Happy Birthday, Twenty-Year-Old Me.

GenFab-Anne-Advice-at-twentyHey, Anne, happy birthday! It’s spring of 1990 and today you are twenty.

Last year was not the best one. School in Boston didn’t work out because of money, but you made a good year of it in the city.

The lessons you learned on being self-sufficient will be very useful to you in the years to come.

You’re only five months past your brother’s suicide. It’s going to take a long time for you to feel better, but it will happen.

Don’t rush it. Don’t fight it. You tell people now that it always hurts, but it hurts less as time passes. This is truth.

Maybe try to eat a little more now and a little less later? You’ll thank me for that.

You are about to meet someone. He is about to give you some of the happiest and saddest days of your life.

I’m not going to warn you off. You are about to start on five years of your life that will break you and make you. Try to carry the moments of happiness and joy in your heart. Try to release your bitterness and anger. Those things won’t help you at all.

As far as college is concerned, hey, third time’s the charm. When passion wars with necessity, passion will lose for a while. Remember that you love words, reading, traveling. You can still have all that, even with a business degree that doesn’t quite fit well on your shoulders.

“Me, an accountant?” you think. Relax, because it’s only for a little while and it will help you later. And you look great in a suit.

Enjoy that before the yoga-pants years hit. Plus-sized yoga pants. Please stop crying.

You will be a mother. I know you never thought about that being for you, but it will creep up and shock you with how much you love it.

Cherish every butterfly kiss, cuddle, and spitty baby smooch.

Treasure every meltdown, tantrum, and sleepless night.

Listen to that old woman at the zoo who tells you to put a hat on that baby. Smile back at the middle-aged woman in the grocery store who stares at your kids with teary memories in her eyes. Ask your mother for advice and then take it.

There is a man. He is waiting for you. He will hold you when you cry, help you when you’re sick, and love you when you are unlovable.

He will save you, and you will save him right back. (That’s a line from a movie next year. You’ll like it.)

I think if I could make you do one thing, it would be to take better care of yourself. Go to the doctor sooner. Get a professional to talk to when you are sad and tired after the babies. Don’t ignore pain. Notice when the scale moves and nip it in the bud.

You are the keystone for your home. You don’t want to believe it, but nothing does right if you aren’t happy and functional. If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. This means you.

Finally, and possibly most importantly, just say no to those chunky highlights in about ten years. I don’t care what your friends say. For good, honest people, they are liars.

Be well, see you sooner than you think, and don’t worry about the minivan. You’ll still be cool.

This post is part of a blog hop for Generation Fabulous, an amazing group of mid-life women. 
If you are interested in being part of GenFab, email me.
Make sure to read what the other wise women of GenFab have to say to their younger selves here at Chloe Jeffrey’s blog
Before you go, leave me a comment here telling me what you might say to yourself at twenty. 

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