At 30, the world is her oyster. Or so she thinks. Sshh. Don’t tell her differently. She probably won’t listen even if you do.
I say this with some surety because she is my younger self. She is on Kauai on her honeymoon.
What would I tell this woman if she could hear me? So many things come to mind. First and foremost, that in a decade or two she can purchase a dynamite keratin treatment at a salon that will take care of the slight frizz in her hair at the beach. I know, right? Score. Lifesaver.
Ah, yes, I jest. It would be a Top Ten item, but maybe not first. Hey, a girl likes to look good at the beach, people.
I would tell her that interviewing for a new job just days before your wedding with a 102 degree fever is probably not the brightest move. That she might want to heed the red flags waving because the woman who will be her boss is the one who insisted on an interview just days before her wedding and despite the fever.
Duh. She is bright but stubborn enough that it makes her stupid sometimes. So stupid she does not realize people who force interviews when you are ill and about to go through a major life event are probably not the most emotionally intelligent overseers you will find.
I would tell her that when her future sister-in-law asks her point blank to host an engagement party at her home for a “small group”, it will end up seeming like Lollapalooza sans wristbands for the lovely hostess. And will cost an amount she cannot afford. And she should really learn how to say a proper “no” and shut the front door.
I would tell her not to go nuts on the enrichment classes and flashcards for her eldest because these, in the end, are not the real markers of the man. To enjoy those picnics in the backyard, the brief respite of naptime, playing outside with the neighbor children and their parents.
I would tell her not to eat the chicken at the fondue joint while pregnant and adding on to her home. That it will give her food poisoning and when the basement floods that night due to lack of backfill, she will be too sick to get off the basement air mattress and get to a hotel. And it will suck. Just stick to the steak, honey.
Odd lot of things to think of, eh? Have you guessed my secret yet? It’s because I can’t tell her about the heavy stuff. If I tell her that she will end up divorcing this man holding the very camera that is taking the photo you see above, she will freak. Or not believe me. Or do something rash. A little black and white, that one.
She will wonder how it is that her judgements about him and their relationship could be wrong. She will try to fix it all before it happens. Because if she believes anything, it’s that she can fix just about everything.
I cannot tell her about the sweat equity she will put into her house until her back aches, sleepless nights with a baby who doesn’t sleep well for eight months, arguments over unmowed lawns, regret over her sharp tongue when angry. She needs these very things to shape her, mold her, temper her, prepare her for the mother of all storms that will come and reduce her known life to ashes.
I am who I am because of my core, yes. But I have been shaken to the same core and it shifted. That shift has been my baptism and my blessing by a God and universe that still stymie me. But always amaze me in the end. An end I’m still living on into one day at a time. One my 66-year-old self I’m sure is dying to tell me about tout de suite. Only she can’t.
I’m just a bit over halfway through the book.
And, like it or not, there will no spoilers.
This post is the last of five in which I was challenged to tell a story about a photo. I’ve been remiss in nominating fellow bloggers so here goes. Five at once. I’m issuing the same challenge (see below) to five blogs I love to read because they always surprise me, delight me or make me think:
- My Path with Stars Bestrewn
- From the Laundry Room
- The Better Man Project
- Working Without a Net
The Challenge “Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.”