Letter to Me

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Most of you know that I don’t really write this blog with any purpose. It’s not a how-to, not a political blog, not even a army-wife blog. It’s just how I clear my head. Honestly, it flatters me that you think what goes on in there is worthy of your time reading it. 😉

2 months ago, I turned 30. No gasping from you, the mid-twenties crowd… 30 has never scared me. Maybe it’s because I watched my sister hit it 6 years ago with grace, and the wench just gets prettier every year. Really. It’s nauseating. Sigh. Anyway, 30 has never bothered me, so reaching it has been somewhat of a comfort. I feel older, wiser, more accomplished, less inhibited. I feel like some days, I might actually know what I’m talking about. I feel lucky to be so freaking happy in my life! Okay, not that deer are bringing me breakfast, birdies fetching my towel after a shower or woodland creatures serenading the baseball carpool, but you get the point. I feel so blessed. At this point, I suppose a little reflection was in order, and lately, I’ve been thinking back to when I was 18. The year I went to college. The year before I met Jason. In so many ways I am still that girl, but I wish I could tell her everything she has coming. I wish I could just drop myself a letter during that summer… this is what it would say:
Dear Becky,
Yes, you’re still on this Becky kick. No worries, in a few years you’ll move on to “Rebecca” once you have your head on straight. But for now, Becky it is. I’d like nothing more than to give you a big hug right now and tell you that everything in your life is going to work out okay. More than okay.
First off, you aren’t fat. Seriously. Whoever says that to you isn’t worth your time, so stop fussing. I know you love this lifeguard gig, and you’re pretty stoked about that tan, but please, put more sunscreen on. I have to deal with what you think is “hot” right now. Lather up, buttercup.
Now, I wish I could warn you about this impetuous nature you have. I wish I could tell you to stop making rash decisions based on emotions that you’re really not qualified to judge right now. I wish I could tell you focus on the big picture of life, and not boys. But I can’t. Because it is this nature that will eventually bring you to the happiest place in your life. Not immediately though. You’re heading into a rough year, and by the end of it you’re going to feel like someone has taken your heart, slipped it through the shredder, then repeated the process, oh a few more times. It’s okay. It will be okay, just keep that heart of yours open, even when you’re ready to shut it down and lock it away.
Love is not what you think it is. It’s not supposed to be difficult. It’s not supposed to be full of harshly spoken words, tears, fear, placation. If I remember correctly, your feet are pretty banged up by now from the eggshells you’ve been walking on. You’d fight even yourself for telling you this, but it’s not supposed to be this hard! True love, the kind that lasts like fairy tales? It exists, and it’s waiting for you if you just hold on, ride this roller coaster and trust a little. That’s not saying that it’s easy, because life throws obstacles, but the emotion itself, the relationship, that’s easy. Like that feeling you get when you’re floating in the pool. Equilibrium.
I wish I could show you our husband. He’s hot. Like mouth-watering even 9 years of marriage later kind of hot. And here’s the kicker: he thinks the same about you. This man will carry you up the stairs 9 months pregnant and never once complain about the weight you’ve gained from carrying his babies. After being together 11 years, you still can’t keep your hands off each other. Bliss. When people say you’re too young to marry, roll your eyes and carry on. Because you make it. I could cry for you because you think you understand love, you think it’s about sacrifice, and fighting, and holding on against the odds. Oh honey, if you could take a peek inside my heart, your heart, when you’re 30, you would run, not walk to find this man. But don’t. You have a road to take, and so does he, and when you meet him, trust me you’ll know. You’ll know it in the first moment you set eyes on him, because he is everything you’ve ever wanted.
Stop behaving like a teenage fool. You have no clue, but you’re already a mother to a child 1800 miles away. It’s okay to be dorky. It’s okay to want to stay home on a Saturday night, eat popcorn with dad and watch Star Wars. This knowledge will help you as your little heathens begin appearing in your life. Trust me, the Force is With You in this house. Also, just give in and start reading that Harry Potter book those kids rave about. Like I said, it’s okay to be a dork. Embrace it.
Take it easy on mom. You won’t believe me, but one day, you’ll realize that you have more in common than you thought. Time and distance will bring you perspective, and you’ll both grow to appreciate one another. But yes, Kate will always be the pretty one. Get over it now, because she’s still the other half of you. That’s not to say that you won’t be pretty. You grow into your looks, and you are a beautiful girl. One day, you’ll have the confidence to acknowledge that.
Spend more time with Grandpa. Now. Like put the letter down, get in your car (yes, I know you hate that car) and go down to his house. Help him in the garden, sort his mail, cook him dinner and talk to him. God, please talk to him about everything and nothing. Soon, you’ll start to notice why. And though you’ll try to ignore it, you can’t. All too soon, you will look into his eyes and know that he doesn’t remember who you are. So go now.
You will eventually curb this selfish nature of yours emotionally. You’ll realize that it’s not always about you. You’re still a control freak though. But you know how you lose everything? Your keys? Your ID? Your mind? Yeah, get used to that. Oh, and it still takes you 20 minutes to leave the house because you keep forgetting things. Just accept it. Luckily you marry a man who rolls his eyes and waits patiently for you to remember if you left your sunglasses in the bathroom or on the end table.
Basically, just survive. Everything that’s so dramatic to you means nothing in the long haul. Oh, and that military life you’ve shunned? Yeah, the part of you that runs screaming from anything in uniform? Get over it. Take comfort in your roots, and know that everything life is about to throw at you; in some weird way, mom and dad prepared you for it. You are stronger than you feel. You are beautiful, inside and out. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You are perfect as you are, a work in progress.
Trust me, year by year, it just gets better. By the time you’re writing this, you’ll have everything you’ve ever wanted emotionally, and you have the support of your husband to seek out anything else you choose to do. But you have to be strong enough to stand up and follow that impetuous heart of yours.
It will lead you to where you belong, where you’ll always belong.
I’ll see you soon.

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