It’s difficult to let you know how much will change for you and where you will be 33 years from now. But I’ll give it a try.
You’ll be on your second marriage. That means that somewhere along the line, you’ll have married and it will have ended. And yes, in a real deja vu moment, you’ll repeat your mother’s pattern of divorcing and raising a child by yourself. It’ll be different. Where your dad was out of state and not present, your child’s father will be more involved. However, like your own father, your ex-husband will remarry soon after the divorce. Unlike your mother, though, you will wait until your child is grown up to do the same.
You’ll find work you love. But you won’t find it until you’re in your early 40’s, which means that yes, you’ll be frustrated at times in your job. You have many lessons to learn from these jobs and you’ll suffer at times due to your own ego’s demands for recognition, validation, and approval. No job is designed to provide what you didn’t get from your family. But it’ll take you a while to figure this out. *sigh*
Your creativity will also take a long time to flower but it will bloom, I promise you! By the time you’re me, you’ll be able to face the world without a sense of shame in being just who you are, which will enable you to be more creative, especially in your writing. You’ll be able to write this blog, for instance. You’d never be able to be so open about who you are before you’re older. Too risky. Too scary. I know you can barely believe this, but your mid-life will be wonderful.
Here’s a weird thing – you won’t look all that different from when you were a senior in high school in 1975. Okay, there’s some gray hair there, but for the most part, you look the same. Like I said, that’s pretty weird. Okay, truth time – you’ll be heavier, too. And happier about yourself and your body. Wow – that’s a relief, huh? Isn’t that one of the things you’ve hoped for – that you wouldn’t be so burdened by your eating and the fear of eating? Well, here’s some good news. You won’t be thin, but you won’t feel fat. Right now, you’re a lot thinner, but boy, do you feel like you weigh a thousand pounds. I know. In fact, because you really basically like most of yourself, you’ll be a lot easier on yourself and you’ll treat yourself better.
So if I had to wrap this letter up, I’d say… you’re really going to be a happier person at 50 than you could ever imagine now at 17. It really will get better and better. You won’t live all that far away, just a few suburbs to the west, but your life will be radically different. Even the parts of getting older that really stink – the aches and pains, the crows feet around the eyes, the menopausal mania, will be more tolerable than menstrual cramps are now.
So hang in there. It’s really going to be okay. I also want you to know that I really do love you, even if that seems hard to imagine. Maybe because I was you, I have nothing but compassion for all the hard times and pain and suffering you’ve gone through.
All my Love,
Laura, circa 2008