Dear Teenage B

Girl, get ready for a ride.

Seriously, the life you think you may have isn’t going to happen. I mean, some of it will, but not most of it. And those things that do happen, will not happen in the time frame you are planning.

The boy you love and think you’ll marry? It won’t happen. You’ll have a misunderstanding and spend years thinking he doesn’t want to talk to you, only to find out he thought the same thing (and you were both wrong). While you’ll be unable to rekindle your relationship, you will both acknowledge the depth of adoration you share. The boy will will grow to be a man, and he will suddenly pass from this life on his favorite holiday. When you find out, you will feel as if someone punched you in the stomach, and you won’t be able to breathe. You’ll go to his viewing, hug his family, and upon seeing him in his casket, your heart will break all over again.

In true Utah fashion, you will marry young, and be convinced that love conquers everything . Unfortunately, the marriage won’t last, and you’ll divorce. The split will be amicable, and you’ll remain friends, but the sorrow will stick around for years to come.

You’ll marry a second time, but only after some serious convincing. You believe everything changes after you get married, that those things that were good before will no longer be okay. That’s what you learned the first time. This time, however, you’re promised that won’t happen, and that promise is kept. He will be your rock, and you will be his.

The kid you never thought you’d want will come. You’ll have a gut reaction to the idea of never having kids, and that will be your sign that maybe you actually do want at least one. When she arrives you’ll feel as if everyone that is supposed to be here has arrived. She becomes your “one and done.”

As far as a career goes, you end up in project management. You like it, but you don’t love it. You get the feeling you’re surrounded by people who have given up on following any dream, and instead look and act as if they are simply accepting this lot in life and will drift along. You will also get to a point where you no longer feel like moving the mountains you once enjoyed moving. You’ll feel like they broke you; that they broke your spirit. Because of this, you resolve to be vulnerable. You decide to rewrite what you thought would be your story and begin blazing your own path. It’s not going to be easy, but you’d like to think it will be worth it. Plus, you know it is better than drifting along.

You’ll retain some of your friends from your childhood. These women will be some of the strongest people you know. You will celebrate their wins and mourn their losses. You will be reminded of just how amazing they are.

The friends you make in adulthood are unlike any you thought you’d meet. Sure, there will be some that make you think being social is one big shitshow, but there are others that you will consider family. And they will feel the same way.

I know that right now you may feel a little alone, and unsure about yourself. I’m happy to say the certainty about who you are does come, but not until your 30s. However, when it does come, you’ll know you worked hard to get there.

One last thing: you’ll spend a small fortune on therapy, trying to figure out what is wrong with you, and why you aren’t ”enough.” The kicker will be that you won’t arrive at any epiphany in a shrinks office, instead it will be after you watch “The Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood.” I shit you not. You’ll get home and end up on the floor bawling your eyes out, knowing it wasn’t you. You were caught in the middle of three adults that didn’t have their shit together. It will be one of the most therapeutic moments you’ve ever had.

I know, I’ve only given you the highlight of the highlight reel. Typically in these letters we tell our younger selves, “Don’t be so hard on yourself,” or “Don’t worry so much.” See, I know better than that. I know you won’t listen, and that worrying is practically in your DNA, so I’m saving my breath. Instead, I will just acknowledge what I do know you’ll do: you’ll always try hard and you’ll do your best. In the end, that will be the only thing that matters anyway.


Your older, more fabulous self

P.S. Okay, fine I’ll give you a few pointers: First, stop tweezing your eyebrows. While you never really had thick ones, all the tweezing isn’t doing you any favors. Second, stop taking life so serious. I know you feel the world rests on your shoulders, but I promise it does not. Finally, don’t bother trying to get a degree in Business. You hate it, and no matter how hard to try to like it, it’ll never happen.

P.P.S. Sorry, last bit of advice: You are enough, and you always have been.

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