Monday, March 12, 2007

Letter To My 18-yr Old Self

Dear Jessica,

The most important thing you'll ever hear in your life is that you are special and there's no one else quite like you. You fit in more than you know. You'll find someone who loves you and accepts you as you are. Your dream of having a family will come true, and it will be worth waiting for. When Manny asks you out, say yes. Don't change a thing. The way you will handle dating and specifically, dating him, will work out perfectly.

Don't waste any more time crying. Your father just doesn't get it. Chances are that while he does love you, he just honestly doesn't understand what it means to be a father to a daughter. He WILL be a good grandfather to your children. Trust that. You'll be away from him sooner than you think, but if you can, leave sooner. Get out on your own before you get married, if only a few months sooner. You need the time to yourself, to learn to love yourself better.

Don't waste time worrying about your weight. You are perfect in the size you're in. When you look around, realize that guys think you're beautiful and more importantly, your friends do too. You also need to realize that it's OK to stick up for yourself, and if someone calls you a bitch, keep your head up. Being called a bitch is NOT the worst thing in the world. People who like you can call you a bitch. Take back the word, and make it something positive. Bitch equals strong. Remember that.

Finish those last few credits of college. It'll be worth it. Don't take out too much in student loans. Work harder for those grades and get more scholarships and grants. Trust your own intelligence.

You need to learn that being a perfectionist can be a strength, but it can also get in the way of things. It's hard to let go of certain things, but the anxiety they bring you isn't worth it. Go to a psychiatrist sooner. Don't wait until you're 30 years old. Admit that depression and anxiety are problems, and that you have anger issues, especially about your dad. Fight less, forgive more. But really, don't wait too long to get some help. It's so worth it. Do it before you get married.

Stop fighting so much with Matt. He's a good brother, and you're a good sister, but neither of you knows it yet. Believe it or not, but he's going to be in your wedding and he's going to be a Godfather to 2 of your children. He's going to be more important in your life than you know, so be nicer to him now. Maybe you could build bonds with him sooner. Maybe you could have an extra outlet for your frustrations and stresses sooner. Maybe you could help him too.
Keep in touch with your high school friends. They're good friends, lifetime friends. Be more accepting when Christine meets Bill. She's going to need the support. Be a little more judgemental in whom Josie dates... be more vocal about helping her ditch the rotten eggs.

Stick it out with your college friends. Some of them will stay friends, some won't, and that's OK. But if one of them starts to care just a little too much, don't continue the friendship. If someone isn't a good friend to you, and you're a far better friend to them, let them go. Surround yourself with only positive people. Ditch Michelle, she's a complete and utter bitch, and not in a good way. She talks shit about you behind your back and is jealous as hell. Ditch Kristie too, she's a complete flake. Ditch Zoya, because seriously, she's going to ditch every single one of her friends for each new guy she sleeps with. Continue to be good friends with people who are positive and treat you well. Ditch the rest.

Things won't always be as hard as they are now. You may have financial issues when you're older, but right now, enjoy your financial freedom. Be strong, because soon you'll realize just how good you are. You are worth more than you think, and people do love you. You're smarter than you realize, too... and one day, one day you'll understand that your intelligence, beauty, personality, and talents have value and that other people value you too.

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