You are a lively 21 years old. You have so much opportunity in front of you just waiting to be grabbed. You have the power to create yourself. You are not forever adhered to a life of restitutory calorie burn. You live by a confined set of rules and you have the power to change them. You are worried about your mental health in the future but have faith that you will eventually learn the following:
You are hungry all the time because the food you eat has no substance or nutritional value. Eat to live. You CAN live without the pizza buffet. You do not NEED to eat there once a week to satisfy your cravings. Pizza is the reason you are constantly bloated.
You are an interesting, funny and intelligent young woman. You do not need alcohol to survive social situations and appear fun and care-free in front of your peers. College is not about being liked and finding bridesmaids. You’ve had them all your life. They are your sisters. Your family will always be there.
Failure is an event not a person. You become better through your failures and in fact, should seek failure for growth. Those who truly love you will continue to do so.
Stay out of other people’s business. Do not offer unsolicited advice, especially when it comes to relationships. Have compassion for those who you disagree with, you are not perfect either.
And one more thing, it is going to be record cold on October 10, 2009. So either have your wedding indoors or take it to the islands!
Your 26 year old self
There is one thing that I deliberately left out of this letter. I would not warn myself about taking anti-depressants in an effort to “cure” my body image and anxiety issues. That was the worst experience I have lived through yet. I am sure there are worse to come. But suffering leads to wisdom. That decision was the trigger to a series of events that have molded me into the person I am today. And for the first time, I am actually liking that person. When I was in the midst of self hate for gaining weight, I wanted nothing but to turn back the clock and undo that decision. Now, I would never consider it.