This was hands-down one of the hardest posts I've ever written...please be kind.
Dear pre-teen me,
Don't buy those red glasses. Even though mommy says you look beautiful. How can I put this nicely? You look kinda dorky. And for the rest of your life, you're going to have to look at your Bat-Mitzvah pictures and see those red glasses. Oh and the bangs...I know all the girls have them, but your hair is not cut out for bangs. you barely know how to use a hair dryer and wavy bangs are just not the way to go. So between the red glasses and the bangs, those pictures are going to be hard to look at. But just know that this coming summer, you're going to grow out those bangs and get contacts which will change.your.life. People won't even recognize you in September and you're going to feel really pretty and guess what? Boys are actually going to start paying attention to you!
Dear teenager me,
You may think you know everything, but you don't. That boy that you're dating-ugh! You're parents are very right about him. Get rid of him ASAP. But if you don't, don't worry there will be others who are much more worthy of your time! Try to be nicer to your parents. They're really smart people. And they give you a lot of freedom, you should try to respect them a little more. You're going to get caught smoking something not exactly FDA approved. It's a long story, but you'll have a scar on your thigh for the rest of your life to remind you of that night. Mom and Dad are not going to be happy with you, but you will gain their trust back and one day will even be able to laugh about it. But seriously, don't laugh about it now, they're pissed off. Keep up the good work at school - that high school was a great choice, lots of hard work, but it'll really prepare you for college.
Dear college-age me,
Okay, I want to tell you that you should go to Bio and maybe then you'll be the doctor you always wanted to be, but I think you end up pretty happy. So you know what, keep skipping that class (who the hell makes Bio 101 at 8:30 in the morning anyway?!?) and learn what it's like for the first time in your life to fail a class. Psychology is a much better choice for you anyway. Also, don't be such a bitch to Brian at that date party - you end up with a loser. You're going to grow up a lot during these years. Be really grateful that mom and dad took out a loan so you could study abroad. Enjoy your time there cause you think you're going to get back to Europe really soon, but it'll actually take you several years to get back there. So enjoy every second. You're going to make a huge decision there, consider it a lIfe lesson learned...Know that you made the right decision. It was a hard one to make. But in the end, it's really what's best. You will never regret it. The girls you live with now are going to be your bridesmaids at your wedding - they're good people. You loved college, loved studying abroad, did some stupid shit and you made it out alive.
Dear 23 year old me,
You're going to think the world is ending, it may change forever, but it doesn't end. Wait for dad at your office, he would never leave the city without you. Call your new sister in law, she's the only one with phone service who can tell mom that you and dad are okay. You both get home safe and in a roundabout way this changes your career path. Follow the new one. You're going to love being a teacher, even though you never wanted to be one because mom and Neil already do it. It's a perfect fit for you and it'll be even better fit when you become a mom.
Dear 26 year old me,
Your heart is broken, but in just a few months, you're going to meet your soul mate. You'll know it from the first date. Give yourself some time to heal and get back out there because he's waiting for you. Let people set you up on blind dates (especially Sue's friend Lana) and don't waste your time on guys that aren't worth it. The guy you're going to meet this summer is going to make you laugh harder than you've laughed ever. He's going to make you smile everyday and you will be unable to stay mad at him, even when you want to. Even though you're scared to move in with him, follow your heart, he's a keeper. And Jersey is not so bad, you'll even grow to like it, even though you'll always be a Queens girl at heart. Don't worry, you'll be able to convince him that NY is where it's at and your 3 hour commutes will be over.
Dear 29/30 year old me,
Don't become consumed with planning your wedding. At the end of those 5 hours, it's just you and him and a lifetime together. Remember that it's about the marriage and not the wedding. This is going to be a year of changes for you - new home, new marriage, and new baby. Try to enjoy all the small things. They go super fast. And you will survive living with your parents (and you'll even like it). They're going to take good care of you while you're pregnant and you won't have to lift a finger. When you finally get into your new apartment, enjoy the first few days, because Jenna is going to be two weeks early! You're going to love her at first sight. It's a love like you have never known. Those first six weeks are going to suck big time, but it'll all be worth it. Give her formula for god sake. It'll be better for you and for her. Don't feel guilty! And don't worry, the crying will eventually stop - hers and yours.
Dear 31 year old me,
Enjoy every minute of this time with Jenna. You are one lucky momma to be able to stay home with her and see her grow this past year and a half. Don't listen when people say you're nuts to start taking classes so early. You need this - you're going to make amazing new friends there - let them into your life. They're worth it! There are going to be some really tough days when you lose your shit so don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't let your pride get in the way. You moved closer to family to have the support - use it! Nobody will judge you for having a bad day. And go away on that long weekend with Mike - you both need some time to be together. Try not to forget that in addition to being a mommy, you're still a wife and an individual too.
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