Dear 20-year-old self:
You don’t know this yet, but you will finally lose that virginity you’ve been holding up like a halo in just a few months. Not to your favorite Sigma Nu, P.J., at Illinois State, but to your latest disco dance partner Taylor from The Thirsty Whale. You will plan the seduction yourself, down to the smallest detail. It will happen on Sweetest Day, in your childhood home, on your childhood bed. Everything will be perfect, except for the actual act itself. Oh well, don’t say I didn’t warn you! I know you wanted to wait until it meant something, and I wish I could tell you that it did, but it went the way of most deflowerings. Not such a big deal after all!
But, dear 21-year-old self, not to fear. The next man you meet will be the ONE. The ONE you waited for. With him, it WILL be a big deal after all! So you will marry him in a mere six months from now. And it will be wonderful. For a while.
Dear 30-year-old self. I’m sorry to tell you that your marriage is indeed over. I’m not going to lie. It’s going to be rough on you. Very rough. Luckily you will have good friends to get you through it. Who will introduce you to THEIR friends. One of whom you will fall madly, gladly in love with. This one will stay with you in your heart as your one true love throughout the years, even now. But, I’m sad to say, not in the way you wanted. He WILL hurt you. More than once. But you will let him. Because you love him. But you know. You know it will never happen again. Your dreams tell you so.
Dear 30-something-year-old self: Enjoy yourself! You are still young, still beautiful! You have a great job, great friends, great boyfriends! Life is good!
Dear almost 40-year-old self: So you will bite the bullet again and get married. Wish I could say congratulations, but all I see is darkness ahead for you. And I think deep down inside you will know it, but are hoping for the best. He loves you. He will change for you. You believe him. You don’t. You know. It’s over. It’s awful. Even more than the first time. This one is NOT a gentleman. This one will hurt you physically in addition to mentally. This one will leave many scars.
Dear 40-something-year-old self: You will get cancer. It will hurt. It will take a long time to heal. It will humble you. You will think about your spiritual life. It will save you in many ways. It will help strengthen you for the upcoming issues you will have to deal with that are coming your way.
Dear rest of your life: Life will get much harder before it get easier. Hang in there. You will persevere in the end. Life will be what you make it. Appreciate your family, appreciate your friends. I can tell you that you will be a good friend, a good sister, a good aunt, and you will continue to rescue animals that love you so much. You will write more, which has been waiting to burst out of you for so long. You will continue to sing and dance, and do things that make you smile. And that’s what life is all about.