The Wind is Sailing Toward....

Friday, July 14, 2017

Dear 18-Year-Old Brittany

Here it is, my much anticipated blog post I've been brewing on. As today is my 28th birthday (or as I insist upon telling people, my 21st birthday for the 7th time........) I wanted to do something cool. Things have been on the up and up and the down and down recently. The year span from 27 to 28 was drastic, dramatic, and just a whole big life lesson.

At a glance, at my 27th Birthday, I was in my own apartment - that I had a love/hate relationship with. My boyfriend was following his career in a different state. My friends were great but limited (but lets be honest, I'd rather a few gems than a box of plastic pearls). My job absolutely sucked. I needed a life refresher and quickly planned one. That landed me to where I am today. In a nice 2-Story Townhouse, a job that isn't awful - I work with a team of people who are actually pretty awesome (though we all have our days). I relocated to Las Vegas, because I missed it and I wanted to grow.

All that being said - I could go on for days about comparing where I am here vs. then. I was recently inspired. I'd seen (and I wish I could find the bookmark - I'll have to browse the literal hundreds of blogs I follow) an idea. Of writing yourself a letter.

Now if you know me, you know I should probably write a book. I'd like to say I have a magnet in me for crazy shit happening. It's true. I think it makes me... experienced, well-rounded, stronger. Hell, maybe a little crazy and jaded too. But even diamonds have to go through rough polishing to become the gems they are, right? That's my work in progress.

So after quite the long introduction, I would like to share the letter I would write to my 18 year old self.. because I am by no means that girl anymore. And that's not a bad thing. So here goes.

Dear 18-year old Brittany,

First and foremost, stop and appreciate what you have done. You've killed it. You made it through so many obstacles, and you need to stop and appreciate that. Sure, you feel like you got dealt a crappy card or two. But you really handled the shit out of it. Of course, you're 18. You don't realize that. You don't understand just how special and how hard you worked. You think life isn't fair - it never will be.  But you did a damn good job with what you had.

Epilepsy sucks for sure. Yeah it sucks you didn't get your drivers license when your friends did - but surprise - that's a blessing. Kids are crappy drivers. You had kids in your graduating class die from being behind the wheel. That's one less nightmare you had to share with your parents. And trust me, where you are now, isn't nearly as many grey hairs you're going to give them later. Appreciate being a kid - and not focusing on one more bill.

Yeah it sucks you spent every summer in High School in summer school. But you had a goal - and damn girl you did it. Congratulate yourself sometimes. You've accepted it's not always going to be easy, but now you've had your first taste of working your ass off is what you have to do to achieve your goals.

Appreciate your parents. They drive you crazy. But one day, you'll realize they were right about a lot of stuff (and probably would have been right about a lot of the stuff they never knew about) and have your best interests in mind. Sometimes you're gonna feel like they're the enemy - but keep that relationship strong. It's going to save you so much later. Don't roll your eyes when they call or get annoyed they want you to check in. You're going to miss having to make those annoying calls when they're not around anymore. And that can happen at a moments notice.

That brings me to my next point. All those times you want to avoid family functions - you're going to regret it. You've got three beautiful cousins you're not going to know at all if you only hang around for birthdays and Christmas - and having being a rebel as it is - you're going to have a ton of wisdom you're going to want to share with them.

So appreciate your family. Put them first. Family before boys. Future you learned that the hard way. You missed the last night you could have spent with your dad because you wanted to see a boy. That's damn foolish. So no, never put your phone on mute to your family. Because that could always, always be the last chance you have to talk to them. And that will haunt you, but it's a strong lesson to learn.

On the note of boys. They're fucking stupid. They are. Don't fall in love so easy, don't give someone all your heart and all your trust and faith. You need to learn you need to save parts of that heart for just you. Brit, if you can't be happy with you and love you - you've already failed. And we know you're not a failure. You're going to meet all sorts of guys in your twenties. Some will be great.  Others are going to hurt you. You have to know, physical abuse isn't the only domestic abuse.

NEVER let a man make you think that you need them. You need you. Men need to enrich your life - not make it. This is a lesson it's going to take you many, many tries to understand. People don't change. You can't make them. All you're going to do is exhaust yourself. Love yourself. Love them. But never compromise. Late night crying isn't love. Be ready to walk away. Keep that mental suitcase packed. Be ready to leave at a moments notice, and don't look back.

Travel. You're going to love it. Live. I mean, really really live. Be smart, but don't live in fear. You're going to want to make big, bold, choices. That's who you are. You've got wanderlust. But remember where home is. You'll make big plans. And in retrospect, some might seem dumb as fuck. But hey, at least you lived.

Friends. God bless. The family you get to choose. You'll really appreciate them more. Just know, they're going through the same dumb stuff and emotions you are. Don't let that get in the way of a solid bond. Here's a secret flash forward. When the current love of your life (and they all are going to be the love of your life - you open up and love) hurts you, know your friends are there.

The best feeling I have ever had - being broken up with. Not because of the breakup - that fucking sucks. But in one text message, your best friend convinces you to get on a plane and take a mental vacation. And picks you up from the airport to go buy fun, frilly panties for a No Pants Subway Ride. Offers you spontaneous to pull you out of the world that's hurting you. And they always will. Your best escape is friendship. You will understand that. A good phone call crying on the floor is sometimes the best anti-depressant.

Take care of yourself. Be healthy. Excercise. Don't let alcohol be your go to. It's no good. You know by now, your medical history isn't normal. Do what you can to keep it in line.  Trust me. You don't want to be the 27 year old using a pill caddy. With high blood pressure and a trip to the hospital for a possible mild heart attack. No heart attacks before 30.

Stay in touch with your family. You'll build the best of relationships with them. You don't see it now, but soon your mom and sister will be the best support system you have. The things you'd be afraid to tell anyone - they listen. And they don't judge. They'll support your dumb ass.

Don't trust strangers. For real. Stranger Danger. Even in a group of people you know. Never, ever leave your drinks alone. You learn this the hard way. And GHB is a bitch to get out of your system. And the longer after, the more the details come clear. You dont want to begin your late twenties having vivid rape flashbacks. Be. Fucking. Smarter.

Don't let people influence your decisions. Sure peer pressure you know about. But I mean people people. Do whatever you need to do - for what's best for you. Don't let people judge you.You're not a bad person for having a pregnancy termination. And if people want to assume what they must to comfort themselves, then cool. Fuck 'me.

You're gonna have to make tough choices kid. None of them make you bad. But know you're the one who has to deal with them. And you will. Because you're a strong ass woman.

That all being said, do your fucking best BK. I know you will. Because I did. The grown-up world is a scary place. But you've got this. We're gonna make it. You'll learn - when we are down, the option isn't self-harm or hiding. It's taking a breath, brushing the dirt off, and getting right back up on that fucking unicorn and doing you.

I love you to death self. Seriously. You're awesome.

All the love in the world,
Your 28-Year-Old Self

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