I’ve seen some pieces on this sort of thing over the past few years and think it’s a great idea to reflect on one’s life and think about what we would tell our younger selves. If you’re a country music fan, it’s sort of like the meaning behind the song ‘Letter To Me’ by Brad Paisley. Today I’m 35, here’s what I would say to 17-year-old me:
Dear 17-year-old Loren,
Hey! I’m you, just 18 years later! I know you’re thinking, ‘holy cow, 35 is sooooooo old’ but it’s not! I still feel like a teenager sometimes, believe it or not! You’re married now, but you didn’t get married at 23 like you thought you would. You got married at 31! Yes, you kind of freaked out about not being married by 30, but then you realized setting timelines for things in life is pointless. It doesn’t matter when you get married as long as you are happy; and most importantly that you marry the right person! I know you are dying to know so, his name is Matt.
Remember when you were little and used to tape songs off the radio and pretend to be the DJ? Well, that’s what you do for a living now! You’ve been on the radio for 12 years now and have worked in Providence, New Bedford, Boston and Cape Cod! I know it was so frustrating figuring out how to be on the radio, but you never gave up and you found your way! Oh and I know you hate country music now, but you’re going to end up LOVING it! You work for a country station now and it’s actually your favorite kind of music! I can see you rolling your eyes, but it’s true!
Remember how much you loved Cookie and Freckie growing up, and how we always had beagles? Well, sadly they have both passed on, but you have your own little fur family now! You have 4 cats, Oliver, Jack, Frances and Gracie, and a little dog named Nigel! He’s not a beagle though, he’s a chiweenie, a cute little mix of dachshund and chihuahua, and you love him and the cats more than you ever knew you could love anything, it’s awesome!!
You are not fat, and even if you were, there’s nothing wrong with that. You are perfect just the way you are. You don’t need to feel self conscious about how you look. I know society tells you that you should, and sometimes people are mean and say nasty things, but don’t listen to them. You get to be in control of how you feel about yourself. Pretty cool, huh? It’s all up to you. No one gets to have that power over you, only if you let them, but don’t. It’s going to take you a little bit to fully grasp this, and you’ll struggle with body image issues and self esteem, but eventually this is all going to make sense and you are going to learn to love you just as you are!
You weren’t the only one who didn’t have boyfriends in high school, even though it felt that way. Everyone else was too busy worrying about themselves to notice that you weren’t dating. You’ll look back and realize how little this matters, trust me. You’ll go on to have boyfriends in your 20’s, some will be jerks, some will be nice. Oh and get this, the ones that you dated because they were really hot, were the worst ones and not even nice to you! However, hot or not, every single one of them taught you something, and shaped you into the person you are today.
Also, what’s even more important than having a ‘hot’ boyfriend, is being with someone who treats you well, has a future, a good job, and most importantly a great personality with a sense of humor! I know none of that matters to you at 17, but down the road it’s pretty important stuff!
You’re still bad at math, but there are cell phones now and they all have calculators on them, so it kind of makes it alright. You were correct when you thought you’d never need Algebra. It’s been 18 years and you still haven’t used it! Those four years of Spanish you took and excelled at? Yep, you didn’t use that either and now you don’t remember most of it! D’oh!
After all this time, you’re still a 311 fan, can you believe that?! Actually, you went on a cruise they headlined in 2015 and you met Nick Hexum! Omg, you’re dying right now aren’t you?! Oh and speaking of meeting people, remember the dream you had when you were 12 about meeting Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart? Well, cross that one off the bucket list! You met him in August of 2015 and you CRIED!! Yes, all these years later, you’re still a wrestling fan!
You and Gina grow apart when you’re 25, I’m sorry, I know you don’t want to hear that. You don’t see her or speak to her for 10 years, but then you find each other on Facebook in 2016! She has 5 kids now!
You’ll go through some not so great times; you’ll struggle with money and you’ll have a few bad breakups. It’s going to feel lonely and it’s going to be hard, but it’s going to get way better. You’re going to learn and grow from every experience! Your 20’s will be a little rough in the beginning, but will get better as you get older and your 30’s are pretty great! 35-year-old you has learned SO much and is a pretty happy gal! Remember to always be kind, stay true to you and don’t worry so much!
P.S. New Kids On The Block are still around! Isn’t that nuts?!