Dear Me,

Dear Me in 1990 (junior year of high school):

You are at probably the lowest point of your entire life. You cannot see past the next week, let alone the next year. This has been a bad year for you. Your friends have not been there like you thought they would. You have had your heart broken into a thousand pieces and you don't see much of value when you look in the mirror. Trust me when I tell you, you will make it, and come out stronger on the other side. You will one day laugh that you dated boys named Skip, Kolby, and Mike. You will see that you were MUCH too good for them.

You will go on to college and have many more opportunities for growth. Your character will be tested and your integrity called into question. Have the courage to stand up for yourself. Don't be afraid of confrontation - especially when defending what you know to be right. These years will also be one of great freedom. You will thoroughly love not having a curfew and being on your own for the first time. It is here that you will discover the joy of running. Keep that up, for it will be a source of great happiness for you. You, my dear, will even one day run a marathon.

You will make a few poor choices in the boys that you like during this time. It will seem like the end of the world when they break your heart. Trust me when I tell you that it will be short-lived, for you will find your soul mate shortly into your second year of college.

This will be a man that you will fall hard and fast for. The first time you see him, something inside you will whisper, "Hello, old friend." Your brief courtship will be enough for you to know that he's the one - the one you want to spend eternity with. Your logic will argue against this, but you won't listen to it (thankfully). You will marry this man VERY EARLY on a warm day in March, and begin your life together. In the beginning, you will be oh, so poor. You will be the textbook definition of "starving students," but you will never feel anything lacking in your rich life. You will work at jobs you hate so that your beloved can get through school. He will repay that in spades by working hard enough so you can quit work and stay home when you have your kids.

Yes, you will have children with this man - and find yourself more in love with him than you thought possible. At times, these children will sap every ounce of your strength, but when you tuck them in at night and watch these angels sleeping, you will find a renewal of that strength. The baby years will go by so fast - please don't wish them away. You will always laugh - and stand in wonder that you still find this man funny after 13 years together. You will move cross country - more times than I'd like to admit to you - but it will be the


thing for you. You will be forced out of your comfort zone, and learn to get over your fear of the unknown. You will become an expert at making new friends - something you never thought possible.

Now listen up, this is the most important thing I've got to say to you. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. You don't believe it; you never have. You will not be 110 pounds. EVER. But you will come to feel at home in your own skin, I promise you that. You will one day look in the mirror and not hate what you see. Oh, and please, for the love of god, stop perming your hair. You will figure that one out, but far later than you wish. You will always cringe a little when looking at your wedding photos. They would have been so much prettier had you not gotten that one, last perm. In fact, you will hate it so much that you will get your hair straightened on your honeymoon and never perm it again.

So make the most of this year, know that there are so many great things up ahead for you. It's hard when you can't see past tomorrow, but I promise, tomorrow it only gets better.


You in 2007