96 Comments
Dec 29, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Congratulations! You have done so well for yourself! Many kudos!

And may I just say that as someone who just achieved full professor - the highest bar in academia - and no one seems to care, that we always need to congratulate the fuck out of ourselves!

Expand full comment
Dec 29, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

This is great. I just started going out with a guy who is similarly kind and communicative about his feelings. After a lifetime of chasing emotionally constipated guys, it's weird! But I feel like I'm ready for it, and this letter is helping me prepare for the inevitable wobbles. So thank you, BWBB, and congratulations!

Expand full comment
Dec 29, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

That letter is amazing and inspiring and he deserves a Marcia Brady-worthy amount of plaques, trophies and ribbons.

Expand full comment
Dec 29, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

BWBB wooooh, congratulations!!!! This was a beautiful letter, and I don’t know you but I’m so happy for you!!! Your letter made me smile and it also gives me hope. I’m nursing a broken heart right now and the guy I was seeing checked so many boxes but just didn’t love me like that and I’ve been distraught but your letter gives me hope that there are lovely men out there for me, that we can all learn from our past to our benefit and that we are all imperfect and beautiful. Congratulations!!!!!

Expand full comment
Dec 29, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

OMG, I am crying, BWBB!!! Congratulations is not strong enough a word to express how your letter and Polly's answer have cracked my heart open W-I-I-I-I-I-D-E and brought me to my knees. You are a top-notch inspiration and I am grateful to know your story, especially going into the New Year during this crazy time. Thank you!

Expand full comment
Dec 29, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

talk about a champ! congratulations BWBB!!! i admire how generously you accept and embrace parts of yourself that we are conditioned to be ashamed of — and how you’ve made your own unique winding twisting path to happiness in the most unexpected ways. it inspires me to know that it’s possible for sensitive, intense weirdos like us. it looks like every time the universe pulled the rug out from under your feet, you just rolled with it. you are amazing for doing your very best — each effort a huge victory whether you fell short or exceeded your own expectations with flying colors ❤️ (and thank you heather for this beautiful beautiful piece, for always making us readers feel so seen and accepted and worthy in all our inadequacies and ambivalences, every single time)

Expand full comment
Dec 29, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Congratulations! I appreciate the fuck out of you for what you wrote and what you did. I feel inspired and validated. I have come to realize that I probably couldn't have lasted in a relationship where my husband was creative and expressive the same way I was. That would have evoked my competitive nature (which is not my friend when it comes to relationships). Instead we get to experience a mutual respect, appreciation and supportiveness that might not have been there otherwise.

Expand full comment
Dec 29, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

"Eventually I finally realized—and forgave—that I was a deeply distorted, self-absorbed person and that I was projecting my own insecurities on him."

BWBB—this is HUGE. Congratulations! I very much relate to this and have realized the extent to which I do the same, spiraling down thought patterns of whether my partner is "enough" for me when I can be enough for myself. Absolutely loved reading about your flourishing journey, thank you for sharing with us!

Expand full comment

Thank you for writing this letter, BWBB!! I am so heartened at the end of such a hard year to hear the story of someone with the wisdom to find and embrace happiness despite their fraught upbringing and their “absurd choices” and delusions (who hasn’t made such choices or nursed such delusions?). Ten thousand congratulations to you and your beloved!!

Expand full comment
Dec 29, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

A thousand congratulations for building such a warm and wonderful relationship, and many many congratulations for breaking up with academia too. I am an academic and I know so many colleagues who have supposedly “beaten” the job market but are still unhappy, insecure, working all the time, and deeply disillusioned with what their “golden ticket” turned out to be. It’s a hard job to be happy in. I cheer when I see people turning their backs to do other, important, life-affirming things. Here’s to you, your present and your future!

Expand full comment
Dec 29, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

CONGRATS BWBB!! As a fellow former grad student, I am so amazed at how you are still managing to publish while making a living in a way that sounds really fun and meaningful. You deserve all the kudos.

Expand full comment

THANK YOU FOR THIS - and congratulations!!! Thank you for sharing your amazing life, and the hall of mirrors it can be to get there, and that things can be imperfect but still lead to good things! The “twisting, ambivalent paths” can really be confusing. But you know what? It sounds like you’ve found your way, and if you can, maybe I can. 💪 Congratulations!!

Expand full comment
Dec 29, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Congratulations and thank you for your inspiring story! "You opened your eyes wide, and sat quietly with a big question mark in your lap, and waited."

Expand full comment
Dec 29, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Congratulations!! You sound perfect for each other. Best wishes for a long, happy life together

Expand full comment

CONGRATULATIONS BWBB!!! What an inspiring story and one in which I know many others saw themselves mirrored (same here!) <3

Expand full comment
Dec 29, 2021Liked by Heather Havrilesky

Congratulations BWBB! You sound like a wonderful, thoughtful, kind person. I hope you and your husband have a great New Year and many many many wonderful years to come.

You are an inspiration to me.

Expand full comment