my eyes a few seconds to adjust. I walked to a bench in my apartment complex, sat down, and one of the first things I wrote was: “How can you die when the sun lovingly kisses the back of your neck?”

And on that day, that was enough.

That was enough to stop depression from taking over.

I knew I would make it through another day because I loved the way the sun felt like a warm hug in the cool air of the early morning.

So that’s what this letter will be about.

Those micro-moments or ✨glimmers,✨ that’s made my life worth living, and the micro-moments that have collectively quilted together what has become the best year of my life, despite it feeling very hard sometimes.

I don’t know about you, but for me, when I’m going through a difficult time, it’s not as helpful to hear, “It’s going to get better” because what I want to know is “when??”

remember how good the sun feels.

There were many moments during the last three months when I felt like I was sinking into darkness and it really scared me.

What’s helped a lot is to remember the micro-moments…like how good the morning sun feels on a cold winter day of the medicinal effect of getting to unexpected laugh until your stomach hurts or receiving long-awaited good news...

This letter is dedicated to the younger me who felt like the world was over because of certain choices she made. Very few mistakes are truly permanent and unrecoverable.

I give thanks to that younger me who thought she wasn’t strong enough or worthy enough or capable enough of being here.

As I walk into my 28th year on Monday, I pray that even in my hardest moments, I always remember how good the sun feels…

16 plot twists?? 🥴

27 was a hard year. But it was also a year that overflowed with seasons of immense growth and many moments of joy and wonder and laughter and meaning that carried me through the hard days.

Before I get into those moments, I wanted to share some of the things that made this year challenging because often, when people tell these stories, this part gets skipped, and it skews our perception of things.

Some of the things that made this year hard included:

  1. Going through a very long and very hard breakup with the man I thought I would marry
  2. Poor, short-sighted financial habits that I had for years finally catching up to me
  3. Getting into high 5 figures of debt as a result of #2
  4. Impulsive and emotional decisions I made while manic that hurt people I love
  5. Multiple factors contributing to my business slowing up and me almost giving up on it
  6. The many overdraft emails I received this year
  7. Paying my rent with my credit card because I didn’t have enough money to cover it in my account
  8. The many, many days of crying because I felt like a failure and like I’d let so many people down
  9. The months-long mental (ego?) battle between getting a job and holding out that things would get better on their own
  10. The 50+ rejection emails or flat-out ghosting I experienced while looking for a job
  11. Having some really hard conversations about how my actions have affected people I deeply care about
  12. Going through the most intense depressive episode and SI experience I think I’ve ever had and not knowing how I’d make it out
  13. Having my first difficult (but still meaningful) trip home
  14. My grandfather going into the hospital 2 days after I got back to California, and having a nearly 2 month hospital stay
  15. A few health issues of my own
  16. Deeply missing my friend Mitsu and dealing with resurfacing grief and guilt over his death

Despite all that, here is an extended glimmer gallery to show a few ways this year was still so good, why my life is still good, and why I still feel very, very grateful:

✨ the glimmer gallery. ✨

The glimmer gallery is a weekly collection of moments that made the good times better and the harder times bearable.


I used to wonder how people could go through hard things and still have faith in God and His goodness. I distinctly remember how badly I wanted to believe in the same.

Throughout this year and these last 3 months especially, I have seen God show up time and time again in my life, blessing me with precisely the right person, message, or breakthrough I needed at exactly the right time.

Thank You God for getting me through. Thank you for my good life. And thank you for never letting me forget...

how good the sun feels. ☀️

i'd love to hear from you:

  • Did anything resonate with you in today's letter?
  • What's something you are still figuring out?

Just write or text me a reply to let me know. It makes my day to hear from you! I read every message and am back to replying to all of them, too!

Dear Reader,

Thank you so much for being here. It means more than I can say. What started as a little creative experiment last year has allowed me create some of the most beautiful relationships and experiences I've ever known. I love hearing from you and the exchanges we have. A big welcome to all the new members of our "dear younger me" family as well. We are now over 100 folks strong, y'all. May God bless and keep you.

I hope you have a beautiful day and I'll see you in a week or two. 💛

With love and a hug,

Amahni E. Yarber

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