letter #026 | dear younger me: i dedicate this next part to you. 🚗

i dedicate this next part to you. 🚗

Letter #026

May 19, 2024

dear younger me,

There’s something I would like to share with you 🤍

In 34 days, I’ll be moving on from sunny Southern California, the place I’ve called home for the last 10 years.

I’d like to say this decision came after much deliberation…but it didn’t lol. I made it on Thursday and it just might be the easiest yes of my life so far.

I’ve shared this plan with a few folks in person and the first question after “wtf, are you serious?!!?” is “Where are you going?” To which I answer: “Everywhere.” 📍

After 2+ years of waiting, praying, and crying, I landed my dream remote job with a company that is even better than I imagined. My tutoring business will move to 100% online after this week and over the next 34 days, I will be making my transition to becoming a digital nomad for the next 6-12+ months as I travel the United States while working remotely.

While this decision was not hard fought, it’s taken literally years for me to dissolve the narratives I’d held onto so tightly to make space for this new way of living…

Come walk with me for a second, yeah?

Since starting my business almost 4 years ago, my life has become increasingly more and more stressful. After experiencing so much initial success, the weight of expectations I placed on myself to continue achieving that success and scaling my income and impact has had an incredible impact on me—and not all in a good way.

People glorify the fuck out of entrepreneurship, but I invite you to hear out the people who say “it’s not for everyone” without feeling like they’re diminishing you.

While these last 4 years have absolutely held the most joy, meaning, impact, and confidence I’ve ever known, they’ve also held 95% of the doctor’s and hospital visits I’ve had in my life. They’ve held me gaining half of my former body weight and feeling ashamed and embarrassed about it for years.

Sacrificing my sleep, rest, and care for myself for years came at a high cost. The amount of chronic pain and health issues I’ve developed with my 1 precious body from working 16-18 hour days 6-7 times a week and living in a state of heightened stress and severe lack of rest for years will take its toll on anyone and it definitely did on me.

In February, I returned to my somatic and trauma-informed therapist and paid for 6 months upfront. But why I started is not why I stayed. I began therapy again to “fix” what I thought was fundamentally wrong within me. To “replace and repair” whatever fucked up part of me had caused me to run a relationship into the ground with the first man I thought I would marry.

But why I started is not why I stayed. I paid for 6 months upfront 1) to get a discount and 2) because I knew I’d be prone to quitting like I did a year ago once things got hard and uncomfortable again. And for the first several weeks, I 100% wanted to quit. It felt so hard and I thought I was broken beyond repair. I cried every session to the point where it started pissing me off. I’d leave each session feeling so triggered and scared of what’d come up that I’d immediately run to or order delivery from a drive-through to numb the pain.

And then, after maybe the 12th session, it started to get a little easier. I learned that I wasn’t “fundamentally broken”—I was profoundly disconnected from myself, chronically dysregulated, and terrified of the pain I’d kept buried for years and tried to overshadow by staying busy caring for others and squeezing myself into the mold of their expectations.

When I’d start to feel emotional discomfort, I’d slow down, and get curious about it. I stopped trying to immediately name or dismiss it and learned to start allowing myself to just sit with it instead. “Because that’s the thing about pain—it demands to be felt.”

Slowly, over the last several weeks, I’ve been learning how to stop shaming myself so much. Exchanging the mental and emotional beatings I’d hand myself for every little perceived mistake and start to ask myself, “Where did I learn this from?” “What age is this experience bringing me back to and how did I feel in those moments?”

I’ve cried more often and more deeply in the last few months than I have in maybe my whole life. I’m a Professional Crier™ by trade anyway, but in learning how to allow myself to feel and release the pain I’ve walked with and let weigh me tf down, I’ve let out cries these last few weeks that I’d been choking on for years.

Learning how to feel safe in my 1 precious body and self-regulate in healthy ways for the first time since early childhood has helped reopen doors of possibility I hadn’t even noticed I’d closed over the last few years.

Doors that said:

🚪A life of ease, and stillness, and intention is for other people (not me).

🚪A life of feeling grounded, aligned and deeply seen and loved was something out of reach.

🚪It would be worth it and I could freely create, express myself, and live content and fulfilled once I finally lost weight/hit 6 figures/finished furnishing my $4,000/month apartment.

🚪And finally, that I could continue putting my health, joy, peace, and calling for myself on the backburner because I could take care of it “once I had time.”

I have time now and who knows how much of it I have left?

This Wednesday night, I stood in my living room and sobbed from a place deep in my soul. I cut roots to years-long buried pain and unearthed screams and cries that said more than any words ever could.

