Dear my 20 year old self,
You just finished packing up your car and are ready to make the trip back to Ohio. The feelings you have right now, you will experience many times over the next 10 years. You continue to make life changing decisions in your quest to challenge yourself and find out what your purpose is on this Earth. Luckily, in 10 years, I think you are pretty close to figuring it out.
But, guess what? You are not married, you do not have 7 children, you are not teaching high school math, you live in Texas, and you eat vegetables. And not just the fried ones, the real raw veggies, and you like them.
After trying out many careers, you find one that you are passionate about. So passionate, you will be paying for that graduate school diploma until you are 55.
The good part, though, you are really good at what you do and people in your field respect you and your opinion. You will work with terminally and critically ill patients. You will cry when you first experience the death of a patient. You will lose many patients. One day you realize, as you delete a patient from your list, that you do not cry anymore. You believe it should hurt just as bad as it did the first time, every time. You turn to God for guidance and answers. And, of course, He delivers.
The next 10 years are exciting but life is not perfect at 30…you now have image issues. You have always had all of the confidence in the world, maybe even too much at times. I have always thought this has contributed to your success. Unfortunately, you overhear someone you love call you unattractive. It breaks you. You have heard your whole life that you are beautiful but you can’t seem to forget the one time someone told you different. You will struggle with this every day for years. Your family and friends are there to put you back together, you need to let them. That day your heart breaks, you need to walk away and never look back.
Because of this experience, you’ll have great relationships with stand up guys that you sabotage because you don’t believe they are really attracted to you. When it comes time to define the relationship, you bail or push them away until they leave you. You think you are saving yourself from heartbreak. Newsflash, it hurts just as badly if you define it or not. Let people love you.
Some things are still the same. You still hate cats. You still cry when your mom cries. You still fight for the underdog. You still want straight hair and a tan. You still pray everyday. You still have friends that make you laugh harder than you ever thought possible.
Even though you are enjoying life at 30, you still want some of those things you dreamed about when you were little. I guess we’ll both have to wait and see what happens. For now, you are happy with your life and happy with your self.
Good luck over the next 10 years. Sit back and enjoy your ride to Ohio. You just made one of the best decisions of your life.
Your 30 year old self