This is a little strange, but today is our 27th birthday and I’m writing a letter to you, six years ago for our 21st birthday (circa 2005). Finally turning twenty-one is pretty exciting, right? So finish that beer, take a seat and enjoy some tidbits about our life from the future! First of all, how awesome is it that you’re celebrating your birthday in Great Britain? Wales pretty fantastic and I’m happy to report that you’ll be back there in a few years to celebrate the wedding of a certain friend of ours! What if I also said you’ll spend future birthdays in Las Vegas, Miami, and Georgia? Yup, it’s true. You still have the travel bug as you get older. Actually, right now in 2011, you’re anxiously waiting to find out where you’re moving next.
You know what else? Remember that boy you met last month on New Year’s Eve…the one in the blue shirt you talked to all night and spilled a drink down your back, but you both forgot to exchange contact information? Well what if I told you that you’ll eventually marry him. Stop laughing, because I’m not kidding. It’s a small world and you’ll meet him again in a year, so don’t forget to get his number this time! I know you always dreamed of having a fall wedding, but you’ll get married in the winter and it will be incredibly beautiful. I know you had way too many sleepless nights crying yourself to sleep because of all the loser guys you met, but I promise the man you marry is beyond amazing and worth waiting for. He constantly makes you laugh, supports you in everything you do, and most importantly: he absolutely loves you just the way you are.
On a more serious note, in just a few months you’re going to get some unsettling news about Papa. Remember how sick he was on New Year’s Eve? Well, the results will take quite awhile to come in, but they’re not going to be good. Prepare yourself and get ready for change, but for our family to actually get closer because of it. You’ll debate back and forth about leaving your study abroad a few months early—go with your gut and change your ticket. Everything works out in the end, and he even walks you down the aisle at our wedding, but you’ll want to be home with family during this time.
Now that I’m on the subject of family, embrace them and enjoy being so close to so many family members. Marrying the love of your life sometimes means you have to give things up, and in this case you gave up living in New Mexico to be with and follow your husband—did I mention he’s in the military? Go visit Nana and Tia more often and hang out with your cousins. And when your brother brings home a girl in a few years and tells you he’s going to marry her, befriend and get to know her quickly—she’s awesome you guys will get along great, just don’t waste time.
There are so many more things I could tell you, but that would spoil the fun of actually living through it. I’ll just say that you’ll eventually complete two half marathons, write for multiple publications, and make friends who will become as close as family. And don’t worry, as much as everyone’s changed, you’re still just as close with the friends from high school. I can hardly believe it, but next year (for me) will be one decade since we graduated!
Before I wind things up, here are a few things I do now that six years ago we never thought would ever happen: listen—almost solely—to country music, own two pairs of Chucks, wear flannel, enjoy mushrooms, eat a fish tail, cook and bake (!!), willingly order BBQ at restaurants, watch sci-fi and actually enjoy it, highlight your hair, and get married. Life is good!
Enjoy yourself, Jessica, but keep in mind that the best is yet to come. Oh! And tomorrow when you go out drinking, wear flats instead of heels. There’s a pretty steep hill you have to walk down to get back to your friends house and you’re going to fall. It’s going to hurt, it’ll be embarrassing, and you’re going to re-injure your knee, so just do us both a favor and pick out a pair of cute kitten heels instead.
Always with you,
Jessica Lynn S.
(Yup, you change your name when you get married. Don’t worry, it actually sounds fantastic all together!)