A letter from my past self

The following is the transcription of a letter I found this week.  (Yes, it was in one of the boxes of papers and folders and such.)  I wish I had found it months ago, when I’d first returned from Japan.  However, it still did me loads of good when I read it the other day.  While I missed out on some bits it mentions, I actually did a really good job of fulfilling most of the tasks prescribed in it… a version of them, anyway.

Anyway, it is a letter I wrote to myself when I was still on my college campus, about to leave to study abroad in Germany and Austria.  As per standards of our school’s study abroad program, we all had to write our future selves a letter, which would be mailed to us upon our return from our study abroad programs.  I fully acknowledge that mine is full of grammatical errors, but that was part of why I was going abroad anyway – to improve my language skills.  Also, the whole letter is written in cursive, because I do that.  The third sentence actually caused me to tear up, and the fourth had me crying.  It’s amazing how right I was, and I really didn’t know that I ever would be in the current situation in which I find myself.


10. April 2012

Hannah Leigh, chèrie,

Ich weiss nicht, was muss ich dir sagen.  Ich kenne dich nicht, weil du so viel gechanged hast.  Welcome home – may it still feel that way to you.  You are forever welcome here, so remember that – you might need it some day.  Okay, here’s what I want you to do:

1) Go record it.  Get on your computer, write up any questions
you would love for others to ask, & then record yourself
answering them.  Then you can do what you want with
it all, but you will have that satisfaction, that completeness,
wholeness of having shared what you needed, desired, wanted
to share.

2) Talk to people.  Make a quick list of what specifically you already
have wanted to share with whom.  Call each person & set up when
& where you will share what you have to share.  Share with them.

3) Talk to Opa.  No matter where he is, go visit him & talk with
him completely in German.

4) Find someone local with whom you can be open, close, & frank, & speak
only German (or completely German) together with ease.

5) Remember that it’s all right not to “know” who you are.  Knowing
makes no difference, anyway, so no good reason to bother with it.
Look yourself in the mirror & see all that has passed, & be open to
all that will come.

6) You are woman & you create the universe with your being.  Your
power is endless, & it is selfless love that feels it.  Love your
mother & your Mother.  Love your self wholly, & your next
step will become available and visible to you.

7) Be at peace.  Even if it was &/or is hard, it is all relative.
Take it for the beneficial experience that it is, & enjoy every
bit you have gotten & will get from it all.

8) Now & every time you see that it just might possibly help,
take a deep breath & close your eyes, letting your thoughts
run around & then calm naturally as you breathe deeply.

I love you & I wish you all the best.  I am here with you always, though I will now be transformed from the time I wrote this letter.  My understanding & my love have only increased & expanded, I promise.  You are wonderful.  You are beautiful.  You are mine.

I love you.  Love me, too.
❤ Peace       Hannah Leigh


P.S. Pretend I pressed a flower in here to give you a wholesome smile & kiss.  🙂 oxox


Post-a-day 2018


Longest and Shortest Years

Okay, please exclude February 29th from existence for this reading and any further conversation on the topic.  Kay, thanks.  😉


Thus ends the longest year of my life.  It began in Tokyo, Japan and ended in Houston, Texas, thereby making it 13 hours longer than any regular year in my life.  Last year, 2016, was the shortest year of my life by 13 hours, because it was reversed: It began in Houston, Texas and ended in Tokyo, Japan.

Before this year, my shortest year had been 2012, beginning in Houston and ending in Vienna, Austria, making it 7 hours shorter than usual, and making 2013, which ended in Houston, 7 hours longer than usual.  Those years are now in second place for the shortest and longest years of my life.

Fun, huh?  😛

When I was little, I made several lists of things I wanted to do in my life.  I remember writing into one at some point that I wanted to live the longest and shortest year possible one day.  That means spending one December 31-January 1 in the first time zone, the following in the last time zone, and then the third in the first time zone again.  I now actually have friends in both locations, so it is totally possible.  Let’s see if I can pull it off, shall we?