And then, I opened my hand…

And released. 🕊️

  • I realized the death grip I’d had around “needing” to make enough money to where rent no longer felt like it was busting me upside the head each month was no longer necessary. I let it go. 🕊️
  • I realized the beautiful Growth Studio I’d transformed my second bedroom to and taught my students in really wasn’t a reason to keep trying to “make things work” at the expense of my health and sanity. I let it go. 🕊️
    • (I also realized I could continue my business online since all but 2 of my students had switched to online anyway because their parents didn’t always feel like bringing them to my house twice a week.)
  • I realized that feeling like I couldn’t leave the house that held the magic so many people had come to experience in over the last 11 months because leaving would mean the magic was no longer attainable wasn’t actually true. I let it go. 🕊️
    • I realized the warmth, joy, laughter, and safeness people felt when they came to my home wasn’t found in the 4 walls surrounding us, it was found in me. (This breakthrough was huge.)
  • I realized all of these things I thought were hard and fast rules for how I needed to live and be (becoming and staying successful, always being there for people in ways that were unsustainable for me and I often didn’t have capacity for anyway, and then withholding that same kind of grace, care, and compassion from myself) were totally arbitrary and made up rules that could be broken.
  • And finally, I realized I had been holding the key to the lifestyle I felt imprisoned by and now I was gonna use it to free myself. 🔑

A few things I’ve learned over these last few years is:

  • You may think you’ll always have more time but the cold truth is, you don’t, and you never know when that time will be up for you and those you love.
    • Staying constantly stressed, busy, and unrested led me to watching the last call my best friend would ever make to me ring and ring on my phone as I told myself I would just call him back when I had more energy. Well, he’s dead now and despite what people try to say, I’ll forever be sorry that I didn’t pick up that last call.
    • Set a due date for the thinking and planning stage and then just start. Every thing that initially scared the shit out of me and I just said, “Fuck it, let’s go” and just did it—my business, my newsletter, my townhome, and now this new adventure—has led to exponential meaning and growth (and growing pains but that’s okay lol).
    • It really is never too late to try again, start something new, or start over completely. For months, I’ve felt like I’ve been placed “back at square one” in so many ways and I would feel so bad and stupid about it, but my dad recently helped me realize that 1) this shit is normal (especially during my 20s), banging our head against the wall and messing shit up is part of the process, and that learning how and remembering you can always pivot is what matters most.

The last thing I wanted to share is that I’ve changed my Instagram name for the first time in over 10 years to @whoisamahni. It may seem like something small, but it’s very meaningful to me because it represents a new era of my life.

My therapist often asks me what I want for myself. In the beginning, I’d say things like, “I want to lose weight, I want to be strong, I want to be successful” and she’d always gently prompt me to go deeper. “What is the feeling you’re looking to attain with those things? What do you want for yourself mentally and emotionally?” she’d always ask me.

And I learned I want to feel anchored and learn to believe in myself. But it’s hard to believe in someone I didn’t really like. So how do you start liking someone? You get to know who they are.

So that’s what this next chapter is fully dedicated to:

  • To enjoying, creating, and remembering who tf I am.
  • To showing up for myself by returning to the roots of who I am and tending to each flower that grows from them. 🌻
  • To living a life that feels true and brings honors to my younger self, current self, and the woman I am learning I want to become.

So who is Amahni?

Well, we’re about to find out. 🤍

✨ the glimmer gallery pause.✨

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

The glimmer gallery is taking a little break for this week—sorry to those of you who just come for the pictures (haha, just playing, it’s totally okay if you do 🤭).

an ask for you: 🤍

As I prepare to embark on this journey, there’s a lot I don’t know. And while that excites me, I’d also like to gather some of that info before I go and I know that y’all probably have insight to some things I don’t.

Here are some things I’d love to hear about from y’all if you’d be down to share:

  • Beautiful experiences you’ve had across the country
  • Lovely small to midsize towns to visit
  • Great mom & pop restaurants, shops, and businesses
  • Fun and unique places to go
  • Fun and unique things to do (like indoor skydiving)
  • Great trails and other things off the beaten path
  • Your favorite national parks and other cool things to see
  • Packing, moving, and storage tips
  • Solo traveling experiences and tips
  • Digital nomad tips
  • Safety and self-defense tips
  • What city/state you’re in if you’d like me to visit (can’t promise I’ll be able to visit everyone)
  • Anything else you think may be helpful

Finally, if you’d like to meet before I go, please reach out because we got 34 days left to make that happen.

That’s all for now. Thanks for being here and stay tuned. ✨

It’s gonna be a fun ride. 🚗


i'd love to hear from you:

  • Did anything resonate with you in today's letter?
  • Have any tips for me as I set out on this journey?

Just write, text, or send me a voice note to let me know! It makes my day to hear from you! I read every message and will definitely let you know how much I appreciate it next time we talk if I don’t respond right away (🫣 lol)!

Dear Reader,

As always, I’m grateful you’re here. Your support means so much to me and know it means a lot to hear from you, whether it’s about the letters or just you and your life. I’m excited to share this next part of my journey with you.

I hope you have a good week and that you treat at least one person with unbridled kindness and care (especially if that person is you).

With love and a hug,

Amahni E. Yarber

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