I think it’s safe to say that everyone in the www has a crush on today’s guest. I know it’s safe to say that I do. Which is fitting seeing that the first time I crossed her path was in response to a tweet about her foxy new hair cut. I have no recollection of what made me click/see/come across the picture but I did and told her it was beautiful, because it was. And then I started reading and reading and haven’t stopped reading since. Julie C. Gardner is here. Yes, yes she is. Mother, wife, dog-lover, runner, wine drinker, teacher in her previous life, novelist in her current. Friend, role model, giggle invoker. There’s a short list in my head of the friends I’ve never met that I’d like to have happy hour with and she’s on it, right at the top. Her writing at byanyothername is honest, witty, and sincere. Just as I’m certain she is.
Julie, if you had the opportunity to run into your 18-year-old self what would you say to her?
Hey there, Julie Poolie!
If I’ve timed this correctly, today’s your 18th birthday.
I hope you’re enjoying the cake and that guy you’re with because as it turns out, he’s not the one. (Shhhhh.)
And as much as becoming “legal” seems like a tremendous milestone, hold onto your Bartles & Jaymes because I’m writing to you from the future.
I know math’s a weak spot for us so this means I’m 43.
Take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. You’re going to be okay.
But you’ll also experience your share of bumps and bruises over the next quarter-century.
And blisters. Oh yes, the blisters.
The good news? You’ll manage to avoid any hospital stays. (Besides the two babies you’re going to birth.)
And after teaching English for sixteen years, you’ll go only halfway insane chasing down that dream of being a writer. (Okay. Maybe 51%. Give or take.)
Still. I’m getting ahead of myself. Again.
Because what I’d planned to do is share twenty-five hints about your life.
One for each birthday we’ve celebrated since October 5th, 1986.
So listen. I’m a lot older than you. And maybe a bit wiser. Which means you should take what I suggest to heart, but also with a crooked grin; because the beauty’s in the journey and I don’t want to give away your joy.
To that end, proceed. And feel free to read what you wish into these clues for the coming years.
I won’t confirm or deny anything. Because as those famous philosophers the Go-Go’s once said, “Our lips are sealed.”
1987 – But first you should start using moisturizer and rethink butterfly clips.
1988 — UCLA fight, fight, fight!
1989 – Sure you can be “just friends” with boys. Kind of.
1990 – Just say NO to Citibank. And Dexatrim.
1991 – Pomp and circumstance and student loans.
1992 – Things get crowded back in the nest.
1993 – “O Captain! My Captain!” And “Words, words, words…”
1994 – Some blind dates last forever.
1995 – Wine tasting doesn’t suck.
1996 — Four weddings and a mortgage.
1997 – The epidural is your friend.
1998 — Purple dinosaurs, Blue dogs.
1999 – And baby makes four.
2000 – Re: Y2K — you can safely skip the bomb shelter.
2001 – Old job, old friends, new house, new war.
2002 – The days may drag.
2003 – The years will fly.
2004 – In the blur of it all, remember who you are.
2005 – And what you really want.
2006 – Your babies are watching, learning, deciding.
2007 – So on the precipice of change…leap.
2008 – Because 40 is the new everything.
2009 — Full of midlife marathons and manuscripts…
2010 — And Facebook and Twitter and WordPress, oh my!
2011 — So scoot in close and read my lips: don’t give up.
Did you hear me? DON’T GIVE UP!!!
And I won’t either.
We can shake on it this October 5th, 2012. But don’t hurry. I’ll wait.
With an open heart and a crooked grin.
Thank you Julie. I strategically asked you to guest today, knowing I would be able to begin wrapping this series up on a sweet, sweet note. Thank you.