Dear Twentysomething: Heather from Between the Covers

Dear 25-year-old Heather,

I am writing this letter to you from the future… ten years in the future, to be exact. You’re going through a really rough time right now and there are some things I’d like to say to you that might make you feel better.

Most importantly, know this: there IS a sunny side to the street you’re stumbling down right now. Have no fear. IT GETS BETTER… so much better.

I have the urge to tell you to do things differently—don’t go back, don’t say “yes.” When things start to get bad, LEAVE. You don’t need to put up with that and you certainly don’t deserve it. Tell your parents what is happening and ask for help. Don’t be embarrassed. You will get out of there eventually, but please don’t start that new relationship; be on your own for a while. You’ve been through enough crap already and you really need to sort yourself out before you start sharing your time with someone new. Quit your job at that horrible, heartless company and find something better; in the process, tell that evil manager exactly where she can go. Giving her a good swift kick in the shins would probably be in order, too. Go home to New York more often to spend time with Nonny—she’s not going to be around for very much longer and you’re going to feel guilty and sad that you missed out on the time you could have spent with her while she was alive. At the very least, send her letters or call her on the phone. Don’t be afraid.

In all honesty, though, apart from going home more often to see Nonny, I’m not going to tell you to change a single thing. Yes, life is pretty frickin’ horrible right now, but you’ll be alright. You’ll survive and you’ll be a stronger, wiser, more compassionate person when everything is said and done. You have a great group of friends that are helping you get through this and I know you’re having some fun despite the hardships. Keep leaning on them and keep letting them make you laugh. Some of those friendships will fall by the wayside eventually, but you will always appreciate those people for being there when you needed them most; you’ll never forget their kindness and understanding.

What about the new guy, you ask? He’s a good person. He’s not the one that you’ll be spending the rest of your life with, but that’s ok. He’s going to give you some of your self-esteem and self-confidence back. He’s going to love you and do whatever he can to make you happy. He’s going through some pretty rough stuff right now, too, and the two of you are going to help each other out for a while. And when that relationship does finally run its course—because you already know that there will be an end to it at some point—you’ll separate amicably and with no remorse or regrets.

And that evil, soul-sucking manager? Unfortunately, she gets promoted. On the bright side, THE PROMOTION COMES WITH A TRANSFER AND YOU’LL NEVER HAVE TO SEE HER AWFUL FACE AGAIN! *throws confetti and blows party horn* YAY! See? I told you things get better.

I’ve saved the best for last, though… here comes the part that I’m most excited to relay: you’re going to find the man of your dreams. I can only imagine the eye-rolling I’m getting from you right now. I know, I know—we aren’t down with all of those clichés about love. We don’t believe in fate and the “everything happens for a reason” crap. Don’t worry, that hasn’t changed. THIS guy, though… WHOA. He’s everything you’ve been looking for and he’s going to change your runaway bride status forever. Oh yeah, you’re going to marry him, and you’re going to do so happily and with no second guessing. That may be hard for you to believe right now, but just wait until you meet him—he is going to knock your socks off, girl. There’s just one thing I need to prepare you for and it might come as a shocker—are you sitting down? YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE KIDS, TOO. Wait, wait! Don’t pass out! Breathe, Heather… breathe… you’re not going to give birth to them. That is one pact you made with yourself that will never be broken: no birthing babies for you! Your future husband already has two wonderful kids whom he has raised well, and you’re going to love them. It’s still going to be a tough transition for you from time to time, but you’re going to be so happy. You honestly have no idea how great your life is going to be in ten years. Not only are you going to have the most amazing husband in the history of amazing husbands, but you’re going to make some of the most amazing friends, too. I’d tell you all about them, but I don’t want to ruin ALL of the surprises. Just know that you are going to end up surrounding yourself with some of the best people you’ve ever shared your life with.

I know you’re depressed right now, and I know that you can’t really concentrate on much of anything for too long, so I’ll end this letter here. Yeah, you’re going through some awful stuff—and I know it seems like the world is going to end—but stay strong. Have faith in yourself and the decisions you make, because they all lead to a beautiful place.

Listen to Ella, girl…

Heather blogs at Between the Covers and tweets from @Between_Covers and @HLindskold.

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