A letter to my 18-year-old self:
You are somewhere you don’t want to be right now. What started out as a fun trip with friends to get off-campus and get some food has taken a downward spiral. There are two people arguing. Not in a mean or cold-hearted way, but in an incredibly annoying way. Like five-year olds bickering back and forth, comprehensible only to themselves and each other, but to no one else. There’s an urgency to the situation. One person is shouting directions, the other is adamantly shouting back that the direction giver, just perhaps, might not know everything there is to know about the world.
You’re in the backseat, frustrated that you’re unable to assist, car sick from the last second twists and turns. I know that at this moment you’d rather be almost anywhere else, and you definitely don’t want to be stuck in a car with these people again. You are unhappy and uncomfortable. But you do what you always do. Keep quiet and learn how to deal with situations like this, you find the best in them. You stick it out.
Because those two people arguing become your best friends. They will continue to bicker and argue like that for the rest of their lives, but someday, when you’ve learned to just sit back and watch the chaos unfold, these arguments make you laugh. You eventually find comfort in how predictable and familiar they become. Like nothing has, or ever will, change.
The direction shouter, the one being so demanding because he is about to poop his pants. Pay special attention to him, he will be your husband. He will always be shouting directions, to whoever happens to be listening, or to no one at all. He can’t help it. And he will always be on the verge of pooping his pants. Again, he can’t help it. You will reap many benefits from his gifted directional skills. He makes travelling very stress-free and the vacations you take with him will be amazing. But you will also go far out of your way to get to an approved bathroom location, and you will carry around lactaid pills for him. You choose him.
The maze of a housing development that you’re currently lost in. The one that can be blamed for your current state of extreme car sickness, and the subject of this ongoing argument. You will drive on these streets multiple times a day, as your baby girl babbles to herself in the backseat. That house you just passed on the left is where she will go to daycare. Where she will spend the majority of her time, grow up, and hopefully be loved enough to not notice you’re gone.
And the Wegmans that you just pulled into, to deal with your future husbands urgent bathroom needs, will be the Wegmans that you go to weekly. It will, for unknown reasons, become the Wegmans that time forgot and it will remain exactly as it is on this day. Someday, when you rush in to deal with your daughter’s urgent bathroom needs, you will go into this single unisex bathroom, look around, and laugh at the way life turns out.
And you will be so happy.