Thursday, December 13, 2007

An open letter to me, circa early 1996

Dear 17-year-old MLE,

Hi! It's me, and it's now 2007. Honey, there is so much I could tell you about what cool things you're going to do and where you'll go and who you'll meet, but you'll just have to wait and see.

First of all, it gets So Much Better in college. Yes, really. You are really going to enjoy living in Berkeley. You'll get to eat all kinds of things you've never tried, and you'll even learn to like vegetables. And you'll never have to eat a hamburger again. You are also going to let things like alcohol pass your lips. I know, it's shocking, but true.

That guy you have a crush on, the one you haven't really even admitted to yourself? Yes, you're going to date him in college, and though you'll spend the first six months of the relationship completely insecure and convinced that his other high school friends are going to tell him to dump you, eventually you will become friends with them too and you'll all look back on it and laugh. It won't be the best relationship you'll ever have, but it's important because it will help you learn how to be with someone, long-term.

You may not realize it, but all those clothes that your mom saved from college are going to be in fashion in a few years, long after you wore them in high school. You'll look like a trendsetter, eventually.

Mom is right about a lot more things than you're willing to give her credit for. Including your eyebrows. You will feel so much better about yourself once you stop wearing so much makeup and start maintaining those caterpillars on your face. It's something you'll have to do every day, but you will feel so much prettier. Flirt! Flirt with all those guys in college. It's OK to flirt even when you're in a relationship. And definitely OK once you aren't anymore.

Yes, the acne goes away. Eventually. No, I won't tell you how long, but it takes longer than you'd like.

You are amazingly strong in so many ways, far more than you realize. You will have to quit ballet next year. You finally get your hips checked out at the University health clinic and they'll tell you to quit because the cartiledge is nearly gone. It will suck, but you will find other ways to enjoy being alive. They'll stop hurting once you stop dancing. And let's face it, while you're underweight right now (Yes, you are! No, you aren't fat!) you are never going to have a professional ballerina body. Girl, you have hips and muscles and curves and you like food way more than the taste of toilet paper. Plus, once you quit dancing you'll go up a cup size because you'll finally be at a normal bodyfat level.

College is going to be awesome. There will be drama, and there will be challenges, and there will be a C. Yes, a C. And you will feel lucky to get that C, and it will hold down your GPA, but it will teach you a lesson about not taking classes with 2400 people in them and expecting to do well. You will find interesting jobs and be able to live pretty frugally in college, in situations that are (for the most part) good environments. Don't be afraid to spend money on yourself once in a while. Enjoy yourself!

The internet is going to become much more important to you than you can imagine. You are going to meet so many people that live all over the place, and you are going to go on a Grand Adventure after college, and a particular website that helps you plan your Grand Adventure will lead you to friendships (and more-ships) with people you never would otherwise have met. It becomes far more than chatrooms with avatars, I promise. In fact, in 2007 most people in office jobs won't be able to do their jobs without it. Speaking of jobs, your first job out of college is going to suck, and your second one is going to be work that you really enjoy coupled with a horrible asshole boss and horrible working environment. But you'll figure it out. You'll also end up moving to another state to live with a boy! Yes, you'll miss California, but luckily the internet will help you figure out how to buy cheap plane tickets.

You will find people who love you for who you truly are. You won't have to pretend. You are going to end up meeting someone on the internet and someday you will marry him. No, I won't tell you his name, but he does have a goatee (yes, you'll still like those in 2007) and he'll love you (and you'll love him) more than you can possibly imagine. You'll have tons of adventures before you meet him, and you'll share adventures with him. It'll be awesome.


2007 MLE

(thanks to clink)


Anonymous said...

ROCK~ That's one of the best things you've written!

Abby said...

You have come so far and written so well about it. Brilliant!

PS. I hope you have an amazing time in Italy and I look forward to hearing about it.

Clink said...