You're 20 at this moment in 2012 (eh fine, 19.75. psh, technicality). But right now, you are 14, about to start high school at St. David's School in Raleigh, North Carolina. Don't be scared, I already did all this. It's totally not a big deal, but I want to provide you with an inside scoop to avoid some drama, heartbreak, and unexpected events.
Cherish your freshman year. It will fly by, and you'll be leaving, for good, to the distant land of Beaumont, Texas in the summer. (Learn to spell it before you write your parents a note wishing them luck on the interview in "boemont." They won't let you live it down EVER. People don't ride horses to school, don't embarrass yourself by asking). Don't cry too much, it's time to leave, time to see who else is out there to meet. You'll stay close to the people that matter. When N.H. gives you that goodbye hug and spins you around, close your eyes and clutch him a little closer. You won't see him again for an elongated two years.
The uniform you will wear to school for the next two years in Texas is the exact same one you donned at NHA from kindergarten to third grade, minus the jumper option. Don't try to wear the same bow, you can no longer pull it off. You'll meet Moriah. She will change your life. You won't fight ever, except for maybe twice, and you get over it fast because you know she is someone you want in your life forever. You'll miss your sweet-sixteen-and-never-been-kissed status by two weeks. You should have waited. He wasn't worth your first kiss.
You'll make some major mistakes junior year. Learn from them, move on, don't be a drama queen and remember that it could always be worse: you could be pregnant (that's NOT the mistake you make, by the way. Good call). Skip the regrets. Also, you'll discover that you are moving. Again. It will suck worse than any of the other times. Not because of how much you will miss Beaumont (you will miss some people, but don't waste your time missing the ones not worth missing) but because you will not know anyone your senior year in high school. Strangers are scary but push past that and you will meet some unbelievable people. You'll date your first real live boyfriend that lives in the same state as you. I promise, you weren't in love so don't cry about it when he breaks up with you. (It'll be the day after graduation, no, OF COURSE you aren't still bitter about the timing! Ludicrous idea). Hannah is actually a cool person, don't be afraid to get to know her better. Taylor Swift will start singing songs about your life and you'll get to see her live thanks to that boyfriend. You treasure and respect the incomprehensible power of words, some people don't understand that and fail to think about what they say. Continue to carefully consider your speech but arm yourself with tough skin when others don't reciprocate.
You're going to fall in love twice. N.H. and E.D. You respect them both even though they have both hurt you. You're working on falling out of love. Don't rush it. It's okay for it to be a process. Don't mistake those silly, shallow crushes you have for any sexy male for love. And don't take it hard when clueless guys reject your budding feelings. E.S., P. H., D. D., A. A., W.H., N. H., N. I., D.S., J.D., L.K., E.D.? They won't treat you well. They'll regret their actions when they have daughters. Don't hold everything against those gentlemen forever, it takes too much energy.
And that is energy you will desperately need during your freshman year at TCU as a Horned Frog. I can't stress this enough, journal everyday. Even about the little nuances that you know you will remember. Because your memory will betray you. December will come around and you'll be sitting in the back of the Sequoia, cowering from the disappointment of Paul and Shari, wondering what happened in Brachman 201.
Which brings me to the mega-life-changer. Addison's Disease. Go ahead and google it and prepare yourself. Maybe slip a note to Shari so she's in the know when you start to convulsively puke the first few weeks of January 2011. She's a smart cookie though, she realizes you need some hospital care. You'll wake up in the ICU on January 17th after having some insane morphine-induced dreams (vegetables will go back to being just vegetables, not instruments of torture. Don't fret.) with a diagnosis that requires popping approximately 10 pills a day for the rest of your life. (If you accidentally crush your pills people will look at you suspiciously because the remnants resemble cocaine. Don't do this.). You'll lose your fabulous Addison's-induced tan, but you get your life back. So don't complain, it's a pretty decent trade.
Focus on being the girl that you think your friends deserve to befriend, your crush deserves to date, and the daughter your family deserves to support.
Live your life, have fun, and never look back again (after nearly dying, it's gotta be all downhill from here...right?),
A Very Lucky Girl