Dear 21-year-old Tami,
Hope you are well.
This is me writing to you; I am now 44, and you are 21. There are so many things I would like to say to you. But I don't want to lecture you because I know how much you hate that, but you know me, I'll say what I have to say. I am actually a lot more vocal than I used to be, and believe me, it's so much better. There is no use in keeping things in your heart and sulking over them. The best thing to do is to say it.
Yes, fear will stop you from doing many things -- the fear of confrontation, hurting the other persons feeling or even just the fear of not knowing. Remember, Tami: Fear is your biggest enemy. Kick fear's butt and let it leave your life. I know you're thinking (because I know how you think) that it's not that easy. What I'm saying to you is just be free; if you're not doing anything wrong, be fearless. When fear starts crawling into your heart, tell yourself that no matter what the struggle you will overcome it, the best way you can.
Believe in yourself. You can achieve anything that you set your mind to. That Masters degree that you didn't get because of getting married at a young age -- well you will get it at 43. You will make everyone around you proud. And in the process you will teach your children to become life-long learners.
When you become a mother, love will mix with fear and your life will become so much more fulfilling and complicated. Every minute of every day you will fear for you children's safety, you will want them to be happy, above all.
Don't fear motherhood or any relationship for that matter. People will come and go in your life, and they will make your life beautiful as they pass by in this journey called life. Your children will always love you and appreciate you even with your flaws. Your siblings will be your best friends, and you will meet so many more meaningful people.
Be who you are. Be proud of the crazy, clumsy, fun, sarcastic writer that you are. Love yourself; appreciate who you were made to be. There is no one quite as crazy as you. Enjoy your flaws instead of blaming them, become one with every cell in your body. It is this body that will thank you 20 years from now, because you ate healthy and took care of it. (I would cut down on the French fries too,)
Don't try to be superwoman because that is just plain, simple dumb. You don't need to try to be her; you were born "superwoman." You will eventually have "superpowers," where you have eyes at the back of your head, where you can cook while talking on the phone and help your child with his homework and you can take three kids to Disneyland when two are still in diapers.
Never allow guilt pull you down. You can only do your own best! As long as you have put 100 percent in everything you do (or even 70 percent), you will be fine.
Be proud of who you are today, and you will only get better as the years go by! There are many things I would still like to change about myself, but I'm getting there and so will you.
Hugs & Prayers,