Recently, as I have been reading around the net, a few articles I encountered have found me all misty and philosophical (what doesn't?). So I thought it was about time to write myself a letter again. Since I have done the "Letter to my 10 year old self" before, I thought it time to send one out to the lovely 17 year old me.
Ok, here goes...
Dear Jackie at Seventeen,
This is odd for me as I don't quite know where to start. As you well know, I am rarely at a loss for words. Don't worry, just let me think for a moment...
The world as you know it has changed so very much. Right now everyone is telling you that you have your whole life ahead of you and how great it is going to be, so I don't want to be that person just repeating the same old tired lines.
You are full of hope, promise and you're so very boy crazy right now... that's going to get you into more trouble than you realize, but I can't tell you to avoid lessons, it wouldn't be right (but please for the love of God don't wear that shirt and hat).
However, if there is one person on Earth that I'd prefer for you to avoid, it would be Chris. When you meet him, go run screaming the other way. I mean, if it hadn't been for your experiences with him, I don't know if you would meet Richie (your husband, yes you finally met him after kissing a lot of frogs). Life is very good, and you have many blessings, but it's not easy.
No, I'm sorry to say that it hasn't been easy at all, it's not going to get any easier. So far you haven't become a millionaire, or done anything that earth-shattering. Maybe you could take this as a warning of being so unmotivated and such a procrastinator. If you want to do something, you just follow your heart and go for it. Try harder to believe in yourself. You can do anything in the whole world you want to do, and maybe you should just try a little harder so you don't end up working any dead end jobs. If you could make a living doing what you love you'll be happier. Just try.
I suppose if by telling you a thing or two, it caused a little change in your life that you would still end up wherever you were supposed to be (your path), and that would still be just fine.
Your heart is going to take a few severe beatings along the way, I must tell you, so get in some good 'cardio' and strengthen it well. Still, don't let it make you afraid to feel.
Although heartbreak is imminent, I am not going to tell you to hold back. Love is the one thing in this life that makes it all worthwhile, no matter how painful or pointless it may seem sometime to love another. You have a gigantic heart, a wonderful family and plenty of love to spare.
Giving love is better than any gift you could receive, you'll see that.
Oh and while you're at it, try to do better at keeping a healthy lifestyle, you're going to get really frustrated with yourself if you don't. That "body is a temple" thing is not total bullshit, give it a chance.
Cherish every moment that you can with your family too, because believe me time slips through your fingertips like warm summer sand and you can't hold on to it no matter how hard you try, even if it is an illusion (no we haven't beaten that yet). So spend time with them, enjoy Mom and Dad. Though one day when you finally marry, maybe rethink the "quicky" method because I think it hurt Mom a little and you are probably going to wish Daddy had walked you down the Aisle.
I don't want to say too much because I want you to still go and enjoy this life, especially right now, since you still have it all ahead of you. (Sorry, I guess I couldn't resist).
Last but not least, stay sweet and don't let go of that magic spirit of yours. You're going to need it a lot, and there is honestly nothing magical about being an adult or "growing up". I still haven't done it, and my childishness is what gets me by most days. That and music and the art that surrounds me, so just stay who you are... just maybe be a little tougher where people are concerned. Oh yes, and when you see "Z", please give him a huge hug for me, and a kiss... Hold on as long as you can... you will not regret that.
That about wraps it up, Jackie... I love you very much, I miss you something awful and most of all, I wish I were right there with you to do it all over again.
Jackie from 2010
(You just do the math)