Can you guys believe January is almost over!? How is everyone doing with the New Years resolutions?! I actually never made any…lol I’m a big resolution person too. But for me..this month has actually brought on kind of an identity crisis for me. Great way to start out the new year.. I just have a huge decision to make in the upcoming weeks, along with a big road trip and choices about my career path. &Being the anxiety ridden 20 something that I am, that brought on lots of panic attacks, and second guesses about my future, career and basically the world felt like it was crashing down around me.
But..that made me stop and take a minute to step back and really reflect. I went for a Backshore ride (if you’re not from my hometown, it’s just an absolutely breath taking, and for me, calming, and serene ride by the ocean) and thought about things.
I’ve always been a happy-go-lucky girl. But more recently I’ve become this panicky type who is always worried about disappointing someone, and second guessing EVERY decision. Big or small. “Did I really order a cinnamon raisin bagel? Oh God, I really wanted a plain. Now my WHOLE day is thrown off, GREAT. Great juju Autumn. Now you’re going to have bad luck for the next 7 years.” Yeah..
I started thinking back to who I was just a few years back. 4 years ago I was 18. &Although naive, and inexperienced in every form of the word…I was just a happy, silly girl. I didn’t think too much about my decisions (which led to some bad, but a lot of good too) I thought that life was just going to be this super fun ride, and those who stressed and over thought things we’re just sad people who didn’t see the beauty in life. The world was black and white. NOW–I may have just been this way because of my lack of years on this Earth, BUT I also probably became who I am today by becoming jaded..and now I OVER analyze. I basically want to take 2016 to find a happy medium. I also want to use this post to talk to that crazy, young version of myself.
Dear 18 year old Autumn,
We got some s*** to address today, love. I’m writing to you from the future. It’s currently 2016. 4 years have passed, &A LOT has changed. (We all know how good you are with change…) I have some basic topics we’re going to talk about, and once you are enlightened, I’d like you to relay to 22 year old Autumn, that she needs to get a grip before 23. 😉
First, lets talk about Dad. I know that it’s now almost been a year with out him. I also know, that it STILL hasn’t hit you. You’re sad. But you’re in denial. It won’t hit you until a month from now, when you’re in a Kentucky Fried Chicken and you have a mouth full of mashed potatoes, and remember that you really can’t take trips to the KFC in Danvers with Dad on a bad day..and eat your weight in biscuits and gravy. Not only because it’s closed down now..but because he’s gone honey. It’s something even 22 year old Autumn struggles with. Somedays acceptance is easy. Somedays I scream and cry STILL, wishing that I could ask him WTF I’m doing in life. You’re gonna have some intense moments where you feel his light beaming on you, and I want you to know..that everything is going to be okay. Dad wants you to be happy. He wants you to smile and laugh, like he did the ENTIRE time he battled cancer. I know you still, at 18 (and sometimes at 22) never thought something this horrid would happen in your life. To YOUR Dad. This only happens to other people!! BUT, sweet cheeks. This is life. Real, raw..and true. This isn’t the worst thing thats ever happened. Because now, you know that he’s with God. He’s with all your Uncles, and Nana, and he’s here too. &Now, you’re going to be forced to live life, and make decisions with out his guidance. But..when you’re worried that you don’t know what to do, and you know you can’t get a response, YOU HAVE MOM. ❤
Okay Autty. Here’s another fun topic we NEED to address. Boys, and friends. &I say boys because saying men would be a ridiculous term to use with the dating streak you’re about to embark on. If I could go back and tell you, JUST DONT DO IT, somedays I think I would. But then I remember, 18 yr old me…that if we don’t go through these relationships, then you won’t become who I am today &I like me. I want you to know, that if you feel like a guy is talking in circles, and confusing you, and making you always feel like you did something wrong, in a sad attempt to cover up his own faults…just walk away. For that is mental abuse baby girl. If a guy threatens you with physically harming himself in any way, or you, WALK AWAY, NO– RUN away. This is not healthy. Feeling guilt is part of the process, but this is in no way your responsibility. You’re a young woman, who’s responsibility is to go to school, and work and be happy. If a man drinks, and is a Jackal and Hyde with his sober/drunk personalities, know–you can not change him. These are sad, sad situations where a disease has taken over this person, and they can’t change unless they want it themselves. Also, Autumn…when you least expect it..that super nice guy, who quickly becomes your best friend, but you can’t help but get butterflies when he smiles at you with his dimples….that guy who is respectful of you, your family and your life? Yeah, don’t ignore that tall, dark, and handsome sum b****. You’re gonna marry that goof some day. ALSO Autumn; We know change is hard, and you feel everything so intensely, and love so hard. Because thats what 18 year olds do. But know, by 22–you’ll FINALLY know the difference in a healthy vs unhealthy relationship. Not just with men, but platonically as well. Stop doing for others who never care to ask how YOU are. I don’t want you to become a woman who stops loving people–because that isn’t who you are. But I want you to see, that true friends want to know if you’re okay. They don’t hurt you. They don’t walk away from you in tough times. They say they’re sorry, and their actions prove their words. The love you have for them is reciprocated. Blood or not–YOU make the call of who becomes part of your “family.” Choose wisely.
18 year old me, currently you’re a blonde beauty. Know that changes in your body are going to happen over the next few years. Food will become your comfort. Exercise will go on the back burner. But I don’t want you to ever hate YOU. You are beautiful. (You’re currently a brunette with a little extra curvage you didn’t used to have) Love your body, in all its forms. Love the reflection you look at, and treat your body with respect. Water is essential, fruits and vegetables are Earth’s candy. &Running makes you feel on top of the world.
Autumn, I hate to break it to ya–but that feeling of not knowing what you want out of a career? That isn’t gone yet. School is still important to you–but that end result is starting to feel as fuzzy as it did the day you threw that white graduation cap off your head, and had the realization that, “S*** I DONT KNOW WHAT I WANNA BE WHEN I GROW UP.” Well, I guess now…I’m “grown up” and 2012 Autumn..the 2016 version of you is a year from graduating. After countless major changes, and a semester off– elementary ed and child psych are where you’re at, but you’re still freaking the hell out. ITS OKAY. You’re allowed to second guess things. You’re allowed to be confused. You’re not a failure. But don’t hold it in until you feel like you’re going to explode. Go talk to Mom.
Lastly…work and play needs to be a better balance. Kid, YOURE 18. I know working 60 hours a week, taking on countless volunteering ventures, and being in school full time, is good for the resume, but laughing with your friends on a weeknight, and going for hikes in Ravenswood with Riss and Lola is good for the soul. Learn balance.
18 year old Autty, please teach 22 year old you that the world is still a beautiful place, and that it’s okay to laugh and smile through the darkness. Be happy, and be yourself.
A couple random tips for you for the upcoming four years..
If you wanna be blonde, then be blonde. Your roots do not pass for that ombre fad everyone is going through.
Yes, thick brows make a come back. That doesn’t mean those caterpillars on your face qualify as chic. Get them suckers waxed.
Leggings ARE pants.
Don’t let negative people change your energy, and enthusiasm for life.
You’re gonna meet Taylor. YES YOU CAN FREAK OUT NOW.
When you discover the gold mine that is Chipotle, that doesn’t mean eating there 16 times a week is healthy. Especially with all that cheese and sour cream.
Over exposed selfies arent cute.
High waisted shorts are.
Your best friends are everything.