Dear 18 year old me,
Well you are 33 now, an adult, with adult responsibilities and a complicated messy love filled life. There are things I wish you would have known before we reached this point, things that knowing at 18 would have been a god send. Not knowing though has left you with battle scars, but you have learned from them. I have a list of things I want you to know.
Finding the love of your life at 13 is possible, you don’t need to run from it because you are scared of repeating your parents’ marriage. You don’t do that, you marry the love of your life and he is everything he always was and more. Being best friends for 10 years before you got married built a solid foundation of happiness, communication and true strong love.
You get to become a mommy to the best little girl in the world. She will charm you, amaze you, and complete you in ways you never knew you were missing. She will look like you, and have the best laugh. She is compassionate, fun loving, and a little nerd just like your husband. You are madly deeply in love with her and everything about her brings light to your life.
You don’t get to have Tiff on earth for much longer, so forgive her, love her, don’t fight over petty things. Embrace her, love her, reminder her a million times how awesome she is, and don’t expect to hear it back. Steal hugs when you can, and memorize that smile and laugh you are going to miss it.
You move 3000 miles away from your family, and you survive. You buy a house, you own a car, you pay bills like an adult.
There will be days where you doubt that you will make an impact on the world, there will be years of making wrong decisions and not knowing if you can handle the consequences.
You will be diagnosed with Depression, PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and seasonal affective disorder. You will get up every morning and take pills to relieve these things for a bit. Some days are going to be better then others. You will talk about it, you will understand others that suffer too, and you will work your hardest to overcome.
You will worry constantly about your family, but they to grow up. Your baby brother works at a restaurant, lives on his own, drives a big truck, and loves to fish. You won’t talk to him much, but you will know the love is there. Kassie will have 2 babies (both boys!) and Tiff will leave behind a little bit of herself in a beautiful girl named Nevaeh. Grandpa and Grandma move to Arkansas (don’t worry you don’t cry too much about missing the house, only a little bit!) and Dad lives with them after being married to an evil woman. You won’t get to see them as much as you like, I wish I could say that didn’t hurt, but it does.
Mostly though, I want to tell you this. There will be days you want to give up, there will be days that seem like they are never going to end. You will say wrong things, you will do wrong things. BUT..You are happy. You don’t have the same dreams that you once did, but you realize that dreams are meant to be changed as life ebbs and flows. You will count your riches in smiles, and crayon drawings plastered all over your fridge. There will be 3 furry animals to look after that bring you much joy. There will be holding hands with Trev until you fall asleep at night, there will be cuddling with Maddie and having midnight cereal. There will be hardships, mountains to climb, and rivers to cross, you can do it though.
I can’t wait to see what 50 year old us has to say, I hope we have wrinkles that show where we smiled the years away!