Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Birthday To Us

Dear 16,

Wow, are you young. I’m going to use your youth to excuse all the stupid stuff that you are doing. I’ll forgive how you are throwing away all the potential that you have to be a really good student because, after all; we do eventually make it to college. I’ll even forgive the rather crappy choices that you make in boyfriends although, if I could reach back through time and shake you, I totally would. I can’t however, excuse your –sometimes rather shabby-treatment of our parents; karma is a major boomerang and, now; I am paying for what you threw out into the universe. That kind of pisses me off.

P.S. The stirrup pants-long sweater combo that you so love is actually making a come-back; who could have guessed? Also, you might as well enjoy all that crap you love to eat because your metabolism will never run as high as it does right now. I kind of hate you for that.

Dear 19,

College not all it was cracked up to be? Bumming over the poor choices that you made at 16, shall we say, in boyfriends, perhaps? Relax, a wonderful thing is about to happen to you; you are going to meet Girls who will become some of the most important women in your life. They will open your eyes to new experiences and, more importantly, to new possibilities. When they come knocking at your door on a cold winter night, bearing a bottle of Kaluah and a carton of ice cream; open the door. The friendships forged this night will be far more valuable than the blender you destroy in the process of making those Kaluah shakes.

These new friends will, however, fail to give you any good advice whatsoever regarding your choices in wardrobe and cosmetics, in fact, they will shamelessly enable and encourage your love of the acid wash denim, blue eyeliner and gigantic mall hair; this is perhaps their only collective flaw. Thankfully, you all get over it and have nothing but the old photos to remind you of your folly; photos which will become the centerpiece of many future drunken laugh-fests over what dorks you all were in college. Thanks for that. And, thanks for opening that door.

Dear 22,

I told 16 that this would happen and I’m pretty sure that 19 saw it coming; first heartbreak sucks majorly. On the bright side, you have friends and family who love and support you. Your parents will never say “I told you so” although, they could. Your friends will comfort you with alcohol and enough salt water taffy to drain the oceans and, in the not too distant future; will introduce you to the one person on the planet who could possibly restore your faith in the male race but, I’ll let that be a surprise.

The next year is going to be one of the most challenging of your young life. Career? Love? Finding your place in this big world? It won’t come easy. Fear, insecurity and doubt will be your constant companions but, the path, the right path, is already laid out for you. You can’t see it but, you’ll know it when you step upon it, I promise. In the meantime, take care of yourself.

Oh, and buy some pretty underwear; you’ll thank yourself for it later.

Dear 25,

Holy crap, you’re married. And you own a home. You are, like, an adult. Yes, I know; how the hell did that happen? First things first; stop freaking out. Breathe. If you will recall, you chose this; you did not wake up one morning to find yourself shanghaied onto the Good Ship Matrimony although, I admit, sometimes it will feel that way but! You and Hugh will grow into this and you will actually turn out to be pretty good at adulthood and, after some practice; good at your marriage.

Don’t laugh, I’m serious.

Plus, in just a couple of years, you get to become a Mom. You’ve always wanted to be a mom and you, my friend, are going to rock at it. Oh, sometimes you will despair and often you will question why you ever let that sperm anywhere near your precious egg but, for the most part; you are going to thank the heavens for the two little miracles that come your way.

Oops, spoiler!

Dear 30,

Oh, honey. That weight that you feel on your heart, on your shoulders, in the pit of your stomach; it will lift. You have to hold on. Adulthood is hard, parenting is a challenge and sometimes you can’t control the things that go on around you, you just can't.

You will weather this storm and you come out on the other side stronger for it, in fact; I’m still kind of in awe at how strong you turn out to be. Totally makes up for all that stupid shit you pulled from 16 through 29.


Dear 35,

Put. Down. The. Donut.

Step away from the fridge. Moooove on over to the salad bar and get your ass in gear; you are far too young to let yourself go like this. Having children who are growing up at a phenomenal rate, a demanding job and a home that is in the thralls of a three-year remodeling project are not excuses to become a sedentary lump of goo. Challenge yourself, reward yourself, find yourself again.

You can do it; you do do it, I promise.

Love, 40
(Who is currently at the Mall, shopping on Black Friday for the first time in her life because; apparently she didn't learn a thing from you guys)


  1. Happy Birthday!! Hope you had a wonderful day! I enjoyed looking at all the versions of you through the years. Especially the HAIR. Forty looks good on you!!

  2. Chelle, I got a bit behind with the week and family.. Happy Birthday again you make 40 look like 20! (just more mature!).. and I had a WONDERFUL time with you and your mom and sisters on Friday.. you know it wasn't so bad (black friday) or maybe we were just toooo into talking to pay attention to the mass of people.. I love being around you! I am so happy we already have a plan to see each other in Jan!!!

  3. Happy Birthday! You are gorgeous, at every life stage!

  4. I hope you had a wonderful birthday! You are awesome at any age!