Just to drive me nuts, these had to clash with leap years, instead of working with them.  I’ll get there some day, I imagine.  I’ve gotten so close without even putting forth a conscious effort already.  I can only imagine what I’ll pull off in the future.  And I know it will begin with the January first of a leap year, whenever it happens.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017

My well-worn boots

Tomorrow, I am to wear boots.  They are cowboy boots.  I got them in Vienna, while I lived there a few years ago.  For my best friend’s wedding, the bridal party all wore cowboy boots.  The night before the wedding, we had a fire outside in the cool, January first air.  I had my foot resting on the edge of the ring around the fire pit, not realizing that it was a metal pit (as opposed to a ring around a dirt pit), and the edge was connected to the part holding the fire.  I felt a stickiness when I adjusted my footing, and checked my boot to see what its cause was.  No, it was not tree sap, but rather the melting of the sole of my boot.

To this day, I recall the incident every time I think of the boots, and I smile goofily (or so it feels to me, anyway) when I see the deep line going across the forward sole of my one boot.  I am also grateful that I noticed it when I had, and that the sole still remains entirely functional, despite the sort of gash – I could have burned my foot if it’d gone through the sole much farther!

Just an interesting story about my boots, I suppose.  🙂  Oh, and they’re from a store called something like “New York”.


Post-a-day 2017

Boys’ Choirs

This afternoon, as part of an Oktoberfest celebration, my mom and I listened to and watched the Houston Saengerbund.  They are an organization all about promoting German language singing and culture, and they seem quite kind and fun as a whole.  However, hearing their name instantly called to mind the name of Wiener Sängerknaben, which is the German name for the Vienna Boys’ Choir.

One of my brothers was in a boys’ choir when I was little.  I remember going to their performances and concerts.  I loved it.  The music was always absolutely beautiful.  I suppose it was one of the many reasons I have always looked up to him, thought him awesome.  I think it was because of this that I was perhaps a bit more aware of boys’ choirs than the average kid.  I grew up knowing about the Vienna Boys’ Choir, and dreaming of how amazing they must be.  They were seen almost as gods, when compared to my brother’s boys’ choir, but how could I even imagine such a thing, when, to me, this boys’ choir, the one with my brother, was already singing music of the gods?  I  imagined the Vienna Boys’ Choir as perfection, and left it at that.

I never even considered hearing them perform.  It was that far out of the realm of possibility.

But, of course, since my life is so dearly blessed, this unacknowledged dream was fulfilled.  While I was living in Vienna, my mom and I went together to hear them sing.  It was the only time I have paid to attend Mass.  

When we did some research about it, it seemed all too easy.  I could hardly believe that we merely had to buy incredibly affordable tickets to attend Mass at the Wiener Hofburgkapelle (Wowzer, that place is gorgeous, by the way!) in order to hear the boys sing.  But we did it, and it was absolutely amazing.  I think I could’ve cried during the Mass at almost any given moment, and I might have actually cried when the boys came down in front to sing a couple other songs after the Mass.  I don’t actually remember.  That wasn’t exactly my focus at the time. 

There’s no way to describe the experience appropriately, so I won’t bother.  It was a dream that I had hardly even dreamed, and it was being fulfilled.  Perhaps you know what that’s like.  It was magic being real in two ways: First, in their music, and second, in my being there to hear it firsthand.  It was perfection (in the cold, since it was the middle of winter).

Post-a-day 2017

Inglorious Basterds

Last night, as I was going to bed (Or was it at some point in the middle of the night, when I woke up?  Or even this morning?), I recalled the film “Inglorious Basterds”, and had a slight desire to watch it.  I have seen it already, but this film and I have a sort of special connection, and for various reasons.

For one thing, I first saw the beginning of it on my first trip to France, on my Freshman year JanTerm in Cannes – a sort of momentous occasion, its being my first time there and all.  One of the students working at our dorm’s café was all excited about watching it, and got us all to sit around to watch it at the café.  After only a few minutes, I was uninterested in the film, and I left (as I recall).

