Today, I have decided to participate in my very first link up. This one intrigued me, because I have never taken the time to write a letter to myself at a younger age. So, I decided to go forward with the task. So, here goes!
You don't know this yet, but this year is going to be one of the most exciting and life changing years in your life. Right now, you know that some of these changes are on the horizon and you are scared and not nearly as excited as you should be. You have spent so much of your life playing it safe and doing what you feel others expect of you, rather than taking risks and exploring life and your options. You just turned 21, sister! Don't forget that you ARE an adult and are no longer obligated to answer to mom and dad when it comes to all of your life decisions. This is your life, for God's sake, LIVE IT!
While I am not going to break all of those time travel rules which could mess with the space/time continuum (I don't want to all of a sudden wake up and find mom married to Biff Tannen.), I am going to give you some nice previews and advice that may clear up some confusion and frustration for you as a more mature adult.
You will travel/study in Quebec (You know this already and are really nervous about going). Do not, for God's sake, rent a room from Edith. While she is a nice woman, she board juvenile delinquents (seriously, she does) and you will have to lock up your room every time you leave it -- even to pee. She also is a horrible cook and will serve you runny eggs and fried bologna for breakfast. If you don't listen to my advice and end up with her, you will get out of it and find a better place to live. You will meet a great friend, so take heart that this is experience will provide you more than an education. You will be homesick from the moment your airplane lifts off. Please do yourself a favor and try to get over that. Relish in this amazing opportunity and ENJOY your time. You are now nearly 34 years old and all you want to do is go back and show it to your family. Make the best of your time and for God's sake, don't buy the sparkly black flared jeans. They seemed like a great idea at the time, BUT... Oh, and you are actually going to live off of Cadbury chocolate, KinderEggs, and Spicy Doritos and LOSE WEIGHT. Don't get cocky. Enjoy it while you can, cause that will never again happen in your lifetime.
Shortly after you return from your Canadian adventure, you will meet the man you are going to marry. He will make you feel beautiful and important the way no other person ever has. He loves you and you will love him. After you get married and real life takes over, he won't tell you as much how beautiful and important you are, but that happens in life. You will still love one another and still think all those things, but neither of you will say them nearly enough. During your married life up until now, you will go through some pretty difficult trials (things which are not his fault), and he will be your biggest supporter and your soft place to fall. You will also try your hardest to be all those things for him.
You are going to graduate from college and get your first real teaching job this year. You have worked really hard to get to this point. I really have no large piece of advice in this area other than to enjoy it and remain confident. You still lack so much confidence in yourself. You are capable of so much more than you even know at this point in your life. You can do great things. You are smarter than you even know. You have every right to be successful. You will make mistakes, but that is part of navigating through this thing called life.
Sometime between now and your early 30s, you will lose some people you love. Ok, I know you and by reading this you will drive yourself nuts worrying about who that might be. The reality is that you will lose both of your grandmothers within a year and half span. One will be accidental, one will be due to illness that you kind of saw coming (as painful as it still is). It will be painful. All I can say is, continue to love those women as you always have, but never take a second for granted. When they are gone, you will do anything to even just hear their voices. They will always be two of the most influential, important women in your life. I guess I will break one of the time travel rules and give you the following instructions. Grandma likes to keep a throw rug in the front, spare bedroom. Get rid of that rug, so she will never trip over it. Either that or show up to visit on August 26, 2009 and be there to catch her when she falls. I know we all have our time to go, this is one of those cases where life just seems so unfair and you want to fix it.
Courtney, I am sitting here 33 years old and can honestly say that you are living a very blessed life. You are surrounded by love and amazing opportunity. Love those around you, but don't forget to also love yourself. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of those you love.
Oh, and the biggest Powerball jackpot was won recently. Do yourself a favor and buy a ticket for the May 18, 2013 drawing. HINT: 22, 10,13,14, 52 and the Powerball number is 11. Win and go buy yourself somethin' pretty. (Oh, Someday a crazy wild-eyed scientist or a kid will show up asking about that ticket. If that ever happens...)