Dear 18-year-old Me,

Tomorrow’s prompt from Wego Health struck a chord with me (today’s does not) and I’m going to skip ahead one.  The prompt: Write a letter to your 18-year-old self & tell them what to do more of and less of and what they’ve got to look forward to.

Dear 18-year-old Lisa,

This is your first year at college and you know what?  You are not alone.  Half your graduating class from high school is here and you don’t have to be lonely.  It’s okay if you are.  Next year you will meet some fabulous people and write poetry and READ IT IN PUBLIC.  How’s that for crazy talk from the future?  Not only that, but you’ll think it’s FUN!  Stick with those writing urges.  Start keeping a journal now so  you can remember what happened in college 20 years from now.  Seriously.  Start writing that now.

Another thing: there’s a little bit of heartbreak coming your way.  Just a little.  Be gentle with yourself and don’t beat yourself up over it.  That club you’ve been wanting to join since you started college?  You’ll join it now .  You will find yourself surrounded by new people that love you and will become your entire life.  No joke.  I spent the weekend with them and it was beyond wonderful.  Don’t be afraid to be yourself now and to speak up when something is bothering you.  It’s probably bothering other people, too, but they’re being polite as well.  Sometimes politeness isn’t the answer.

The coming years are going to be wonderful and terrible.  You will find yourself in a strange city, friendless but for your husband (great work there on the husband!).   You will find friends and fun things to do and you will start to find out what things make life worth while (time to yourself, good music, a critique group).  Then once you feel centered, you will have to move to another lonely place and start all over again.  It will not be as hard in some ways because you will have a better grasp on what you are looking for.

What will be harder will be the health issues.  People will think you are lazy and crazy.  People won’t understand what you are going through.  A few will be totally awesome about it.  I can’t stress this enough: the people that want to be in your life will make room for you in theirs.  Let them!  You will have friends, not a group like people always seem to have on TV, but a network of people that know you and love you and sometimes, surprisingly know each other.   They will listen to you and feed you coffee and take care of your kids while you are at your umpteenth doctor’s appointment.  Later you will be feeling if not normal, at least good enough to do the same for them when they have their own medical woes.  Sometimes you can even help “solve” their problems by pointing them in different directions than they’d expect to have to go (because you will do so much online research.  so much.)

So, 18-year-old me: life will be good.  Enjoy it.  🙂

Love, Me from the future

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: