A Letter To My 22 Year Old Self

I actually am obsessed with little quotes and have an entire Pinterest board devoted to such words. From time to time (pretty often) I'll go through and read them. I find myself quite inspired when reading little quips and notions to do life great. I've realized that such words are impressionable on me and more often than not I end up inspired. Inspired to write, inspired to live a certain way or even inspired to just get up and out of bed. Recently I read this quote, "Whatever it is, it already is OK." I re-read that a few times and it was like my past open up and montaged its way through my mind. All the times I fell, all the times I felt anxious or scared, all the times I was furious ... all those times have somehow always worked themselves out and have ended up OK. It surprises me how impactful a few simple words strung together can make me reflect. How they can make me understand something so deep and truly arrive at a place in my life where I can really believe that everything will be OK. What a relief!

I think I've mentioned on past blog posts that while growing up my mother would always tell us "Everything will work out, don't worry!" This used to infuriate me, because I used to think "How do you know it will work out?" I never understood her quick response to most issues I went through. Even now when I call her hysterical and upset about something she still says the same thing. I still roll my eyes. Though, in the end things do work themselves out. I guess you do know everything Mom.

Now, this isn't to say that everything I go through works out just fine and dandy. No. What it means is that things will pick you up and make you feel incredibly great, only to then slam you into the ground left for dead. Honest, life is rough but what doesn't rid you truly makes you stronger. It is when you are re-building yourself after something not so great that you realize things will undoubtedly be OK. It is within the strength you accrue after heartbreak and setbacks that suddenly you find yourself doing OK. Maybe you even smile ...

Just last week I turned 32 years old and though I don't really feel old, I do dare I say, feel wise. Or at least a bit wiser than I was at age 22. I feel as though I've lived a life time in just ten years, which actually excites me for my future. My past gives me hope for what is to come. Hope is oddly intoxicating, it makes me feel giddy and adventurous. Anyways, I thought if I could go back and leave a little note for my 22 year old self what would I tell her? What would I tell that dirt poor, struggling through grad school plus a long-distance relationship with Dan, living off of $1 day old muffins and canned corn girl? This is what I would tell her ...

Dear Jacqui,

I know this letter may seem odd, but you always had a knack for believing in the unbelievable. I am you ten years from now and before I go any further I want to tell you that yes, you will marry Dan. So stop worrying if he does in fact want to be with you, he does. Also, take the job at Starbucks.

Look, I know when things happen to you it seems like the end of the world. That dramatic side of you (us) will never fade. Though later in life we'll start to refer to it as 'being passionate'. There is nothing wrong about feeling 'passionate' about things. I came to write you this letter not to change you, no, I love you just the way you are. I came to write you this letter to help ease your mind. I know you are impulsive, quick to react. I know you stay up late worrying about your future and struggle to feel 'caught up' with those around you. Please know that you are enough and stronger than you think.

Now, I don't want to tell you what happens in the next ten years. Where is the fun in that? Oh how I wish I could prepare you. One thing I will say is that you and Dan are spending time becoming best friends. I know it doesn't look like a normal relationship right now, but you two are laying the foundation down for what will become an unbreakable bond. Jacqui, you have some serious shit that will come and hit you out of no where coming up. All of it will knock you down and rip the breath from your lungs. I don't want to scare you, but what is to come is scary mixed with the most beautiful things you've ever seen. Honest! I can't wait for you see what I've seen. It is taking everything in me to not spoil the surprises. I'm thinking about two particular surprises right now with tears in my eyes, happy tears because I love them so. They will take your breath away in the best way possible and build you into one hell of a woman. Jacqui you are so strong.

With all that said, I want to leave you with this ... Focus on the good. Always. No matter how shitty things feel there will always be some sort of good to cling to and help carry you. You'll have to want to see the good though, don't forget that. Also, I know it is so annoying when mom tells us everything will be OK. But she is right. I am writing to tell you that everything you are about to go through is already OK. Imagine that!

Enjoy the ride Jacqui. Take a million photos, revel in the good. Stock the good so you can bring it out while struggling through the dark. And for God's sake go buy a pair of skinny jeans that actually fit! You'll finally do that around age 27, but try and do it sooner!

Love you more and more every day,