Do you ever stop and think about what you’d say to a 19-yo self if you were to encounter them again? Do you wonder what they would be thinking of YOU now? Did you let them down? Did you fulfill their expectations?
Sometimes, I stop and pause. Then I have this conversation with her. I want to tell her to enjoy herself. To worry less and breathe more. Things WILL work out fine in the end.
I’d tell her – you’ll turn into an independent woman, like you had always wanted. What I wouldn’t tell her is exactly how much heartache and pain there would be between then and now.
The girl on the photo is celebrating her 19th birthday. Smiling. Getting ready to go on a hike and get drunk with her friends at the top of the mountain.
What she doesn’t know yet is that soon, that same night, she’ll come to a realization she had started to develop feelings for a good friend. It will be someone she had known for years, someone she had gone through the growing-up phase with, someone she had laughed with as well as cried with. It will be someone who had been there all along, but she just never bothered to look.
That night, she will look. And she will see him differently. They’ll hold hands and embrace. They won’t say anything, cause neither one of them will know what to say. Although surrounded by other people, it will still feel like the world had come to a halt and created this hole in space-time continuum for just the two of them.
But the night will eventually turn into dawn.
There will be questions asked. In the following days there will be so much confusion in her head. Lines will become blurry and where will she look to? To the years in the past? To the past that offers the comfort of friendship, which is secure and familiar? Or will she look into the future, which is as uncertain as always? It will be a tricky situation she’ll need to navigate. She’ll cross the line, she’ll feel safe, she’ll feel vulnerable, she’ll feel exposed, she’ll feel scared. This will make her doubt everything friendships are and should be. Doubts will make her too cautious, but eventually years behind them will make her too trusting.
It will be magical – the highest highs she had ever experienced until that moment. Then it will be painful – the most painful she had yet experienced.
But she doesn’t know any of that yet. She is about to make a climb with a bottle of Jägermeister in her hand. Would you just not tell her – worry less and breathe more?