Dear My 23 Year Old Self,
This moment where you're on the edge of the cliff, hesitant to jump for fear you'll fall instead of fly, will be a moment etched in your memory forever. I know how much you are doubting your choice, doubting yourself, doubting him, and doubting the two of you and any hope you have of making a real go at it. I know how close you are to backing out because of your fear of the unknown, of the drastic change, of failure and being wrong.
You'll take that leap. I'd like to tell you that you flew right away but really it was more like a flat nosedive with a crash landing rushing at you at times at record unstoppable speed. Yet somehow not only will you find your wings, so will he, and together you'll see you can fly.
I know in your little 23 year old idealistic mind you'd like to think from there it was smooth sailing after you worked out a few kinks. I know what a planner you are; I know you always have this vision of how perfectly you'd like things to fall into place. However, I can tell you the sooner you get over everything going according to your "plan" the better off it will be for both of you. Life will not follow your "plan", and trust me when I say that's okay. You will fly, but you will nosedive a couple times towards that bottom.
But don't quit, girl. You will just have to pull up your big girl pants and suck it up. In some of your worst moments he will tell you marriage/relationships shouldn't be so much work. But it won't just be each other you have to fight and work for. It will be putting both of you through grad school with little kids at home, owning your homes, trying to build up and maintain some kind of financial security with all the vehicle and housing setbacks, your careers in education, your promise to yourself and your kids to get home to your families so often, and you'll even want to quit on your damn animals at some point (don't worry when Bettis disappears for a week you do find him again).
But that's life; it's not meant to be easy. You're meant to have to work for it. Things won't always go the way you planned or hoped but keep your faith. God's plan is better than yours. Keep your faith in yourself and the two of you too even in your worst moments and setbacks because ten years from now even though you'll still be working towards career and family dreams you'll find yourself living a life that love and faith built.
You'll have that family of your own you always envisioned with two of the sweetest, beautiful little girls, the loving marriage you both doubted at times, your masters degree and eleven years invested in the career you wanted since the first grade, your own home (even an invested rental he talked you into keeping), and amazing friends in both places, time and money to make it home as often as you can to see both families, and a lifetime of memories with the family and friends you love traveling to see; sitting around fires; drinking wine; movie nights, drive ins, and theaters; camping in mountains; hanging out on beaches; baseball games, hiking, and fishing in the summer time; snow tubing, skating, and bowling in the winter; little league baseball and soccer and gymnastics; bedtime stories, family dinner time, night night walks, and park trips. You will live your life with purpose, and even though it will be a struggle at times and you will doubt your choices and capabilities, you will also find a happiness greater than you expected. The journey will not always be easy but it will be completely worth it. So just do it already, girl, jump and find that life that love and faith built.
Don't Wait for the Perfect Pitch