Dear 13-Year-Old Me: In 2011, You Will Be Breathing Fine

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Exactly one month from today, I will be 23 years old.

If I could tell my 13 year old self something what would it be? Here is a letter to her.

Dear Alex, Allie, Alexandria, Allie-Pat,

Clearly by the start of this letter you are having an identity crisis and can't decided what you want to be called. Just go with Alex, ok? As long as someones not calling you "Hey Bitch," you'll be good.

So if I remember correctly, at 13 you are in puppy love with a guy we will call Orange. You think this person is the one. For your birthday this year, he will write you a letter. One you will have memorized completely a day after you get it. A letter that you will fold up and keep in a little tin lunch box until you are 15 and think you are in love with the Green Giant -- at which point you will burn it and then spend the next year wondering if you destroyed something your future children may have wanted to see.

You didn't. Trust me.

Look. Plain and simple. He is not the one for you. Be prepared though; in a few short months he will break your heart and you'll spend the next two years getting over him. You will think you will never be able to breathe again. But trust me. You will. But it is after this break-up that you will buy the most stellar pair of Esprit sling back pumps. (Yes. You have sling back pumps at 13. You are setting yourself up to date & marry a man 13 years your senior.) Pumps you will still have in your closet 10 years later. You will go to and fro searching for a blacksmith to tighten the band on the shoe. But you will never find such a blacksmith, and you will never find a sling back you love as much... you will hold on to these shoes forever.

Remember. You will be able to breathe. As much as you can. Try not to make a fool of yourself.

And those gigantic things you call boobs (or as that ass in youth group dubbed them "Twiana & Wanda") will continue to grow beyond what the eye can see. When you are approved for your breast examination in two years, go much smaller then the doctor is telling you. Why? Because in five years you will nurse a baby and they will have almost returned to their original size. And when you tell the doctor you are a DD, she believes you instead of measuring you and finding out you are probably closer to Z then DD. And when she re-sizes you, she is really only making you a small DD. You will spend the rest of your days begging your husband to get off of his big boob obsession and let you reduce them. So to save yourself that fight just size those puppies down to a small, small C.

You are going to go to Bible School. I know. You never wanted to. But you will. Bible School will break you. You will often feel that you can't breathe. You will of course be able to breathe. But remember 99% of what you are going through is your fault. But you will be able to breathe and although you won't see it at the time, Bible School will change you and despite what people might think, it will change you for the better, ok? Keep your head up. And don't have Mom sew all your side slits up. You will only be there for eight months, and when you get out you're going to want to show some leg.

From 2003 until 2005 you will feel like you are on a merry go round with creepy music. It will stop. Just ride it, ok.

At 17 you will again think you are madly and deeply and crazily in love. You are not. He will also break your heart, and you will swear this time that you really, really, really can't breathe. I'll admit. That time was scary. But like I said before, you do breathe again. When you go to his house to confront him (against all better judgment) he will tell you that you will meet someone else much better. Believe him. Did you hear me? Don't scream back, "Noooooo I woooooon't." He is right. Thank him for letting you go and go home and prepare for the one who will always let you breathe. He's coming. I promise.

For the next two years you're going to have fun. You're going to spend lots of money (enjoy it because soon you won't be able to), buy a car, go out with boys, get wasted like you wouldn't believe. And be skinny. Embrace it babe. It was a good ride.

See I told you, you would breathe again.

And out of the blue on the eve of your 19th birthday... you'll find him.

You will find that someone four years into the future on 9/19/2010 while you write a letter to yourself, will come up to you, kiss your neck and still make you shiver. He will turn around every so often while he works to tell you he loves you. He will tell you often how beautiful you are. Almost to the point where you beg him to stop. But believe him because he really does mean it.

Be warned though. It's going to be hard. Your little self is going to ride more roller coasters than any 19 year old should have to. You will often feel like you can't breathe. Sometimes because of him, sometimes because of you. Sometimes because of life. But you are always breathing. And he will always, always be the one that will keep you breathing.

On June 22, 2007 you will make a mistake. There will always be parts of you that can't breathe when you think about this. I am sorry. And there isn't any more that I can tell you now. Except, she is ok...

And just a little over a year after that on 8/1/2008, you will experience what real breathing is. You will breathe forever.

Forever you will breathe clean, pure, and delicious air. And his name will be Phoenix. He truly will be your phoenix. And like Christopher Robin tells Pooh you will find in that moment, "You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem..."

I will stop here and not spoil it all for you.

Believe me, there will be sleepless nights. Both with a baby hanging off your still-in-need-of-a-reduction breasts and without.

I suspect that many more times than I mentioned there will be moments you won't be able to breathe. But like I said before you will be.

You are breathing now... You are breathing now.

Love-
You

If you could write a letter to your 13 year old self what would you say?

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Before the Baby Wakes.

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