Dear 17-Year-Old Me,

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First of all, you look great! Stop obsessing about your body because you look hot now, so enjoy that. Stop trying to starve yourself into a Kate Moss body when God gave you a Christina Hendricks-ish frame.   (You probably won’t understand that reference until you really get into Mad Men.)

I know you’re worried about dating. You shouldn’t be. By that I don’t mean you’re going to date a lot or meet Mr. Right immediately freshman year, because that’s not the case. I would be lying if I said there wasn’t going to be nights when all of your friends and roommates are out on dates and you spend the night watching a sad movie on your laptop (I’m past the statute of limitations on that, right?) and sighing into a Cup-O-Noodles. You’re going to get your heart-broken, more than once. You won’t be a stranger to the sting of rejection. It makes you a stronger person, but don’t let it make you hard-hearted and cold. In fact just don’t worry about it. In the words of Amy Poehler “Too often we are told to visualize what we want… Try to care less. Practice ambivalence. Learn to let go of wanting it.” Do you want to know what happens when you stop worrying about how you’re ‘not dating’? That’s right, you meet the man of your dreams. Oh, and throw away all those notes about how you’re supposed to act on a date (yes, you actually pay tuition to take notes on stuff like that, but that’s a rant for another time) or how you’re supposed to look, because he loves you for you. Just the way you are, quirkiness and all.

Let loose and have some fun! You’ve always been a rule-follower so what I’m about to say is probably going to blow your mind. The memories of college that’ll make you smile aren’t the ones where you’re following all the rules. Be sensible, but do something a little crazy every once in a while. It’s good for you.

Love Love Love,

You(24 years-old)

P.S. Maybe put a little more effort into your spaghetti bridge project for physics. I’m married with a baby and people still talk about how awful it turned out. So, don’t procrastinate, seriously.

 

 

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Growing Up

English: Mother and child at the show, 1938. B...

College. It’s a very difficult transition between childhood and adulthood. After high school I packed my bags, bought a winter coat, and moved two-thousand miles away to school in the Midwest. I considered this growing up, living on my own. My mother did not.

Letting go doesn’t come easy to any mother. Mine grew up Mexico with uncommon philosophies: family first, blood is thicker than water, and care for your own. She found many American practices cold and heartless. She never understood how a parent could push their child out of the house at eighteen, or how that child could turn around  and place his parents that raised him into an institution to be cared for by complete strangers:  An act she considers void of love.

As you can imagine, I can’t just tell my mom that I am an adult. She disregards the fact that I’ve moved out. I still come home for summer and Christmas holidays after all. When she looks at me she still sees her little girl. She says no age can change the fact that I’m her daughter, and she’s my mother.