i first saw this a few days into to National Health Blog Post Month and thought it would be a fun thing to participate in since it is diabetes awareness month.
since i am starting late i decided instead of trying to get completely caught up i would start on the prompt from the day i first heard about NGBPM. maybe i can catch up from there..to keep record i am going to date this post as thursday, november 3rd, fyi.
Dear 18 year old me. Write a letter to yourself when you were 18. Be sure to tell yourself what to do more of, what to do less of, and what you have to look forward to in the next few (or several) years.
dear 18 year old me,
let me start off by saying I WISH 30 YEAR OLD ME WOULD WRITE US A LETTER RIGHT ABOUT NOW! now wouldn't that be helpful....!
congrats on turning 18! that party will be talked about for years to come! especially the fact that a diabetic had an all-out-hold-nothing-back-eat-till-you-are-sick chocolate party..yep, you (we? i? not sure how this whole time travel things works..) totally rock.
but i know 18 was the start of the "worrying years". you worried about dad coming home after 2 years of deployment. worried about graduation and life after, worried about what God's plan is for you. worried about work. worried about your friends that seem to be losing their minds. worried about the fact that you really do not want to deal with anything diabetes related. you worried, but you were excited and expectant too. it is a crazy mix of emotions.
i wish i could tell you the next 5 years get better and that it is all rainbows and happy days.. but darling, it is not. there are mountains to climb, molehills to fret over, battles to fight, fears to face and problems to solve. but, there will be lots of good things too, so don't worry. you will be stretched, pulled, tried, and it is all a beautiful part of God's plan for your (our) life.
graduation will be fun! don't worry, nothing embarrassing happens when you walk across the stage. enjoy every moment of it! it goes so very fast. hug dad a few more times that day. he is having a hard time thinking that when he left you were a little girl still struggling through math and living for the outdoors and how he missed you growing up, learning to drive, wearing make-up and all that goes with becoming an adult.
after graduation you and your best friend will pack up way too much in the back of your volvo (you got a station wagon for graduation. pretend to be excited, 'cause em really does try hard to keep it a secret) and head to TN. you will LOVE every second of working at Above Rubies. living with your bff will teach you many things (and yes, she does marry him) and some of the friends you make will last.
while you are there you will get a phone call late one night, it is mom telling you that she is going to have a baby. be careful running up the stairs to tell the girls, otherwise you will twist your ankle. mags will be born a few months after you move back home. and its the best thing in the world. enjoy every second of it. you will pull these memories out for years to come.
i am not going to lie. those few months between moving back home, moving to the new house and mags being born are going to be the hardest ones you face until you are 23. but you survive and you don't get sent to jail for wanting to kill some people. living in the little house with a pregnant mother, a new friend who needs a place to stay, your dad after not for two years, and trying to figure out your life is stressful. trust me, i know! don't worry about your high a1c, stress does that to us..
in fact, don't worry about it for a while. the next few years will be rough in the diabetes area. you will be totally and completely burnt out. some-days you will test maybe 1 or 2 times, forget to bolus and you will tone out anyone who tries to say something. it's ok. really. you don't ever have an a1c higher than 9, even though its bad...its not the end of the world. you may want to consider exercising a little more. i wish i would have now....really though, it is all a learning process and you will be better for it.
between 18 and 23 a lot happens. life. is. lived! you mess up, you win big, you grow, and you wish you could be 10 again. but kid, you do great! you are the example, you are the leader and so many look up to you because of the fruit they see in your life. really. don't try to understand it, just take it and run with it..and don't forget who is blessing you.
here are a couple tips i wish i would have known:
- between then and now there will be several guys that come along. it gets overwhelming but it's kinda fun too. oh..the proposal? yeah, say no and watch what happens when you get here. its pretty funny. there will be some tears cried...but trust me when i say "don't drag it out". say no and let your no be no. got it? yeah me either...
- find the DOC sooner! it was a life changing moment when I first read Kim's blog over at http://www.textingmypancreas.com/. one thing will lead to another and soon you will find yourself in FL @ FFL with 1000s of other type 1 diabetics. it will be amazing. you will meet friends who GET IT and it will make a difference in how you care for yourself. YOU CAN DO IT!
- don't hesitate so long about CollegePlus! it is great. every bit of it.
- your sister will become your best friend.. she will also put in all of your arm sites when you get a cgm. teach her earlier than you think..
- make more time to spend in God's word. at some points it will be the only thing that makes sense in your life.
- it is hard growing up and still living in your parents house. but it is doable and it is worth it. keep at it. keep smoothing things over. your people skills will be put to good use.
- last but not least: stop being afraid. just stop it. do the things you want, say what needs said, have that adventure. just do it.
so, there you have it. there are many many thoughts, events, plans, people and things i left out. those you will have to find out about on your own.
keep your chin and remember, You Can Do It.
This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J