-By Erin Wright
Dear 17-year-old me,
Things have really changed. It’s been 15 years! Can you believe it? Unfortunately, your breasts didn’t grow much more, but Honey, the wagon you’re sporting in the back looks amazing.
Relationships feel so intense at your age, don’t they? Remember that guy, the football guy that you loved, the one you said you’d do anything for and follow to the edge of the Earth? Well, you hold up your end, and even ended up playing stepmom at the age of 21. For the life of me, I still can’t figure out why you did that. Live and learn, I suppose.
Fortunately for us, he doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain. The final straw is when he leaves you stranded at the airport for hours, and after a few cocktails, you pull up your big girl pants and catch a flight back home. That ends that. You’ll be depressed for a while, but eventually realize who TF you are. Ignoring him is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.
You will swear off men and the thought of having a family. You even try testing the other side of the track, which was…interesting. Then, you finally realized all relationships are the same, whether male or female. You learn all relationships have ups and downs and pits and peaks, and if you run from love, you’ll miss out on life.
You eventually get your shit together and focus on work. I’m sorry to let you know that you stop playing soccer and decide not to play professional basketball, but you land one hell of a coaching job! Girl, you have a ball — nights out in Georgetown, early mornings at Adams Morgan, and plenty of free weed, and yes, you make up for all of that lost time with that football guy.
Hardships. You can’t dodge those, Baby, and one of your hardest moments will be a miscariage. You will struggle to get out of bed for a long time, but you will eventually understand that the miscarriage was not your fault. How could you know you were pregnant during that basketball game? You can’t hate that girl forever for elbowing you in the stomach. I know you’ll want to, but honestly, she didn’t know. When you’re ready, you will finally throw away that ultrasound and those blood-stained basketball shorts. You’ll carry this guilt for a long time, but I hope you forgive yourself one day. This situation will be one of many challenges, but trust the process. You will persevere.
This is where it gets interesting. Do you remember the really cute boy you met when working at basketball camp? He had big brown eyes and the brightest smile. I know you think he doesn’t like you, but that is far from the truth. You marry him! He sweeps you off your feet and takes you around the world. Yes, girl! Around the world! Y’all visit Italy, Turkey, and Israel, to name a few, and you fall deeper in love with each new place.
He shows you love, a love you’ll never experience again.
Tell Mom not to worry. You end up giving her three beautiful, healthy grandkids, who she spoils rotten. You and hubby are still together today – still madly in love, still traveling, and raising your two little girls and son.
I share all of this to say you turn out amazing. You are strong, creative, loved, and loving, and most of all, you are you, so please get out of your head and enjoy your life. Stop worrying so much. Things all work out.
I love you, and I’ve always been your biggest fan.
You Know Who