Friday, August 01, 2008

Hindsight is 20/20

So everyone needs some cheese on a random Friday, right? I found one of my favorite bloggers (Clink) earlier this year, and immediately sent a link to my friend Alisa. It was love at first blog. Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we totally stole this idea and decided to do a joint post of our own...

(check out Alisa's here.)


Hola Chica!

You are eighteen years old! You just started having sex! You are on top of the world! You are about to start college in less than a month. You just started having sex!!

Let me start by saying how beautiful you are. You are not fat - shut up. You've always been beautiful. You never believe it (and during that "perm phase" maybe you had a point) but you should. I promise that eventually you will be comfortable in your own skin, but if you could start that process earlier (like now) then things will be MUCH easier down the road. Trust me.

I'm sorry to tell you - your mom is right. The university you chose is not quite the right fit for you. Don't worry - you make it work, and it actually helps you realize some things you never want to become. As a bonus, you'll escape with one or two good friends who are with you through thick and thin. I know that senior year is rough, and all you do is hate, but you did do well by choosing a liberal arts college. And a beautiful campus. And a good education. All in all, though - your mom was right. And here's the worst part - that's not the last time that's going to happen.

You are in loooooove right now. But of course you don't know it. Oh no. You think you're dating this kid who you really enjoy spending time with (not to mention having sex with) but that you're completely in control of the situation. Behold - you didn't even cry when you left him to go to college. I'm here to tell you that you're in love. You're deeply in love and the sooner you face that, the better off you are. But we'll get back to him later.

You make some missteps in college - everyone does. But good things happen too. You try to continue in colorguard (so not the same) and it takes a ridiculously long time to rid yourself of the marching band. They are persistent!! (Not to worry - by the time you're 30, that embarrassing band picture that includes you has rotated up to the top level of of the fieldhouse, and should be gone soon.) You'll meet one of your best friends over a shared love of steak night. You'll join a sorority (I know, right? Trust me, thirty-year-old Emily can't believe it either) because of this same good friend (who will then leave you high and dry in said sorority) but you'll find it in your heart to forgive her. You'll meet some great women in the sorority and you'll have some great times, though you'll eventually come away thinking that under no circumstances should that many women ever live under one roof. I would tell you to stay strong and not join, but I think that in the end, enough good came out of it that you're not entirely embarrassed to admit that indeed you are a Pi Beta Phi.

Of the women you meet your freshman year, the most persistent friend will surprise you. She will make many of the choices you don't know that you will envy later (except for that boyfriend thing. You called that one from the very beginning.) She'll end up sharing a lot of good times with you. Don't forget about her when your paths randomly separate. They will always reconnect, and you could do better about calling her every once in a while.

You're at the same university as one of your best male friends ever. He is so in love with you. You cherish him, but you'll never love him that way - though lord knows you'll try. I really really really wish I could convince you that you're meant for each other, but I know you're not, and surprisingly, you knew that too. You should trust your instincts more. You guys are still good friends, and you still cherish him. And even though he caused you all sorts of pain by telling you he chose to study abroad to get away from you, in doing so he actually introduces you to the idea of study abroad.

You go, and it is awesome. More awesome than you can possibly imagine. Truly a life changing experience.

You'll return ready to be done with rules and college and wanting to GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE ALREADY. Chill out, sister. You'll get there. And when you do, you'll wonder why you were in such a rush. Smell the roses a little more. (And could you stay away from the comfort food in the midst of all that angst? Seriously. That stuff is KILLER to work off later.)

I can use no word other than "blessed" to describe how lucky you are to stumble into your first job after college. Not for the career aspect. Nope. Even though you're 22 and you think you know it all, you're not ready for that yet. It's for the social aspect. You'll make some great and lasting friends from this job. You have no idea how much their support will mean to you. With your college and high school friends scattered to all ends of the earth, this tight social network makes your life in Indianapolis so much more fun and rewarding and you're so lucky for that.

Remember that boy you were SO in love with after high school? Yeah, well, you'll see him again. Run! Run like a scared rabbit!

Of course you don't. You're "meant to be," right? Well, I'm here to tell you that he's going to break your heart into a million pieces. This boy is going to bring you to your knees. You - who doesn't bend for anyone. I know it's hard to believe, but trust me. (Can I please please please convince you not to take him back that last time? Seriously. There's only so much you can do, Emily. Why sign up for more pain? AND DON'T GIVE HIM BACK THE RING!!! ARGH. If it helps, that last time is when he's going to be dating his future wife behind your back. Please please please stay strong!! Okay fine. You're still going to do anything for that jerk. Can I at least convince you to punch him in the nose that last time you see him? I promise you that you won't regret it, but you WILL regret not punching him.)

Um, I know you don't think you need it, but can you work on not carrying grudges? Maybe if you start now, fifty-year-old Emily has a chance to be good at forgiveness. :-)

So - shattered heart. That's the bad news. The good news is that you pick yourself up again, and you do a damned good job of it. I'm not gonna lie - it sucks and it takes a loooooooong time (and a LOOOOOOOOT of MarioKart,) but you get by with a little help from your friends (and those MarioKart skillz come in handy later on :-) When you do it (though you make some mistakes - kudos to realizing you're on a destructive path and stopping it all by yourself) you remake yourself into who you know you are, and promise to never compromise her again. See, that steel core was there all along - it just needed some reinforcing.

Along the way you meet some men, you realize that you are beautiful(ish), and you start what I consider your "real" life. No more waiting for Mr. Assface. (Um, did I mention that you may have some residual anger from this high school boyfriend? More reason to punch him when you can. Preferably before the engagement is called off. That ring could have done some damage. Sigh.) You start to grow into you and surround yourself with things that make you happy.

And while we're at this point, you know your best friend ever? That girl that is so totally going to be your maid of honor some day? The one who wears the "Be Fri" necklace to your "St Ends?" Yeah, not so much on that. You should walk away now. She lets you down when you need her most and it will break your friendship irreparably. You sever the friendship and you never look back. The ease with which you drop that relationship makes you realize that it wasn't all that great to begin with, even though you probably can't imagine life without her now.

While you're living your life, you find yourself, you eventually fall in love again, and you fill your time with many different activities that range from soccer to tutoring adults who are learning to read. Some activities stick around longer than others :-) Even though your friends think you're insane for having such a crazy schedule, it actually helps you out! While wandering aimlessly, you actually stumble into something that you love and want to dedicate your life to. I'll bet you didn't even know you had this much passion about a career, did you? Well, you do, and you find it at a point where you're strong enough to defend your decisions (unpopular as they may be) and stick to them.

How does that turn out? Well, I'm not sure. I guess we'll both have to wait to find out.

Remember to be bold and courageous. You'll always regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did. Even now, I have remarkably few regrets, so you'll do good. Even though it seems like sometimes you can't do anything right, you have love and support from so many people that you can't ever really fall far. Make sure to thank them and tell them that you love them as often as you can.

I know how you'll turn out, but I'll wish you luck anyway. (And enter one more plea to punch Mr. Assface. No? Pretty please?)

Do Good,
Old Emily

4 comments:

Jac said...

Love it. Great stolen idea. :) I'd be horrified to write mine though!

Anonymous said...

This is good. I might have to borrow your stolen idea. Of course, my advice to a younger me could be expressed in two words..."Lighten up."

Carrie said...

This is the best blog I've read anywhere in a long time. Please don't hate me if I decide to steal the idea (I will give you credit) :).

alisa said...

I will reiterate this: we are NERDS!

Love your blog though :)