Dear Sara (age 5),
Do your classwork! You're a smart kid, you know what you're supposed to do... Once you buckle down and just do it already the look on your teacher's face when you hand it in first instead of dead last will be something you won't forget. Keep it up and maybe this won't be the start of a long procrastination streak in your life?
Dear Sara (age 11),
You're right. This school sucks. Those girls are awful and mean. I'm so sorry. You'll grow out of that hair and after some minor medical treatment your skin will clear up. Just keep your head in your schoolwork, because even though you feel miserable, you'll look back and remember a couple of really nice teachers. One of whom gave you an "S" pin because she wanted to make you feel special, which you'll hold on to for at least 20 years.
Dear Sara (age 15),
Don't date him. He's get you into way more trouble than he's worth.
Dear Sara (age 16),
Oh, please don't hurt him. You have no idea right now, but he's the one for you. The one you'll love forever. I know it doesn't seem possible, but it's true. If you must break up with him, make sure not to be a jerk. You want him to remember you in the best light possible.
Dear Sara (age 17),
Try to hold on to this happy, confident version of yourself. Things may not be perfect, but as you finish up your senior year in high school you'll feel your best: a good friend & a good student with a clear path.
Dear Sara (age 18-20),
For the love of big butter Jesus do NOT date him. He'll virtually ruin your freshman year of college. I'd tell you to go to class, but even with extra prodding you'd only go enough to get a passing grade. NOT COOL. You're not a fun person to be around right now, but go ahead a lean on your friends and Dad. They'll surprise you. Listen to Jen. She will be a will always be a voice of reason, compassion and comfort for you, and you will be forever grateful that that she was there for this phase of your life. It will make your friendship stronger.
Dear Sara (age 22),
Deep breath. You're going to make it. As much as you might feel that way now, you're not stuck. This is not your life. You don't have to marry him. Try not run up your credit card, don't spend all your money on eating out at restaurants and freaking BOOZE.
DO run screaming from the state of Ohio. Even though it sucks to leave behind your friends, moving in with Mom and getting to become friends with her will end up being one of the best decisions you've ever made. And when Nick moves in it will be awkward at times, but the relationship he'll gain with Mom will make you all happy and grateful for the time you spent together.
Dear Sara (age 26),
Use some damn hand sanitizer or something so you won't get the flu the week before your wedding. Don't worry about it, the fact that you attempt to run down the aisle to Nick and Dad having to slow you down will end up being a fond memory. Make a copy of the video for Mom now so she's not still waiting for it in 4 years.
Dear Sara (age 29) (one year ago TODAY),
Talk to Nick more about how he's feeling. It's easy to wallow in pregnant self-pity, but don't forget that he's expecting a baby too.
(Family: click on any of the links below to read other bloggers' letters to themselves.)