Monday, April 12, 2010

Letter to the 21 year old version of myself...

Dear Maria,

I know that you think you've got it all figured out. Things are coming up roses, as they should. Your crappy childhood and adolescence have earned you the right to be happy. But, before you get so blindsided by happily ever after, there are some things you need to know, that will help transition you into adulthood, 'cause you have no idea how it's going to go down.

1. This is the best you are ever going to look. You will spend the entirety of your wedding and reception tugging on the too loose wedding gown that you swear you love right now. The moment John slips the wedding band on your finger and it sits there for a month, your weight will balloon instantly and you won't really recover any dignity until after you have your second child and you are thirty. Hope you have enjoyed the good metabolism while you had it.

P.S. You really need to do something about the eyebrows NOW. Thick and wide only looks good on Brooke Shields, in the early nineties. We will not discuss the upper lip right now. It needs to GO. NOW. Seriously, you are not fooling anyone with the bleach. Seriously. You look great and it will be a while until you look better.

2. You think you are tired now. You are not. I know, the projects and finals at school are kicking your butt. You work on your internship, go to class and then work a part time job after that. But you are not as tired as you think you are. Have some fun! You have no idea how much free time you have RIGHT NOW. And you will not have that kind of time again until your third child starts college (I hope!) Go out. Go dancing. Pick up a photography class (trust me, this will come in handy with all the kids you are going to have), pursue other interests besides reading (although that's good, too). Call some girlfriends and take a trip somewhere. Live a little recklessly. Have some good stories to tell. You're going to need them. Don't worry about the money so much. When you finally have some money to enjoy, you will be too tied down to responsibilities that can't wait.

3. Have an even smaller wedding than you are planning and go away to some great place for your honeymoon. I know that Disney World sounds very romantic right now, but trust me, you are going to wish you had spent more money on feeding your soul instead of the thirty people you stopped hanging around with once you fed them at your reception. Think big: Europe, the Mediterranean, Mexico, the big American cities like Chicago or New York. Again, forget about being fiscally responsible. When you have the money to do it, you won't be able to. And if you do, (because you will) you will be too worried about the kids.

4. Don't worry so much about the stuff you can't change. You are aging yourself unnecessarily. You are stressing yourself out to the point it will take a very long time to recover. This is a particularly hard lesson for you to learn, so don't be too hard on yourself. You are good at fixing things, but you cannot fix everything. Get over it. There is someone to take care of it, and He also created the world in six days. And He even took the seventh day off.

There will be lots you won't be able to fix. Broken relationships, broken people, sickness, death and thousands of other things. Lighten up.

The only one you can fix is yourself. So do it when you think you need it. The only thing that you can change about a situation is how you react to it. Food for thought.

5. Your hair needs work. Stop being stingy, get yourself a decent hairdresser and some good shampoo and conditioner. Embrace your waves, but tame them. You will be okay. Trust me when I say that the worst is over. I mean, really, what was worse than your sophomore school picture?

6. WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN! You are WHITE. YOU DO NOT TAN! You will have huge chunks of precancerous stuff taken out of your back and arms. It will not be fun. Plus, the sun makes you older faster. Don't help out Mother Nature. That bitch needs to back the hell off for a while.

7. Don't react too negatively to people who decide to have plastic surgery. Did I mention Mother Nature and her high jinks? Plus, after nine months of hell and three cesarean sections, all you will want Santa to leave you under the tree (besides silent toys with no small pieces for your children) is a tummy tuck, breast lift and liposuction...No need for me to explain this in detail right now. You will understand at once, when you see yourself after having your first son. It's too bad that this epiphany comes right after childbirth and during post partum depression. You will be okay. Don't cry too hard, remember it will bring more wrinkles...

8. If you are thinking of masking the waist problem, just buy a bigger size. Don't even think about Spanx or any of its ugly Cuban cousins: the fajas. I truly believe that sadistic people design these inefficient torture devices that only push your fat to some other nameless place. Plus, if you ever ignore this advice and decide to wear one, don't even think about going to the bathroom. If you can roll it down, it will NOT come back up. Trust me.

9. Stop reading Calvin and Hobbes. You know how you always say that you want a kid just like Calvin. Well, you get Calvin AND Hobbes in the deal. I can't figure out how Joshua fits in, but it will come to me.

10. Pick your battles with your husband. You knew what you were getting into. Think back to all those times you thought the things that piss you off now were endearing. Because you thought they were. Gravity will continue to function, so either bend over and pick up the dirty clothes or leave them there. Arguing is not a magic wand. Ignoring is.

Please don't be frightened. You will have the life you always dreamed of. You are happy. You are married to your best friend and your children are all the blessings (and headaches) you thought that they would be.

These are just merely suggestions that you should have put into play YEARS ago. They would have saved a ton of headaches and you would not have been so anxious all the time.

Enjoy your twenties and early thirties. It goes by way faster than you think.



  1. I love this, Maria! If only we could really go back and communicate with those younger versions of ourselves - but would the younger versions listen? Probably not - and maybe that's the beauty of youth.

    (This concept would make for a fun meme...)

    Hope your stressful week got a not-so-stressful start. xo

  2. This is so great, Maria. "A letter to myself as a Bride" - love it! Kristen's right. You should tag peoople and, do I have to tell you this, girl, we need a picture of course!

    I love what you said about the moustache. How many times have I seen people bleaching it and i think, "Who wants a blonde moustache? I don't want a moustache at all" (Ask the swarthy Jewish person; I know all about it.) Great post!

  3. Awesome post! Can I send this to my 21YO self? I'd also like to tell her NOT to let other people plan her wedding and pick her dress. PLEASE spend money on a photographer, the great bargain she got = crap photographs. Picking battles, sunscreen, CALVIN & HOBBES! Seriously, are we the same person? I still adore C&H and think of those books often while watching my girls play.

  4. This is hilarious! I am ashamed to say that I bought Spanx once. GOD that thing is like a tourniquet! WTF?

    And tell your 21 year old self that if she thinks her facial hair is bad now, just WAIT until she's 40!

  5. This is such a fun read! :D Thanks for sharing. Love it!

    Stopping by from SITS :)

  6. I wish I could have told my younger self about getting the eyebrows waxed. Sometimes mine were too thick. Sometimes they were too thin. I never should have done them myself.

    Welcome to SITS. We're happy to have you.

  7. Um, yeah, don't tan. Never will. And PICK YOUR BATTLES. And don't try to change what you can't change. And and and. Yeah. Just yeah. To all of it. The younger self. She's so silly and stupid. But who would I be now if not for her? There is such a clear line from there to here.

    Thanks for the smiles. Loved this!

  8. I hope santa leaves me a tummy tuck, breat lift and lipo to c-sections!

  9. I think I have to do this soon...will link back to you when I do!

  10. It's great to read your blog again! You were above me in the Saturday SITs Sharefest.

    Your blog is still just wonderful! And I'm now your newest follower. I'll keep reading after commenting!


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