A few weeks ago I logged into my Facebook to find that I had about a gazillion notifications from my high school graduating class page. Turns out, I'm getting old and my ten year class reunion has arrived in full force. Surreal doesn't even cover it.
In a way, it does feel odd to think that I've been out of high school for a decade now. But honestly, it just seems so bizarre to even look back on that time because I am such a completely different person now. I'm a mom... like, a real adult. Teenage Sonnie hasn't made an appearance in my life for quiet some time now, and I am perfectly okay with having all that self doubt and angsty hormones gone- thank you very much.
All of these things flashed through my mind as I sat there debating on if I would even attend said reunion, but one thing stood out to me the most: I am so, so grateful for the person I am now versus the person I was then.
The truth is, if I could go back in time (and of course still have my same future with my crazy wonderful husband and amazing daughter), I might would change a few things. But of course, that's not possible. So instead, I decided to write a letter to High School me, mainly in the hopes that if future River ever crosses this blog she'll read it and learn from it.
Dear 2006 Sonnie Who Embarrassingly Drives the Squealing Black Geo Prism to School (Almost) Everyday (When She's Not Skipping Class to Read her Book),
Hi. How are you? Still freaking out over what you're going to do with the rest of your life as you sit in that first block Ecology class (that you will NEVER remember again)? Well, I'm here to tell you: don't. Don't meltdown over it today. You have time. In fact, you have PLENTY of time. Instead of freaking out over your future, how about focusing on the present a little more? Your future is going to be there. It's always going to be there. Don't worry so much, you actually have a good head on your shoulders if you would just believe in yourself long enough to realize it. You're going to be okay. You're going to be better than okay. So instead of worrying, just enjoy it. Enjoy your life right this second. Enjoy your small group of friends. They won't always be around and some you won't see again. Hold on to Jeremy just a second longer as he hugs you bye at the end of the day like he's done on most days since middle school. Laugh and listen to him as he goes on about how in love he is with whatever girl of the month. Savor the days that you can go home and simply relax with absolutely zero responsibilities. Don't let life scare you. Be brave. Don't settle. Be outgoing- make new friends. You're funny sometimes and people enjoy that. Don't let others run you over. Learn to say no and mean it. Wear you're freaking retainer because your mom paid over two grand for those straight teeth and if you don't they're just going to go back crooked. Learn to let go. Let go of people and things that are holding you back. Don't be afraid to be yourself. BE YOURSELF. Like what you like. Fangirl hardcore over whatever the hell it is you like right now. Be okay with what you look like. Be confident with yourself. You're not hideous for gods sake. You actually have some pretty attractive qualities if you could just stop being insecure long enough to figure them out.
Most importantly: Stop trying to make everything perfect. Life is not perfect. It's messy. People are flawed. Relationships go wrong and it just is what it is. Embrace the changes because they're actually amazing. They open up the world to all these new possibilities that you didn't even know existed. Put yourself first and don't try to find yourself in someone else. You're amazing all on your own. Trust me. One day soon you're going to wake up and realize you love who you are.
But just to give you something to look forward to, right now, at this future second in 2016 as you lay next to your snoring adorable fuzzy jammie clad daughter, you are happy. You are so completely happy with your life it's terrifying in the best way possible.