Dear graduated Sam,
Welcome to 18. Welcome to adulthood where you still don’t know how to drive on the interstate and you believe that Harry Potter is of the devil (Believe me it’s not, greatest revelation of your life). Baby, Life is just happening for you. You are entering in one of the most amazing/scary/unhinged parts of your life and it’s not slowing down. It is flying. It is magic, and you are going to take it by full force. Embrace it.
Don’t forget that you are absolutely loved, and when that boy breaks your heart, it was for the absolute best. Trust me, you have seen his babies, those were not meant for you. I know that you can’t imagine what life would be like without him or the next boy or the next but life goes on and you learn to love yourself. Each one teaches you so much about yourself. Remember the good things and how each of them made you feel. That goes for everyone, not just boys. You even learn to embrace that lions mane and have learned that a little mouse and gel goes a lot farther. Those glasses you broke when you were 13, you now realize you are really going to need them, Sam , you are blind. Like, when you finally drive on the interstate at night, you can’t see the lines-blind.
Those best friends that you love now, they don’t go away. The dynamics change- 1 on 1s become 1 on 2’s whether its babies or pups, but the conversations stay the same. Boys, drama, Relationships, Backstreet boys, sex, Jesus,-they all make appearances in those lunch dates/sleepovers. You make new friends and your priorities shift but those same girls are still in your life. Just remember to answer the phone when they call, even if you are studying for that Cotton final, and make the trip home to see them. They deserve it. People say that college is to find your bridesmaids, I believe you have already found some of them. Also, your 4th of July’s are always awesome. It’s kind of your day.
Sweet girl, don’t forget where you came from, so when you try so hard to lose that southern accent, know it is apart of you. It doesn’t ever go away and embrace it. You are southern, and it is just one of your many unique qualities, but also, don’t fall into that stereotype. Women don’t “belong” in the kitchen and you are smart, confident, strong, and courageous. There will be people who try to tell you otherwise, don’t let them. They will knock you down, and belittle where you came from, and push your character. They will tower over you and make you feel like you are worthless. You will think that for a bit. You will be crushed and humiliated and betrayed. It’s okay. You learn so much from those experiences and Babe, in the end you thrive. It is the end of innocence but the age of becoming a woman.
Last but not least, forgive your mother. She runs out on you in the middle of your freshman bed situation and for a long time you hold a grudge. Don’t. She just didn’t want your most influential day to be remembered by her break down. She absolutely loves you. She cries all the way home. There will come a time where she calls you after watching the Help and you will be reminded of how much you are worth in her eyes. It will be years later but you will truly know what all she sees in you. Greatness. Let that follow you to here. Chasing those desires and goals in your life. Be brave, and know that this is only the end to a chapter but the beginning to the rest of your life. The 6 years will be full of every emotion you can think of and enjoy it. Enjoy the moments, sweet girl.
24 (almost 25) Sam