I’m sitting in Barnes and Noble at 6:32pm on a Friday night. If that’s not a huge difference from myself at this time last year, I’m not sure what would be. It got me to thinking that it’s probably about time to reflect on what I refer to as, “The summer of freedom.”
You are a hot mess. Chickiebaby, you are nothing short of good intentions but you are also as selfish as they come. I know this whole house sitting, living on your own thing is WICKED awesome! I know that being 18 and being an adult feel like the same thing. I know that being in Ybor and getting a good smoky eye look is all you really want out of life right now. It’s okay! I just wish you knew. I wish you knew that boy was a dipshit. I wish you knew that walking away from him and never looking back was the best idea. I wish you knew that your worth didn’t depend on him, or any other male for that matter. I wish you knew that taco bell isn’t actually real food. I wish you knew that it’s better to actually try cooking than just buying some tacos. It is okay to “act like a housewife” and you don’t have to rebel by refusing to cook for anyone. I wish you knew that work doesn’t have to be horrible. I wish you knew that a job is so much more than moments of annoyance and disrespect mixed with a couple giggles. I wish you knew that you were worth more than a job you hated. I wish you knew that being a girl in college was expensive. I wish you knew (or had listened when mom talked) that saving spending money was like the best idea ever. I wish you knew that Barnes and Noble is actually every bit as exciting as a club, especially after a long day. I wish you knew that it was okay to do what isn’t cool, like crocheting. I wish you knew you were allergic to cats… because seriously, that had some pretty bad consequences. (Sorry lungs, throat and nose!) I wish you knew that it was okay to be content, alone and okay. I wish you knew that at 18, you don’t know everything. You pretty much know nothing. (Note to self: That still applies at 19 and I am WELL aware.) I wish you knew that life is so much more than posting cute pictures on Instagram. I wish you knew what kind of impact volunteering has on your life and your happiness. I wish you knew that going on walks just 3x a week could have helped beat off the freshman fifteen that pretty much started the day after graduation. I wish you knew it wasn’t your fault that your grandparents didn’t make it to your graduation. I wish you knew that your graduation party guests were all there with love and that they really do care, even when sometimes others don’t. I wish you knew it was okay to be angry at them for not coming. I wish you knew it was okay to have your feelings hurt. I wish you knew how much grandma Vinnie, mom and dad tried to make up for them. I wish you knew that they were enough. I wish you knew that forgiveness was going to be a slow process and that it was going to hurt, like, a lot. I wish you knew that your parents were as excited for college as you. I wish you knew (or acknowledged) how much they sacrificed and worked to send you to a private university. I wish you knew how much you would learn there- both about the world and academically. I wish you knew that trying that one cigarette was actually a good idea! (Now you know how gross it is and you never have to do it again!) I also wish you knew how terrible hookah was for your poor, little pink lungs. I guess that’s what happens at 18 though. You learn. More than anything, I am grateful. I am grateful for the ability to learn, for the time and experience I have gained for all of the things I know now. I am sure I have MUCH more to learn and I look forward to more reflection letters in the future. To myself a year ago, you are so much stronger than you know. You will make it, I promise.