I know you have a motto of no regrets in life. Everything you have done and will do is for a reason in your mind and has lessons you must learn. Although you don’t regret any of these things, there are things you could have done better.
Your little brother pestered you because he loved you. He wanted to be around you all the time, and you would have been closer sooner in life had you stopped dragging him out of your room and shutting the door. You know how much you adore him now, and think of how much longer you could have adored him had you been a little more patient. Now I see what you should have seen, and it was just how much he loved you.
Try to understand your step siblings a little more. You were thrown into their lives in much the same way they were thrown into yours. Instead of getting mad at the things they got away with that you didn’t try to understand that maybe they are different and had different needs. They are not you and you are not them, your morals won’t always match, but staying angry at them for years doesn’t help you at all.
Tell your Dad immediately how much it hurt your feelings when he brought your mother and step sister flowers, and didn’t bring you any. Holding on to that for months doesn’t fix the problem. Forgive him for the few times he wasn’t the perfect parent. I know you think your parents are godlike, but they make mistakes too.
When you meet Jeff, and you have your first serious relationship really appreciate the things you can learn from each other. He will be in your life for a long time, and even though it won’t be permanent, try to end things in the best way possible. Oh, and when he wants to spray your Abu the monkey from Aladdin with his bottle of Eternity before you get into a cramped van on the way to Florida, don’t let him do it. Yes, it smells great on him, but 17+ hours of cologne in your face all of the trip was a little overwhelming for everyone.
When you are dating Dennis and you have that big fight in the McDonald’s parking lot, and he raises his hand to you, IT IS the best time to take off his class ring and peg him between the eyes with it. He deserved it. You should have whacked him with it and called it quits right then. However, you did a damn fine job of standing up for yourself and not letting him hit you.
When you meet Nick and your relationship goes bad, and oh it will go bad, do yourself a big favor and ask him “why?”. Find out at the age of eighteen why he was such a cheating bastard, and you won’t let it effect you for the next few years to come.
I would say make sure you send your college loan papers back in time, but that would have changed the person who is writing this to you. Instead I will say try a little harder at college to make some new friends. Reach out of the box and don’t only do what’s comfortable. Stick up for yourself earlier when you have roommates. It’s not your job to support them.
When you meet your future husband, make sure he understands the things about you that are most important even if you don’t do them all the time. Make sure he knows how important music is to you, and when you concede on participating in his hobbies, make sure he concedes to yours. Have sex more often. He shouldn’t have to be the one to initiate it all the time, and don’t spend as much time fussing at him about his dirty clothes in the floor. Agree to do chores together before you get married, that way if you are both being lazy fine, but if one of you is working, so is the other. While you are dating make sure he understands how important romance is to you. Try to be more flexible in things he wants to do, but stick up for what you want too. Don’t depend on your friends to tell you if you are out of line in your relationship, or if he is out of line. You know the answers already and if someone else thought you were just being a grumpy, maybe you needed to be grumpy. When you are sitting in your office, posting on your blog, and eyeballing your divorce packet out of the corner of your eye, forgive him for hurting you and hope he forgives you for hurting him. You’re both good people who just made a lot of mistakes.
Last, as you move forward in life go out and live it. You only have a chance once to do something different and something to make yourself happy. You’ll start smiling more again, and have those true belly hurting laughs like you used to have. Play with your dogs more because they are devoted to you, and Ontaria probably won’t be around too much longer. You’ll miss her horribly when she’s gone.
Don’t forget to love. There are so many people who deserve it. You’ll only get what you give. When you have real love in your hands again, remember the lessons you learned the first time, and try even more to be a better person.
Don’t forget to laugh. You love to laugh and smile, you wasted too much time forgetting to laugh.
Don’t forget to cry. It’s cleansing and such a good way to feel better once it’s over.
Don’t forget to enjoy the things you love the most, it will make the laughter and the tears come easily.
Don’t forget. Don’t forget the lessons you have learned and the people who made important differences in your life. They were there for a reason, whether it was bad or good, but there was something you needed from them and something they needed from you.