by

15 Years Later

Dear 2001 Lauren,

As I write this letter to you, we have just turned 30 years old.  You have a Master’s Degree, a new business, and are living in a downtown high rise.  That’s the good news; the bad news is, you are living with Auntie, have just enough money to cover your car note and insurance for next month, and are completely and utterly confused about your life.

I know what you are thinking…you have a plan.  You are going to work really hard and go to NYU for architecture, come home and help rebuild the neighborhood.  Well, that’s not going to happen, and unfortunately listening to someone else’s negativity and giving up that dream will plague you for a very long time.  

I’m not going to lie to you, it’s going to be a LONG and ROUGH road.  As a matter of fact, as I am writing this letter to you, I’m still on that road; stuck in Alabama Mud (you’ll understand in a couple of years).  You are going to cry, a LOT, in private of course.  You are going to have your heart broken.  You are going to crack, break, and eventually shatter.  But this too shall pass.

You are going to have experiences that will build you up to be who I am now.  You are going to face adversity, stupidity, and prejudice; and you will face it all with style, grace, and a stanch wit!  You are going to laugh to hide that you are crying.  You are going to fight for what you believe in.  You are going to run away from home and go on a Wild Adventure, that will lead you back home again.  You are going to meet some awesome people.  Some will stick around, some you are going to struggle to let go.  Some you will push away, and rightfully so.  That was, by the way, an unintentional rhyme.

As I sit here, still over weight, and less sure of where my life will lead than I was when I was your age, I can still look back and say “Damn Girl!  You’ve come a LONG way.”  You are going to change paths several times.  You are going to gain strength from some unusual places.  You are going to be put into some awkward and uncomfortable situations.  But you are going to have some really cool stories to tell.

So Chin Up Buttercup!  And like Mr. Kitzel says, “remember…keep smiling”!

Love You More

2016 Lauren,

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