Week 13: Patti Dearest

Lyric of the Week: “All of me loves all of you. I love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections.” All of Me, John Legend

Dear Patti,

At the tender age of 11, there are some things that 35 year old me wants to tell you and give you some insight on. Listen up, little me.

First and foremost: STOP LETTING PEOPLE CALL YOU PATTI. You hate it! Speak up and make it stop! Get a voice, girl. You’ll find one in college, but don’t wait until then. The course of your life will change once you find it. Maybe look for it now. You find your courage, too. (Maybe, thanks to that carnelian heart you will start wearing 5 years from now and don’t take off for 3 years. You still have it now, by the way. It’s actually right next to the keyboard as this is being typed. Some things never fade.)

In the years ahead of you, you will grow into your face and your body and your spirit and your intelligence. It’ll flesh out rather nicely, if I do say so myself. So quit worrying and second guessing and hiding. The you you are right now is still here, and all these years later, people learn to appreciate it– most importantly YOU! Don’t listen to the people who doubt you. And stop doubting yourself. Couple gems about that? GO NATURAL. NOW. You’ll thank yourself later for the healthier hair. Exercise. Eat better. But don’t stress that too much either. It’ll get better. And most of those skinny little bitches you envy now (at 11) are, at 35,  fat. And wrinkled. And stagnant. Fuck ’em.

Over the next 25 years, you will make all kinds of romantic blunders. The one you like right now doesn’t even factor in your life 12 months from now. Stop following him like lost puppy. Besides, you’ll sleep with him in college and realize he sucks in bed. So sad. You will fall in love many more times and truthfully, darling, they all suck until about age 25. So wipe your tears early and for good. They are just blips. Nothing to stick on. The one who makes you want to die in college, he apologizes later for all he does to you. Genuinely. And when you see his first child, you’ll be ok that it wasn’t yours. Genuinely.  And feel nothing but happiness about the whole thing.

When you are 26, You will be given the first of the two best gifts you will ever receive. Your niece– and your nephew comes at 30. You can’t even imagine right now how much they will mean to you. Take notes of what it’s like being 11. Your niece will want to know. And your memory sucks. I can’t wait for you to meet them. There was never a more beautiful sight than their little faces or anything more fun than just being with them.

Time will pass and you will marry the person YOU LEAST EXPECT  . . . and then leave him when the love runs out. Maybe rethink that marriage thing? You are at better friends. But–he is the first man to actually love you for you. You will always love him for that. He saw your worth before you did and no one can replace him. You’ll meet another one right after that who makes your world and your heart spin like a damn top. When you meet him– if you don’t heed any other advice– heed this: RUN. RUN like your life depends on it. And use protection. (Cause I know you. Your ass ain’t runnin’. Those eyes will catch you just like they caught me.)

Spend more time with Dad. A lot more. I know, you are always with him and you love every minute of it. But trust me, Patti, when he is gone it won’t have been enough. You will miss him all the time and wish you had more memories. Take more pictures. Take videos. Record his voice, Get him to write you letters. Everything. He is always going to be with you, but you’ll wish you had savored more. Savor it. You will never meet anyone else as kind or cool or important.

Quick tips? Save money. Get better at math. Take chemistry. Pass it. Stay with science. Don’t switch majors. Don’t say yes when you shouldn’t and say no when you should. Get the chicken pox now- it’s UGLY later. Move away from your roommate and cut her off. She’s trouble. Oh, is she trouble. Love big. Don’t forgive everyone and . . . Barb? She’s still a bitch- don’t stress that you hate her.

All in all, you are still kind of lost in 24 years. But you love you. You love life and you are learning to be happy. Look forward to a long eventful road. And take it all in. Remember it. And keep learning. You’ll be ok. You survive.

Sincerely, You

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