Dear 20 Year Old Self,
The good news is, this will be one of the hardest years of your life, and in the scheme of things, it’s nothing.
Just wait until you've been around the world and back, and to war with the bugs, and to the mansion where they filmed a season of The Bachelor… you’ll see. You’re struggling to find and define yourself, wearing a gajillion hats and scheduling your weeks so tightly, because you’re convinced you can catch up to your parents, but it was their path to “have all the answers” by twenty one. It’s yours to keep uncovering questions well in to your thirties, and probably forties and fifties and beyond.
Luckily that means you’ll get to re-claim Rome, and you’ll get called to live the fourth like all your friends have been a decade later, once you’ve made your way out west - homeward bound unbeknownst to you. You’ll wear a fig leaf bikini on stage that makes you, your friends and your family forget you were ever a pink sheep. You’ll come to believe in the existence of Einstein time on a train that’s actually going to Switzerland when you’re supposed to be going to the Brussels airport. You’ll teach your sister, both of your sisters, so much.
You could snoop in July instead of August of 2008, and cancel that second flight to Australia, because the money you’re going to spend simultaneously having your heart broken and going to the third of thirty six weddings in eight years would be better spent bouncing over to Beijing while you have a couch to crash on there. You might also decline the invite to rendezvous in New Mexico in June of 2013 and instead ask your international man of mystery to put his money where his mouth is. But if you don’t, fear not, because without having the memories of making that Facebook album you title Aussie Love or sitting in a church in Denver, Colorado weeping as quietly as you can through a long, cold, hour of mass, you might not have the appreciation you do today for the gifts of good love, good friends, good relationships, and goodness in others.
You can’t fix anyone, or just “do it for them,” and the sooner you learn that the lighter you’ll feel.
You actually do like broccoli, and strawberries, and zucchini, and peppers, and bananas, and pears, and salad in general. Not cucumbers. Not celery. But brussel sprouts, believe it or not, and salsa - oh my God, salsa.