[This is a letter to my younger self from me now.]
It's me. Sorta all grown up. We just turned twenty-one a little over a week ago, on Turkey Day. Yeah. You, me, our cartilege piercing, and our tattoo we've more or less named Otis. He's still rockin' the tan line from this summer, still lookin' for that horizon. Much like us, really.
Anyway, there's something that I need to tell you. Or rather, we need to talk about.
It's about Al*. I know you're going to have a hell of a time believing me on this one, but, Al got married yesterday. Before you freak out that I've somehow estranged us from the family and eloped in Mexico or anything, we're still single. We've got crazy curly long hair (though, I kept chopping it all off at one point, and now I'm letting it grow back) and, well, I'm currently in Wales. Yeah. You'll enjoy that, trust me.
Anyway. Yeah, Al got married yesterday. Don't look at me like that, all wide-eyed and whatnot. I remember just as clearly as you do freaking out in the kitchen when he came to the back door looking to drop off a can collection bag for Scouts and we thought he was there to see us and we freaked, royally, because we didn't want Mom or Dad to see him because we hadn't told them. I remember him and his dad and his friend turning up in the driveway during Italian Festival one summer, wanting to know if I wanted to go with them while I sat writing The Crossing from composition book to Word. I also remember being smooshed in the backseat, too, with the cake we'd made for Saint Mary's.
I remember all of that, just like you do. Just like I remember the way I felt junior year when I put on the dress I'd worn at Heather's wedding to go to my first prom. Eventually we'll be able to look at those pictures - and the ones from senior year - without tearing up quite as badly. For now, we'll leave them in the picture box in the living room with the ones from Music Club trips to NYC and other places we've been.
We're quite the wanderers, you and I. But that doesn't really hit us until we get to college and start blogging. Originally, we're Confessions of a College Coffee Addict but being a Wandering Sagittarius is what we are, so we change it.
I know it hurts, Binsk. I know it just tears at you to let him go that last time because you don't want to hurt him when you go away to college, and that's fine. I understand that. We don't regret that. We just thought he would wait for us. Can't really blame him for finding someone else, even if we think things moved a bit fast for them. And we were suitably stunned when we found out he was engaged.
Yesterday was their big day and you're over three thousand miles away living a very, very different life.
There's nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing to regret. I know it's hard. Really hard. But you've done great things. You've got, at this point, 1,994 pages of composition book filled with a novel; you've got thirty parts on a blogging series that's more or less turned into a book called Murphy and Me; you've recently celebrated a birthday and can legally drink the US now; and you've turned out to be one strong, confident, bluntly honest person who, at all times, remembers to be herself before anything else. Because that's all we can do. Just be us. Even if it hurts.
I thought of how I was going to tackle this particular subject, wondered if there was a line I was going to cross that I shouldn't cross, and then decided, like with a lot of things, to screw it. Life is about crossing lines and this? This is hella personal, but at the same time, it's not. Don't ask me to explain that more fully because, well, I probably can't.
We're a little bitter, some days, I won't lie. We wonder how we can write such a wonderful romance between fictional characters, but can't live it in our own life. Our sister tells us to be patient, that God won't give us more than we can handle. But boy, it does seem like a lot sometime, if not in physical things, than especially with emotional.
Of course, this comes roughly two weeks before we head back to the US from spending three months in a foreign country. Because, well, if we didn't have bad luck we wouldn't have any luck at all. Coincidentally, that was the inspiration for Murphy and Me. And we haven't stopped writing since.
That, Binsk, is the biggest thing. We haven't stopped writing, living, breathing, loving, and wandering. We haven't stopped being us because of this fiasco. And it is a fiasco. It threw us for a loop when we got that random friend request, and it threw us for a loop to realize yesterday they got married. What we can do, though, is to recognize it, and not let it be more than a fading thing.
We can also sit back with a pint of Ben and Jerry's and wait for the wedding photos to crop up and crack up (in more than one way, probably) but that's a normal reaction.
The other normal reaction for us to write him into whatever we're working on, and we have. In little ways, we have. We'll listen to music, cry a little, and keep writing.
This will, eventually, be just another day to us. Another Saturday because, honestly, it doesn't have specific meaning to us. It's not our wedding day, not our anniversary (or one that we should be keeping track of, at any rate) and it's really not important to us. Mean? Slightly. Truthful? Definitely. And that's one thing we refuse to do, is lie to ourselves. Not when it counts the most.
We've come along way. And you've come further yet to get here. We've got more to go, too. More wandering, loving, writing, and most importantly, living. Live it up, kid, cause this life? It's the only one we've got. And to spend it freaking out about a path we didn't take? Not worth it, no matter what we thought he was worth to us back then because there's a Murphy out there for us somewhere. We've just gotta run into a few cars to find him, first.