i'm sure i am not the first bride who looks down at their guest list and thought "wow, if i would have gotten married ten years ago, this list would look so different. i didn't know some of these people even existed" and it got me thinking about my 18 year old self. and what i was doing exactly 10 years ago. and if i had any idea that in 10 short years i'd be planning a wedding. what would share with my 18 year old self if i could?
i think i would tell myself that i realize ten years sounds like a long time, and it is, but it is the perfect time for you be ready to marry. those ten years will be filled with so much joy and laughter and heartbreak and tears and adventures and mistakes, that it might make you dizzy. and the wonder of it all? it's going to be amazing.
and you might think you know the most incredibly hilarious, wonderful people right now. and in a lot of ways, you do. but just wait. and be patient. because your path is going to cross with people whose loyalty knows no bounds.
and definitely go to jmu. and remember how easy that decision came to you. because the right ones are always easy.
and while i was at it, i would probably also also tell myself: hey, when josh jones and marissa velleco get the brilliant idea to go to dhall homecoming weekend sophomore year? don't go. and then when you go to formal with tyler, don't go anywhere near melissa josefina and/or burning candles. and when tyler tells you that you are the worst date ever, you will in fact be, the worst date ever.
and speaking of formals, join that sorority! you will love it. it will somehow make your college world a little bit smaller, and a hell of a lot of fun.
and go to block island. it will be the time of your life. you will never speak to half of those people again, but it will be a magical summer. one that somehow shines a lot brighter than the rest.
and when you find yourself sitting between your parents on the plane to chicago, hold both their hands the entire time. it will be a memory that floods your heart with warmth for the rest of your life. you don't get it now, but what you are doing is very very brave. and you will someday be amazed by it.
and that guy that you keep telling your roommates "is such a nice guy," really is a nice guy. be sure to help him drop off supplies for that service day at bethune. you will sit in the back of a van with no seat belt, rolling around as he drives 100 mph through north lawndale, paint cans will be flying all over the place, and you will think that this is normal, because the last 10 months have been anything but. and you will discuss your love for fountain sodas and his love for mcdonalds chicken sandwiches. you will someday be engaged to him. i know, so crazy right? and by the way, he hates thai food.
and the last, but most important thing i could possibly say, is to stay in chicago. even when it gets so hard to do so all you do is go home and cry. it will become home. i know it takes you a long time to open your heart. to fall for something. be it a boy, a city, a store, a perfume, anything. and that's ok. but chicago...it's something special. you and it, you're meant to be.