A letter to my 21 year old self:
My darling naive girl,
You are about to enter one of the most tumultuous and life-changing years of your entire life. Hold on and enjoy the journey because it will be gone far too quickly.
You kick off the year with a trip to visit your sister in Colorado. I know that the belly button ring sounds like a good idea, but honestly, skip it and get a tattoo instead. Trust me on this one.
You will be sorely disappointed by your 21st birthday activities. If you don't want to end up eating dinner at Perkins, then plan your own party. This is true throughout your life. No one can read your mind and will never do what you expect them to. Plan your fun yourself.
Majoring in French will have its one huge bonus in the fact that you get to have an epic trip to France for 2 months. This will be a trip you will never forget. Take everything in, take tons of pictures and enjoy yourself. You won't get an experience like this for a long time. Oh, and that guy on the trip you flirt with? Don't. Him and his pencil dick are not worth it.
When you come home, your mom will surprise you by telling you that she's getting married. It will be okay. Despite the fact that you've never met him, he is a good guy and he is so right for her. She deserves to be happy after being alone for so long.
After starting your senior year of college, you and C will encounter a speed bump and will discover you are pregnant. It is scary as hell and you are allowed to freak out. However, it will be okay. Just search for some cute maternity clothes. I know it was 1995, but they had to exist somewhere. And say goodbye to your belly button ring.
It will be okay if you wait to have your wedding until after the baby is born, however if you insist on having it before, then make it about you and C. Don't try to please everyone else. Have the big reception party. Even though you can't drink, you can still have fun. Otherwise, you will just regret it.
Don't be so concerned with what everyone else is thinking. You cannot please everyone, so just try to please yourself. Those sidelong glances in class mean nothing and you should not be ashamed of your growing belly or the life you hold inside you.
On a chilly May morning, you will give birth to a beautiful baby girl. She will be headstrong and opinionated and one of the best things you've ever done.
Some pearls of wisdom I've picked up along the years:
Be kind to the man you married. He will be your best friend, your lover and confidante for many years. Talk to him and tell him what you are thinking and feeling. I know you don't like talking about your feelings and you will do anything to avoid confrontation, but it will go a long way.
Learn how to manage your money. This will save you many fights and struggles. Don't rely on C's parents so heavily.
Don't let your friends go by the wayside. Keep in touch. There may be a time when they aren't there any longer.
Learn to love yourself. You don't need to rely on others to validate who you are. You are a beautiful person with a good heart. You will make many mistakes along your path, but those do not define you. Be happy and comfortable in your own skin.
P.S. Call your mom more often.