I was never one to shy away from a challenge. A teenage me would tell you, that if you need someone to bend over, cutoff jeans around my ankles, bare-ass in the wind, mooning cars, I'm your gal. So of course, I jumped at the opportunity to participate in CGG August Write Your Face Off; a Body Love challenge issued by the indomitable Brittany Gibbons. Each day of August we pick a writing prompt and run with it. I need the practice writing everyday and I'm eager to jump right in.
I know it's not exactly the same shade of teen debauchery, but it's about as close as this 30 year old gets to baring my ass and giving a big 'ol eff you to the man.
The first prompt:
1. Write a letter to yourself 10 years ago. What do you know now, that you wished you'd known then?
So here we go...
Swim naked. Eat naked. Fuck, lights on, completely naked. You will never look this good again.
Sorry honey, but it's true. I know you have these 20 lbs that you eternally fixate on and try to banish from your frame. You should stop doing that.You're already gorgeous and it's stupid that you forgo french fries and bikini excursions in the pursuit of a level of perfection that doesn't exist. Take a breath, put on the bikini, eat all the french fries and go, enjoy that 20 year old body.
Enjoy your life. Just be still, look around and take an extra breath. Pause to smell every rose you see, slow inhale every cigarette you smoke that you haven't yet allowed the guilt of true adulthood to rip from between your fore and middle fingers. In retrospect, your life right now, looks like a Tampax commercial. You're carefree, skipping through fields; spinning in skirts and squealing with joy. Sleeping until noon. Drinking cheap beer. Partying like it's your last day on Earth. This sense of wonder and freedom will be something you'll revisit when traveling through rose colored day dreams. Make something worth traveling back to.
Be selfish. You're pattern is to be a serial monogamist. Maybe it's because you are a combination of girl next door pretty and funny and it's easy for guys to fall in love with you. Maybe it's some quirky codependency issues. Whatever the case, you've spent entirely too much time on this earth focusing on relationships and not enough time to just be selfish. Use this time in your life to be all about you. Enjoy your solo apartment and allow yourself the chance to get to know yourself more intimately. Be completely self-indulged, self-involved, self-absorbed, self-aware and everything that is rooted in the prefix self. This is your time, just for you. It will be the last time that you will be able to do this for a long time and this is one of the things you will miss the most.
There are boys and then there are men. They are not one in the same. Boys will treat you like a sexual object. Men will treat you with respect. Have fun with the boys, but don't try to change them,. And for godsakes, don't moon over them and think they might be marriage material. And just so you know, when you finally figure out that they won't be, it's not you, it's their immutable immaturity. I hope that saves you about a forest's worth of Kleenex.
Brace yourself because your world is about to change. You're going to meet a man who's going to treat you the way you deserve to be treated and then some. You're going to have a baby. And then another. And another. You are going to create a family and a new sense of self. You're going to think about things with a new sense of gratitude and at the same time, a new sense of panic. Failure seems, at times, like it means you are failing for five, but in fact what it means is that you have four other people to catch you when you fall. My best advice for those moments: Kid hugs can cure everything, from cut fingers to bruised egos. Use them well.
10 years from now, you're going to be fatter, but you're going to be happier. You're going to know that life is so much bigger than you ever thought it was. Life doesn't begin and end at papers and break-ups and trips to the bar. It doesn't even begin and end with you. Because it's not about you anymore. And that's okay. It sounds terrible, but really it's okay. Because the people in your life have given you so much more than you ever thought life has had to offer you. And even though you don't say it as much as you should, you should be thankful to them for their love and support.