So I’ve decided to continue the theme of giving advice to my past/younger self. She was really not working with all the information she should have had and should The Doctor show up with his TARDIS (9 or 10 please–sorry Matt Smith, you’re just not my type) I’d like to be prepared to pass on some of my hard-won wisdom and maybe help her avoid some of the worst experiences, or maybe just help her HAVE some experiences.
You should travel. I know you are a weird eater sometimes, but get over it and see the world. Your parents will make this difficult because they see the possibility of death and dismemberment everywhere. Travel anyway. Because life without seeing the world is its own kind of slow death and they have warned you about every danger except the one right in front of you.
Don’t be so trusting. Not everyone is nice. Most people aren’t. That’s the danger your parents didn’t warn you about and it is a lot scarier than the possibility of a car crash. I don’t know if they thought being surrounded by Lutherans/Christians would keep you safe but it didn’t. It won’t. Bad people like to hide at church, it gives them a sense of power. Trust your gut.
You are adopted and that comes with identity issues. You grew up in a town of 2000 so no one talked about any of that, but it’s perfectly normal and it should have been addressed. You are allowed to have questions. You are SUPPOSED to have questions. Telling you nothing is NOT protecting you as much as everyone thinks it is, because you are different from your parents and your sister (and your brother, who is even more different than you are and who also should have been told more). It is not a crime to be an extrovert. And it is not a bad thing to be prettier than your sister. You can’t help it and you shouldn’t have to feel bad about it. And you will if you don’t accept the fact that being adopted does matter. Try not to be too angry; it was a different generation and your parents were following the wisdom of the day.
You love fashion: clothes and hair and make-up and jewelery. You have style and you are not appreciated in your town or by your family. Try not to let it get to you. And more importantly try to find a way to make a living with that love. Maybe you aren’t great at sewing (although try harder at this, you’ll thank yourself later) and you aren’t great at drawing–it doesn’t matter. There are a million jobs in fashion that you haven’t heard of yet and you shouldn’t give up. And loving clothes doesn’t make you shallow or vain. I know what you’ve been told and you need to just ignore it. You’re allowed to love what you love and not be judged by anyone. Trust me when I say stifling yourself will have consequences later in life.
You are easily swayed by others. Knock it off. There is nothing to gained by being a people pleaser. If you stay on this path you will stop liking people altogether. You won’t believe this, because you think all people are fascinating and have an interesting story to tell and you love meeting people. If you want to keep that sense of wonder, stop trying to make everyone happy and worry about making yourself happy. The only way to love others is to love yourself. You’ve been called vain and selfish a lot of times, so you’ll find that hard to believe, but you’re going to have to trust me on this one.
It is OK to be alone. You must learn to do things by yourself. You do not need a best friend or a boy friend to go everywhere with you and do everything with you. You are a perfectly capable person all on your own. This fear of being alone is going to come back and bite you later (husband and kids way before your ready) if you’re not careful. Get out there and enjoy your own company. You’re fun!
Your 40 year old self