After seven years of seasons (together and apart) I could never be more confident in the person I’ve decided to do life with. Jason is the guy that every girl wishes would fight for her. The guy who saw value in characteristics of my life that I didn’t even see in myself, and the guy who pursued me after two years away in Haiti, as if we were just meeting.
During those two years we both discovered what it means to truly love other people by choice, to submit to the plan of Christ over our own, and the value in finding someone worth fighting for.
Sssoooooo, after a lifetime of the most intense relationship anxiety (just ask my girlfriends) I finally arrived in a place of complete contentment in the trust and fun and relief that comes with Jason and me. Which naturally leads to church bells… and the rest is history. Sounds so smooth and easy, huh? Hah! The world of writing couldn’t handle the volume of all that took place to arrive at this place. But we’re here.
We met in DC 7 years ago, so naturally when the two of us both randomly found ourselves back where it all started, this summer, I was thinking ok… so this could be it.
I had super cute outfits. Nails on point. Not that I was super expecting it every second or anything… but just saying… photo ready. We walked the city, piggy back ride to our Uber because I kind of sprained my ankle in the middle of the night, museums, Lincoln Memorial (my favorite)…. and nada. The trip came and went and both of us have been totally consumed with work and what not.
I’ve always been a girl who loves single life just like I love every other kind of life (just check out this post for further explanation) so I tend to find joy and contentment in my life of Crossift and work and friends and staying out as late as I want (who I am kidding, it’s only cus I get lost in TJ Maxx sometimes or stuff my face with soup/salad at Olive Garden with Kristy Gonzalez) even if it means not seeing the boo until Saturday for dinner because we live in separate cities.
And just when the thought of syncing these lives of ours right now was basically off my radar he goes and, once again, sets the bar… TO BE CONTINUED. I know, I know, but it’s late and I’m tired and there are to many details to be said. Goodnight.
I couldn’t be more grateful for all that life has taught, and boy has there been some lessons. At 26, I’m basically a grandmother of twenty somethings, and although 30-something year old Hope will teach me a thing or two today, I think I have some pretty good hindsight advice for the girl who lived a decade before me. If I could go back in time and give myself just a few of the many life lessons that I desperately needed (or to anyone who may catch a glimpse of this), they would be something along the lines of said letter, below.
Oh, dear and sweet crazy younger me:
You are incredible. Truly. I know your world is crazy and intense and consistently spinning off its axis at any moment, however, hold tight – there is so much ahead of you, and so many things that I know will make it easier. The good thing is that you’re a good listener. You take advice and you soak it in and you’re eager for someone to show you what the right way is. However, if there is anything I can share with you from this end of our life it would be the following (in a nutshell, of course):
- FIRST AND FOREMOST – You are worthy. Of respect. Of love. Of confidence. Live that way, and be selective. Even if only because you can, not because you think it’ll keep them chasing you. The guy who is showing you a little attention right now… girl, grody. You’ll be over it soon enough but really and truly, just trust me when I say it doesn’t end good and it is sooooo not worth it. Do yourself a favor and walk away now. You won’t even remember his name later in life, and when you do you’ll throw up in your mouth a little bit.
- IT IS SO NOT THAT DEEP. Just take it down a notch with all that unnecessary anxiety over your future. I know it is so unknown and so scary and so ‘what if’, but all of that pressure that you put on yourself to achieve perfection is not only impossible, but also really exhausting. I won’t say that it’ll get easier with all the unknowns, Cus well, ask me now if I’m good at it… but I will say that you will get better at trusting that God knows what He’s doing. Promise.
- THIS IS A TWO PARTER… Your whole entire being revolves around the inner workings of your small town, upcoming sporting events, friend circle drama, and weekend plans. Live in that season. Don’t rush it. Even next year, when you’re ready to throw it to the wind and get to college… enjoy being a teenager and not having the responsibility of an adult. Trust me – it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. You don’t need to know all the details of everything you’re doing in your entire life right this second. When you go to Europe – soak it in. When you travel with your family – be present. When you run around TP-ing the neighborhood – be better at not getting caught.
HOWEVER, although your whole entire being revolves around you right now… I know it’s hard to believe but you will barely even remember those tiny little details of high school that are stressing you out to the max right now. Not because HS isn’t great but because everything else is that much better. The world is so much bigger than your little town. Just you wait. And when you get to that season… soak it in, too. It’s gonna be awesome. So do me a favor – stop rushing away your life and relax.
- BE AWARE OF OTHERS. Always. I know sometimes you’re scared of rejection so you act all super cool, but here is a secret for you: You’re all insecure, you’re all nervous, you’re all trying to find your way. Eventually you’re all gonna look at each other’s lives and realize you’re the same. So look at those people now and embrace your likeness and differences. It’ll make it all so much better.
- FORGIVE QUICKLY. There are so many things that I know suck. They aren’t fair and you have no control over them. And you know what, over the next 10 years there will be some even worse hurt and pain, and you won’t be able to control that either. People are people and they will always make mistakes. But let me help you with something – keeping it inside for the next 10 years is gonna make for a real heavy clean up. Which brings me to the next one…
- LEARN TO CRY. Girrrllll – Learn. To. Cry. Don’t ALWAYS guard. It will help you process life’s hard moments. Process them and then walk away. Again with the cleanup. I know you’re getting good at being the strong one, but dang girl, it gets heavy in there. And then when you finally break down you ugly cry for like a bunch of hours and then your face is all red and puffy, and well that’s just not a good look on anyone. And it’s unnecessary.
In the end, it’s rare that you won’t know what the right thing to do is. The challenge will be – having the courage to do it. So stay honest (at least you’re getting something right), and make the hard choices. They pay off. Oh ya, and all those crazy midnight shenanigans that you and your best friend swear to take to the grave with you… keep ‘em up – they will provide you with great laughter long into your future.