HB. That’s how this 27 year old woman is known. 2 letters that stand for her name, Hannah Brencher, and I feel as though she is this young, but wise beyond her years, writing powerhouse that shares space alongside Brene Brown, Cheryl Strayed and Elizabeth Gilbert – ‘the greats,’ as I refer to them in my head.
The way she weaves her truth is straight up magic. She founded and started the movement and organization, More Love Letters
, and the book explains how it all came to be.
It took me quite a long time to finish her first book, More Love Letters, but it wasn’t because it wasn’t captivating or not well written. I took my time and would read and process and hold the words tight, not wanting to let them go.
I finally finished the book last night on the last leg of my flight back to Montana after a very fast trip back to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving. Planes have a way of impacting my heart in how you’re stuck in that seat for however long the flight is and for that time, it’s as though life seems to halt. I breathe deeper on planes.
So I sat there, eyes welling, and I finished Hannah’s book. I took a pen to many pages and underlined and scrawled feelings and notes. I felt as though Hannah wrote for me, and I guarantee, if you read it and allow the words in, they will sink in like a sip of hot coffee on a cold snowy day, as you feel the words warm every part of your insides.
I took away so many lessons and went along for the ride of her life with her as I read page after page of her story, that she willingly wrote and owned, and then shared to the world. That is brave and fierce and she embodies what it means to be strong and own this life… She owns her words and owns her mistakes and writes with this grace that is so obvious and beautiful. She was meant for writing and meant to be bigger than all of this, otherworldly in her words.
I sat and listened to her 3-hour long writing intensive a few weeks ago that she opened up for 100 participants. I took notes the whole time, like I was in college again. I soaked up having her right there, on the screen in front of me, and I really listened. Sometimes, if we let them, experiences and books can impact us, shake us, and change us, even if it’s just for a short time, moments, or maybe longer. Hannah does that. You feel her there and the weight of her words and when she stops speaking or you stop reading, you feel her go.
I wrote to her this morning and wanted to share it here. My own love letter to Miss Hannah Brencher.
I hope you pick up her book. I can’t do her or her words justice here. You just need to read her.
This world does need more love letters and it needs more love. I think we all have a part to play in that.
Dearest Hannah –
I know I’ve written once before, and have started letters in my head that have never made it to your inbox or actual mailbox. It’s a snowy and foggy day here in Montana and I finished your book last night. On a Delta flight, with darkness surrounding that metal thing flying through the air, I finished your book and I felt an instant sense of – I want more.. I want it not to end. But that’s the thing.. that book ending felt like a beginning too. I can’t fully explain it, but I felt empowered and steady, even though for the last hundred or so pages I sat and my eyes welled and I kept thinking, shit, she just speaks right to my heart, in every imaginable way.
I attended your online webinar a few weeks ago. I was visiting my sister in sunny California and took time away to scrawl notes and your words and still am processing it all. I feel as though I continue to come more alive with every experience I choose to allow to change me. Sitting there, listening to you – was one of them. You see, I’ve been in ‘transition,’ of sorts, after returning from Peace Corps service. Most people don’t really understand how hard it is to come back to the states and all the emotions that are so difficult to navigate.. how one second I can know such joy and the next fall into a seeming pit of down-ness. My perspective has changed about what matters to me and what I need and the life I thought I wanted – it all did a 180 and has left me feeling stuck, but in odd ways, also found. Or finding. Maybe that’s a better way to write it. I am seeking that which I do not know.
I found a greater spirit abroad. I used to stand outside under the milky way and the thousands of stars and pray to the sky. I used to think I could call on the stars and ask for signs and they would answer by beaming across the sky. I’ve never seen a bigger or more beautiful sky than what I saw in Zambia. I have never felt more connected or like I was one small piece of a much bigger thing. That my life mattered but was still this speck of a thing in the whole scheme of it all. Listening to you, I felt that again. Hearing your passion and the way you weave words honestly brings me to this place of surrender. You spit truth, girl. You write it. You shared your voice. I heard you. I hear you. I am looking up and looking out and staying open to this one life I have. I don’t want to miss it. But I also know, if I don’t start going for my dreams, they will never come to be. These thoughts were so clear last night at 27,000 feet and I just wanted to write you again, and say, thank you. Thank you for being. For your light. For the magic you just inherently know. Thank you for sharing your truth and your voice. You inspire and you’re real. In that sense where most people go years striving to be ‘real,’ but you just are.
All the best and stay well, soul sister.