Thursday, 14 February 2013

Dear 20 Something Me ...

Looking back over my life I often think about how different things may have been if I'd known then what I know now.  Have you ever done that?  I'm pretty sure we all have at some point or another.

However, I find myself wanting to SHOVE what I know now down the throats of those who are still in their 20's.  Mostly in an effort to try and save them from the lessons I had to learn the hard way, but of course I just come off looking like a really bossy weirdo who needs her bangs trimmed and smells like poutine.

So I decided to try and assauge my sometimes-self-loathing for not knowing better before I possibly could have, and I've composed this lovely list.  I feel I could have saved myself some heartache, and maybe a few dollars, had I known some of this stuff then.  But then again, I wouldn't have listenened to me anyways.  Still, I like lists ... so here goes.

Dear 20-Something Me:

  1. Curves rock ... quit worrying about the fact that you are not skinny.  Skinny is great for skinny people ... but chances are lots of them wish they had a juicy butt and big rack like you do. 
  2. Having said that, when your friends want you to try poutine when you're 28, don't do it.  It probably becomes the reason you never get back down to a size 8.  Bitches. 
  3. Buy a video camera.  Due to circumstances beyond your control, you will not remember most of the first 2 years of your oldest son's life, and photos do not capture enough.  You've gone into debt for worse ... and you will always wish you'd done it.
  4. Ask questions about credit, learn how to budget, get life insurance, and start saving for retirement.
  5. Don't drink hard liquor.  You're a bad drunk when you do.
  6. Don't be so quick to put your own dreams on hold for someone else's.  Your dreams matter too, and they are worthy of being pursued. 
  7. Don't be a doormat.  You will figure this out at 30, but I would have much preferred you figured this out earlier.  If you don't want to do it, DON'T.  If you do, then DO.  You're not a bad person for not putting yourself first once in a while.
  8. Don't smoke, it's gross. 
  9. Your mother's death was in no way your fault.  You cannot begin to understand what kind of personal hell she was in.  You did everything you knew how, and looking back 13 years later there is nothing you would/could/or should change.  Save yourself years of worry and doubt and just know that you were a good daughter, but her time had come and she was done fighting.
  10. Your son will save your life ... make sure he knows that when he's old enough to understand.
  11. Keep your rottweiler.
  12. Trust in the fact that people come into your life for a reason, and you can learn lessons from each and every one of them whether they stay or not.  And it's okay if they don't stay.
  13. A few good friends is better than lots of mediocre ones.
  14. If you buy a house, buy it as if you had lots of teenagers.  You have no idea how much you will wish you had more space one day.
  15. Speak your mind.  Unless you're just being a cow.  
  16. Being a sister/mom is hard.  Try to be the first, more so than the latter.  Either way, your sister will turn out fine and you guys will be good buddies one day, if you can learn to let go and stop being such a controlling, perfectionist hag.
  17. Your mom was right about a lot of stuff.  You won't realize this for a few more years, but it's true.  Oh, and you will use math.  Sorry.
  18. The man of your dreams is out there, he's just waiting for you to send him a text message.  You will have a long and amazing life together.  Remember that list you made when you were 12?  Yeah ... he checks off every box plus a few more you didn't even know you wanted checked.
  19. Life is awesome, even when it sucks.  Always look for the lesson and the silver lining.  It's there even when you don't want to see it.  You're an optimist, and that's ok.  It will help you get through a lot of shit through the years.
  20. Your oldest son will come to you one day and tell you he loves his life and is grateful for the fact that, because you and his dad divorced, he now has 4 amazing parents.  On that day, you will know you are raising him right and don't need to feel guilty anymore. 

Like the spirit of my long gone mother recently told me - "you are right where you should be, and you have missed nothing.  There is serendipity to life, quit worrying and just enjoy where you are."

Thanks Mom.