I am SO excited to welcome an IRL friend to these pages today! Meg from Pressure Cooker was technically a friend of a friend but then that friend got married on a beautiful Isle and Meg became a friend! THEN she started a blog to support her book dream and insert me! Since she wrote her first post I have been a fan. She makes yummy yummy things and incorporates her triumphs and struggles of being a new Mommy into one. IRL she is beautiful, kind, and WAY way fun! I’ve been to her place before and now she’s here! Talking to her 18-year-old self of course!!
Meg, if you had the opportunity to sit down with your 18-year-old self what would you say to her?
Dear 18-year-old me:
Oh the possibilities…..you are finishing your Senior year of high school, getting ready to head out of state to college. You are convinced you will graduate and immediately replace Katie Couric on the Today Show. Luckily, in a few years you will realize it is far more likely you would instead spend the first 14 years of your broadcast journalism career bouncing from one small town to the next reporting the 4 a.m. traffic. You will decide to change your major – GOOD MOVE.
You will love college…you will keep your closest high school friends for life (so don’t worry) and you will meet some amazing new ones. DO go to your first dorm meeting…you will meet some life-long friends who will be with you through the journeys that lie ahead. DO ignore the oh-so-friendly people sitting behind folding tables offering free T-shirts and CREDIT CARDS…..the debt will follow you for the next decade….keep walking….in fact, RUN.
You believe in second chances…and third and fourth. This is one of your most endearing qualities but you will find it also to be one of your greatest weaknesses. Choose wisely whom you give those chances too, more often than not, you will only be disappointed…..two, three and four times over.
When you finish undergrad you will move to Atlanta and become a flight attendant for a year. DO THIS….it will give you more perspective and more freedom than anything else you will ever do. You will get engaged at the ripe-old-age of 23….fortunately you will see through the haze and call off the engagement long before you ever start planning your wedding. FOLLOW YOUR HEART….TRUST YOURSELF. I am not going to tell you not to say “yes” because although this will be one of the hardest times in your life, it will also allow you to understand what you want out of life. More importantly, it will show you everything you DO NOT want for yourself and it will compel you to accept nothing but EVERYTHING you desire.
You will want to leave Atlanta after this happens…you will think VERY long and hard about leaving the city (and the heartache) behind you. DON’T LEAVE. In a few short years you will meet the most amazing, loving, supportive, generous man and YES…..you will marry him (but be patient because it will take four LONG years of dating…badgering, begging and threatening will not make this man move any faster….but he is WORTH the wait!).
You have never had a problem following your passion(s)…you have a problem with focus. WORK ON THAT, PLEASE. Give yourself a chance to breath, to think hard about how you want to spend your days. You will ignore me (because that’s what you do…when someone tells you something is not a good idea, you make it your life’s mission to prove them wrong…WORK ON THIS ALSO, PLEASE). You will try everything from Golden Gloves boxing (which you will soon realize is only fun until you get hit in the face…hard), to writing and performing stand-up comedy on the Atlanta circuit (you will be funny, you will open for some great comics and you will have the time of your life for two years). You will get your MBA, which will help you finally find a career you can sink your teeth into. However, find SOMEWHERE ELSE, ANYWHERE ELSE to get your degree…..otherwise you will find yourself with a $60,000 student loan that you will be paying off until you can no longer recall what degree you hold. BE SMARTER WITH YOUR FINANCES.
You will have your share of heartache, loss, pain and tragedy. You will RISE ABOVE IT because that’s what you do….just don’t be afraid to lean on people, you don’t always have to be so strong. You are always the first to reach out to everyone around you, to lend an ear or a hand, to let someone cry….give yourself the same courtesy and I promise THE WORLD WILL NOT STOP TURNING ON ITS AXIS.
NOW…back to your happily ever after. You will have the most amazing proposal, wedding and honeymoon….and your husband is more than you could ever have dreamed for yourself, BONUS! DO play hard to get (for the first time in your life) with this one….works like a charm. When he tells you he loves you for the first time you will say “thank you”….but don’t worry, he doesn’t hold it against you and it makes for one FANTASTIC story at your wedding.
Together you will build a life and start a family (I know you want a house full of boys but JUST PREPARE YOURSELF…a little girl will open pieces of your heart you never knew existed). You will eventually become a SAHM (shiver).…TAKE THAT, MBA (and subsequent student loans). It will be worth it though and FINALLY, you will have found your place in this great big world.
You have a big heart…you also have a sharp tongue. SPEAK LESS….LISTEN MORE. You probably won’t (again with the stubborn thing) but you could save yourself from hurting a few people and putting things into the universe you can’t get back.
THREE final thoughts for you (me):
1.) Don’t kiss the guy at the bar in Windsor your Sophomore year….he will give you your first cold sore and it will be YEARS before they come out with Valtrex.
2.) Your boobs WILL NOT GROW…not even when you gain your Freshmen 15 (or 20, or 25)….but don’t waste time or money trying to pad them or push them up. You will get the BEST birthday present when you turn 26…two of them J.
3.) MOST IMPORTANTLY….live in the moment, stop wishing for the future and stop worrying about what lies ahead. The next 113 years of your life will be gone and in the blink of an eye you will be here (writing to yourself). GOOD NEWS…you will be HAPPY, FILLED WITH LOVE and SO VERY THANKFUL YOU DIDN’T LISTEN TO YOUR OWN ADVICE.
Love and lots of wine,
Your Future, Wrinkle-Faced, Extremely Happy Self