Dear Me at 23,
I know, I know, I’m only 10 years older than you. I can’t really know that much more than you do, right? Because you think you pretty much have things figured out, I know.
I just want to tell you that you actually made some good choices these last couple of years. You have learned that there are so many good people around you. Some of these friends in your little apartment complex right now are treasures you actually get to hang on to. Lucky you! You are learning that there is not only one “right way” to do life. There are so many different choices and time frames and combinations. What you are starting to figure out is that you can be a good person, and a good member of the church without structuring your life just like someone else. Many different roads led your friends to this spot you are at, and each road was different.
You have struggled with deciding if you are ready to start a family. You are not. Nobody is ready. But I will say that waiting a few years was a really good idea for you. This was a difficult decision for you to make. It seemed like for a while there you felt like you “should” have a baby. You prayed and pondered and then decided to wait. So good job for doing what YOU thought was best, not what someone else thought was best. I wish I did that more these days. There are some serious road blocks, speed bumps and potholes on your road and the little foundation you have been working on is just barely going to get you through. I don’t want to scare you, but in the next 6 years, you will question your faith, strength, marriage, and mental status. You will cling to the bits you can, and you will get through these years mostly intact, but chubbier. Ease up on the ice cream. You needed a few years of married life before taking on children.
Also in the next 6 years, you will experience such joy you can’t even believe it. Babies fast and furious. Six years from now, my younger, not-even-pregnant-yet-self, you will be done having kids. And you will know for sure about that one too. You will have had many precious moments, many opportunities to build up your faith and strength. That goofy guy you married is a dang good father and he will save your bacon many times, and will encourage you and love you. Forgive him when he struggles, and return the support he gives you. Also, your kids are beautiful and they will need a lot of sunscreen.
So, all this to say, the decisions you make this year are good ones. You did well, you chose right for YOU. Try to have a little more confidence in yourself, you are stronger than you think you are. Ten years later, I am still working on this, but trial and error have showed me that trusting myself usually works out OK.
And I know you can’t even wrap your head around this one, but you are moving to Utah soon. And you will still be there at my age. Even though it pains me to admit it, turns out that the decision to come here was a pretty good one too.