The dress Rehearsal
Guess what I was doing when I was twenty? Writing thank you cards for my wedding. I kid you not. I got married three weeks shy of my 20th birthday in 1976. And guess why? I was the last one in my group of friends to get married and I had FOMO before FOMO was a thing.
My father had offered to pay full tuition for me to go to any college of my choice and instead of taking him up on his offer, I chose to take a full time job with the post office. The pay at the time was better than a teacher’s salary, and I had NO idea what I wanted to do with my life so I took the easy route into adulthood, so I thought.
The guy I married was my high school sweetheart, or should I say, my last high school sweetheart because there were many. He was a good choice. He was funny, he was kind, he loved me, he made me feel safe and he really was my best friend, but I remember feeling like I was a guest at my own wedding instead of a bride. I kept looking around the room wondering what the hell was going on out in the world while I was walking around in a long white dress with a fake smile plastered on my face hugging people and shaking hands.
FOMO did not end for me with the wedding. I had never thought about being a mother and then after all my close friends had kids; yup, I had to have one. Nevertheless, at 23 years old, the experience with my first born was magical! A gift like no other. The magic was somewhat lost on my second and third child (not because I didn’t love them every bit as much), because I did not have the time as a full time working mom to feel the magic.
What would I tell my twenty year old self? Slow down. Get to know who you are and what you want to do with your life. Go through a personal healing process before getting into a committed relationship otherwise you will be responding to conflict and strife as a wounded child instead of a secure adult in your marriage. Unfortunately, my marriage to my first husband did not last.
Eventually I did finish college. I put myself through college while working full time as a single mother while my two eldest children were in college. My father came to my graduation and presented me with a beautiful gold bracelet as a gift. He probably wished more than I did that I had taken him up on his offer way back when.
But I can’t go back. I can only go forward and my lesson most learned after living most of my life as if it was a dress rehearsal for an unwritten play, whatever your destiny, live your life to the fullest, in the present moment. Smell the roses….
And find love. True love. Love of self first, and then someone to share your best self with, when the time is right and not before.
5 Year Mission
Hey 20 Old Me,
Just a heads up - the next five years are going to be the worst of your life.
I'm sorry, I know that's kind of a dick move to pull, giving a warning from the future with no other information besides a foreboding sense of dread.
However, if I tell you not to do something it may impact the final chain of events that leads you to 30+ Old Me, and I can't let that happen.
Because even if these next five years will break you down to the lowest you've ever felt in your life - the following ten years are worth every tear, scream, and agonizing moment.
I know you can do this. For the simple fact that I already have.
Hang in there.
When I’m older
I'm not 20 yet, it seems so far off. But I want to tell me this much.
Keep writing, you're good and smart.
Don't procrastonate, get that head start.
Help others as much as you can.
Know that not everything goes according to your plan.
I hope that when I'm 20 I'll be doing alright.
I hope not to be putting up a fight.
Watch yourself, and those you're with.
Make sure that this letter isn't just a wish.
By now I hope you have figured out,
Some of what life is all about.
Listen to those, who know how this story goes.
Stop and think, remember what you know.
Don't forget to play in the snow.
Remeber what you learned in school,
and life can be really cool.
Be good, be kind, and always apologize.
Forgive others, you don't have to do this alone,
You don't always have to be known.
You won't always know what to do,
And many won't know too.
Keep good freinds,
and always keep a smile on your face.
Barefoot and Preggers.
I know that you’re getting quite petrified now,
With that life, all that love, in your belly.
Don’t worry, she’s smart as heck. Don’t ask me how.
She was born with such gumption and welly.
You’ll love her so much that you’ll want to have more,
And that husband of yours will agree.
In the end you’ll both settle on having just four.
Worth all stretch marks and pain. You will see.
Don’t get caught up in all your friend’s feminist fads.
Don’t buy into that crap. ’Makes you bitter.
You’re in love. It is true. It is real. (Shock! Egads!)
A good father? Dear, none could be fitter.
Dear little idiot
1.Sometimes letting go is the best thing to do.
2. Don't let fear stop you from living your best life.
3. People will come and go. However, make sure to keep those who carry you through storms close.
4. Love yourself in order to teach others how to love you.
5. Only go the extra mile for those willing to do the same for you.
6. All bad things come to an end.
7. The things that break you down, actually builds you.
8. Take chances.
9. Every choice has a consequence.
10. Believe that God is greater than anything.
About a better Life
Were twenty for a second
Soon for a minute
Add fifty nine more
Makes you twenty for an hour.
Tack on twenty five more years and you’ll be as old as I am now
My life is perfect
Telling you anything might Fuck it up somehow
So relax EVERYTHING leads to where you’d wish to be
And getting to greedy would be the end of more than just me
Most likely (her as well)
The only future you’ll soon worry about won’t be your own
Advice you would give to your 20 y/o self
Not gonna lie, I'd probably keep a list of those who a, broke my heart, b, I can't trust, or c, Footage for Blackmail, or fuck. All three.
i wish there was a powerpoint presentation
that i could show myself
my pointer would be a red laser
and i would circle the parts
of my old text conversations
where it all went horribly wrong
parts of dialogue
where i should have had some self-respect
one day your college professor
dressed in her monday best
will come back as your spiritual advisor
talking in silhouettes
like she could eat men
someone i could be if i dared to speak
twenty was the year of strange relationships
i wish i could say to myself then
you will learn lessons not taught in classrooms
Tale of Life
"Live today, Die tomorrow".
Shakespeare said, "Live, before you die".
This is tale of life, a “lifestyle”...
Don't forget your memories. When you throw away a memory, you can't get it back. It's like having a dream, good or bad, then waking up and not remembering it. Someday, you'll want to remember those dreams. I know you're a goldfish brain, but that does not give you any excuse because you can write those memories down. (Probably why you can write because if you couldn't you'd be in a bit of a pickle). Best of luck, your younger self.
P.S. If you're still single, it's ok. Being single has it's perks.