Oh the places you will go. From California to Paris to Rome to, you never dreamt of the corners of world you would see. Take them in - the smells, the people, the different ways of life. Experiencing other cultures aside from your own offers so much. Make the most out of the opportunity.
Never underestimate the power of a smile and a how are you. Later in life, you'll be surprised by how many cashier clerks and waiters and janitors look surprised by the question. Their service is undervalued. Always, always appreciate them.
You're trying your best. Life is hard, but it will get better. Know that what's being thrown at you now will shape you into the strong, capable person you'll become. Know whose opinions to value and whose to brush off. That's not to say, be rude, but know that some people know your situation better than others.
You will run into people in life that you will never forget. Ms. Edwards, Mrs. McHale, Bridgett, Dustin, Teresa, that one random creeper who taught you to never give your phone number out to weirdos. Life will come and you'll lose touch and move on. Cherish them, value them. The memories - some regretful, some hurtful, and some wonderful - will stick with you, so be sure to make the most out of these relationships. The lessons you take will be invaluable.
You will think why me a lot. Sometimes justified and others not-so-much. Know that no one else has been given your path, your story. Own your story, feel honored to be given one, and use it to help and relate to others.
Never, ever forgot to laugh. It's what gets you through. Laughter is underrated, do it loud and do it often.
Appreciate those who are around you. Though you never felt like you had a home, you have been blessed with a number of people who truly love and care about you. Treat them well. Listen to them. Ask for their advice. Say thank you often and give hugs like they'll be your last. These people give so much of themselves to you. Respect and love them.
You'll try out for the basketball team and get cut. You'll try out for the school newspaper and not make it. You'll be laughed at when you sing in front of the class. You'll do the 5th grade twice. Boys will pull your chair out from under you and you'll fall flat on your ass. And yes, it all sucks. I won't say these things don't matter. Because when you're young these are the only things that matter. Just know every "no", every failure, every "haha" directed at you is equipping you to never give up. To always try again and to never take a "F" too much to heart. You will eventually run into a college professor who tells you I find that the B students are the most well-rounded.
It's okay to hate geometry and algebra and all things with an equation. But make sure to try, to give it your best effort, and tell Mike "thank you" over and over again for putting up with your I hate geometry attitude.
It's okay to change paths in life. We're a seasonal sort of being. We may lose interest in something and discover our passion for something else. Never stick with something you're not passionate about to please someone else. Your time is short and matters a great deal.
Oh yeah, don't go blonde out of a box. It's always a bad idea.
And just take it all in. The first night you got your Ion and drove around blasting Apple Bottom Jeans with Megan. The time you had too much to drink at Christmas 'cause Bridget's sister kept topping off your mimosa. The late nights spent at the studio with Charlie and Ian and Mike. That one time you ran out of gas with Teresa. That time when you, Beth, and Tyler were belting Mika on the way to Kzoo to visit Katie. The summer concerts. The truly countless miles walked with Beth. The late nights spent eating pizza under the street lights.
These memories are yours. They're treasures in a box. And you'll one day realize they happen and go by all too quickly.
All of it. The good, the bad, and the ugly will lead you to March 6, 2015 with a husband who loves you on your worst days and a baby girl who has award-winning cheeks. I can promise you, it was all worth it.