A few years later, I finally watched the whole film, though I forget currently when and how.  So, it was meant to be comedic and historical and action-filled.  Got it.  Now I’d seen it, so I didn’t have to see it again.

Then, while living in Vienna (though that part’s somewhat irrelevant), I saw two films that I loved.  The first was “Keinohrhasen”, with the German actor Til Schweiger.  I fell in love with the film, and has a soft spot for Til because of it.  Then, I saw in theaters the film “Django Unchained”.  I somewhat fell in love with the German character of the film, played by Christoph Waltz, who is Austrian-German himself.  By calling to mind before the start of the film that this was a Quentin Tarantino film, I was able to enjoy the full beauty and glory of the artistry that was “Django Unchained”.

Once back in the States, however, I recalled that I had not given just perspective to “Inglorious Basterds” as a Quentin Tarantino marvel, but had judged it relative to the average film.  (I grew up in love with Kill Bill, you see, and learned QT’s style of gore and revenge and all that, somehow learning to enjoy and appreciate it because of the setting and story that was Kill Bill, probably with a bit of guidance from my brother Michael, who had shown me the films in the first place.)  So, I decided it was high time to watch the film again, though this time as a Quentin Tarantino film, instead of a regular one.

And so I did.  However, allow me to point out the setting of this film: WWII in Germany and France (or, at least, a France filled with Germans), with Americans interspersed.  When the movie began, it took me about ten minutes (?) to realize that something was amiss… or, at least, something felt like it must be amiss.

I eventually realized (and even had to pause the film for the extreme laughter that arose from within me) that it was the fact that I was completely missing the subtitles.  I was not, however, missing the dialogue.  I was just merely ignoring, nay, not even noticing the subtitles, because I simply understood what was being said.  The laughter came suddenly and from deep within – it was like this film was made for me, in a sense.  I now spoke decent French and German (and still fantabulous English, of course), and this movie played back and forth between my three main languages.  It was a perfect mix of cultures and language for my language-loving mind.

Now, that was great, but it got even better.  Then, I found Christoph Waltz AND Til Schweiger in the film.  Add that all to the expectation of Quentin Tarantino’s style, as well as the gorgeous Brad Pitt (yeah, I have a soft spot for him, too), and I was in love with the film.

You’d think that’d be enough to have a special bond with a film, but there’s one more bit to it all, and a rather profound one at that.  Seeing this film shortly after seeing Django had me notice something quite peculiar.  In Django, Christoph Waltz was quite obviously ‘the good guy’ of the film.  He had obvious morals that were oh-so-lacking in the other characters, plus he was totally BA* with his skills and tactics and sense of style.  In a way, in the time and place of Django, being German was ideal, and being American was kind of terrible.  (Do you see where this is going?)

Now, look at “Inglorious Basterds”.  Are the roles not 100% switched?  Christoph Waltz, whose character once was somewhat idolized for his status of being German, now was considered the worst of the worst in morals because he was German.  And the Americans were appropriately on the high ground this time.  Had it been another actor, I’m not sure I would have made quite the same connection.  But I found it amazing that this one man – and yes, I am aware that Christoph Waltz was not present for any of these actual periods of history, but just roll with it – could, at one point in time, be honored and respected for being himself (German), and, at the next, be despised and hated for being himself (German).

And so, I have this forever attachment and special relationship with “Inglorious Basterds”, which also inevitably drags along a bit of moral contemplation on the mentality of the human species throughout the course of human events (especially conflict).  And, of course, Christoph Waltz.  None of this would have truly linked together so well without his wonderful collaboration with Quentin Tarantino, as well as his total enrollment in the characters he played (I truly loved the one, and was distraught by his death, and despised the other, hoping throughout the film for his immediate death.).  Nods and hats off to you, sir.  And Quentin Tarantino – you’re awesome, too, sir.





Post-a-day 2017