Thursday, June 20, 2013

A letter to my 21 yr old self

I read a lot of blogs, probably way more than I should (because it takes a lot of time) but I sometimes get some good ideas for what to post from some of those blogs.  One of the blogs I read is Laura at Simply Healthy Mama.   She wrote a letter to her 21 year old self, and I wondered what my letter would look like.  So I decided to write one too, yes, I realize I am a copy cat.  =)

Cathy,

 This year is going to be a tough one for you.  You decided to live off campus with a good friend from high school, and that decision will affect the rest of your life. 

A couple weeks after your birthday, you will celebrate being 21 with some of your college friends who turn 21 after you.  You're going to get a little tipsy from the peach schnapps, but it's light stuff and won't affect you very much.  Just enjoy the time you spend with your friends, they don't all stay your friends for very much longer. 

In December you're going to invite Chris to your apartment from WA, this is the decision that will change your life forever.  You definitely wouldn't have seen him at this time if you had lived in the dorms still.  However, even though your life doesn't turn out how you planned, please, please still invite Chris to come to your apartment. 

In January, when you go back to college after Christmas you are going to become really depressed.  You're going to end up going to a counselor at the school because of your depression, don't worry about it.  You'll find out soon enough why you are depressed.  When your best friend, Tara, tells you that you aren't pregnant from the home pregnancy test you did, don't believe her, she read the test wrong.  You are indeed pregnant.  This is why you are so depressed.  You have very brief thoughts of getting an abortion, but don't worry, they go away almost faster than they came into your head.

You should continue to go to the counselor at school, I'm sure she could have helped a lot. I wish that you wouldn't quit going just because you now have a reason to be depressed, although, finding out your reason lessens the depression a little.  However, you continue to be super tired and end up flunking a couple classes, you really should study more so when you come back a year and a half later, you don't have to retake those classes.  However, since you don't, don't worry, you'll pass the classes the second time around and end up with your degree anyway, even if it's two years after you planned.  Honestly, I think the decision to "drop out" of school after the winter trimester was a good one, you weren't handling it well.  Don't worry, you'll go back.

When you tell Chris you're pregnant, he won't believe you.  He will insist on a dr visit (which is a good idea anyway) but don't worry, he gets more excited about your baby than you are.  I know, I know, you don't want to have this baby, and your emotions are going to be CRAZY, but you will love him (yes, I said him, no he's not a girl, the dr told you that there was a 99.9% chance that he is a he, and no, that 0.1% chance isn't really a chance at all) after he is born. 

Don't eat Froot Loops while you're pregnant!  They come back up while they are still cold causing you to give up Froot Loops for many, many years.  You like Froot Loops, you don't want to give them up.  Trust me, cold milk and Froot Loops coming back up is something you will remember forever.

Telling your roommate and second best friend will be easy (for you), but she will quit talking to you and leave your apartment within a month after you tell her.  You do eventually start talking to her again, but your friendship will never be the same.  I don't know what you could do differently here.  The damage made to your friendship wasn't your fault, but she was young too, and influenced by a really bad church, so I guess you should forgive her sooner than you actually do.  She leaves that church eventually and apologizes, accept it when it happens, maybe your friendship would be stronger instead of being barely there. 

It will be very, very hard to tell your family that you are pregnant.  But don't worry, they will continue to love you, and they will love your baby just as much as you eventually do. 

Tell Chris not to propose to you in Red Robin while Marcee goes to get her bag from her apartment.  It's not romantic and you will wish that he had done it a different way.   It's Valentine's Day weekend, tell him he can think of something more romantic and don't accept the ring till he does it right.  =)

You need to take a more active roll in your wedding.  Your mom doesn't need to do it all, and you will wish that you had done your wedding differently later.  Having one giant red rose as your bouquet, while it may look good in your head, it is really kinda weird and the florist doesn't get you the correct rose anyway, so it's not as big as you wanted.  You should go with a huge bouquet of roses and calla lilies, that would be much, much prettier.  You always wanted an outside wedding, so you should do that instead of the church wedding your mom talks you into.  However, you should do your hair exactly the way you did, because it really is beautiful and perfect.  And even though you think you don't look pregnant, you are 5 months along, and yes, you do.  Don't worry, who cares what others think. 

 Marriage is NOT all rainbows and butterflies.  There is no happily ever after, you have to work for it. You and Chris are still kids (Chris more than you).  =)  Don't yell at him for hanging out with a friend and the girl his friend likes.  He's not cheating on you, he loves you.  Please realize that while the emotions feel real in the moment, they are actually being caused by the hormones in your body and to Chris you appear CRAZY.  There's only so much a guy can take, and he didn't sign up to be married to a crazy lady. 

By the way, Chris is not attracted to pregnant ladies, so even though he loves you, he is a little grossed out that there's a baby in there.  Don't worry, you are still attractive (but please quit eating so much McDonald's and drinking root beer), and he still loves you.  Talk to him about your feelings so that you don't become so insecure about your body.  And above all, remember that you both are young and you really are acting crazy. 

When Chris decides to go to Seattle for his 21st birthday with his best friend, you should stay home.  It is really not fun to be waddling around Seattle, barhopping while 7 months pregnant.  He doesn't need a designated driver, they walk everywhere, and you just end up sore and very, very tired.  He may get mad at you, and he may lose the story of how you waddled around Seattle 7 months pregnant, but who cares.  It's not fun, don't do it. 

September 16, 1998, 20 days before you turn 22, you're going to become a mom to the most fabulous boy (I'm sorry, he is still not a girl) in the world.  He will become your life.  During your pregnancy you may not have felt much of a connection with him, but you will bond quickly and strongly with him.  In your crazy 20's he literally saves your sanity more times than you can count. 


I'm sorry to say that your 21st year is not going to be your hardest.  In fact, as crazy and difficult as it is, your hardest is yet to come. 

When you're 23 you're going to graduate from college, even though you may not deserve it.  You're also going to separate from Chris and start a long distant relationship with someone else, who you become very serious with.

When you are 24 and 25, those will be your hardest years.  You do a lot of growing up, including a divorce, a move across the state, a "real" job, lots of drinking (you catch up on all the drinking you didn't do when you were 21), a breakup with your very serious boyfriend, and lots of online dating.  You get through this period of your life and Damian continues to be your rock.  If Damian wasn't around, you honestly don't know what you would have done, you probably wouldn't have turned out so good.  (I realize that is a lot to put on a little boy, but sometimes I think our kids save us, I know Damian saves you, more than once.) 
When you are 29 you are going to get back together with Chris and you're going to buy a rundown house at 30, please don't, but do move to Mount Vernon, you love it.  When you are 34 you are going to decide to have another baby (I'm sorry, that baby turns out to be a boy as well) and you love him from the moment you find out you are pregnant and you will cry when you see his little heart beating (it may waver a little when he turns out to be a boy though . . . just kidding!). =) 

Hugs . . . you're going to need them, a lot,
Cathy

I've heard that your 20's are supposed to be your fun time in life, and while I had fun in my middle 20's, I definitely wouldn't say they were the best times of my life.  I made a lot of really bad decisions and there are so many things I did that I have regretted.  I used to say that if I had a super power it would be to go back in time, so that I could correct so many of the wrong turns I made.  However, now that I am 36 (ouch!) I am happy.  I like who I have become, and I like the way my life has turned out.  Are there things I would still change, absolutely, however, if I hadn't done all the stuff I did, including divorcing Chris, I wouldn't be who I am today.  I like who I have become.  And afterall, I am with Chris, so I guess it all turns out the way it was supposed to anyway.  =)

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