If I could trade places with anyone, it would be me at 22-years-old. I would like her to see me now, and I would like to remember.
Remember my body, my hair, my face. I would like to look in the mirror and laugh at what I did not always know was beautiful. I would tell my reflection I was the most gorgeous thing I’d ever seen. I would style my hair super big and poofy, just because I could, or pull it back in a slick, long ponytail. I would reach back with my flexible arms and enjoy the feel of it low on my back.
I would go for a run, and I would amaze myself. Then I would stay out all night dancing with my friends and I would look good with my moves which are so right on a 22-year-old’s body. I would bask in the attention I received from boys my age, thank them and politely tell them I’m not that kind of girl if they tried to get too close. I would find the nice guy who wasn’t drinking too much and ask him if he wanted to go for a walk by the waterfront. We would talk about our lives and what we hoped to achieve and I would say I’m going to take life as it comes. I enjoy traveling and want to have adventures while I’m young. I don’t care about money or my past. I want to surround myself by people who care about me and leave the rest behind. He would walk me home and nervously ask me for my phone number.
When I arrived at my apartment, my friends would ask me all about it and I would savor every second, living with my best girlfriends. I would tell them they are beautiful and I would listen to all of their hopes and dreams. I would not care if they ate my peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon or their fingers, or if they left dishes in the sink. I would be a silly girl and I would enjoy the evening. They would think I was crazy in love, but I would be crazy happy just to be near them. I would not be thinking too much about the boy by the waterfront because 22-years-old is much too young to care about that, until I found someone who really deserved me.
Before I went to bed I’d write myself a letter. I’d tell myself to enjoy every second and not let life’s cares bring me down. Don’t get too excited either, just take it easy. Be kind to others even when they fail you, because they are human and it has nothing to do with you. You are wonderful and amazing. You are right where you need to be.
I would call my Dad and say hi. He’d be up because he was like that, he wouldn’t even notice the time. He’d ask me about my night out and reminisce about his own nights out, when he was young. He would be young, only 57. I would have to hang up then.
At this point, I’d realize all I have to be blessed with in my life, all the struggles and joys which transformed my body and my mind. I’d be ready to go back. When I returned to my older self I’d find a note, written in purple ink. It’d say we have done amazingly. What a beautiful son and house. I can’t believe this is our life. I never would have imagined some of the friends that stuck with us, or the ones that didn’t, that’s hard to take. We had our hearts broken sometimes. Did we go to Ireland on our honeymoon? I’m glad you divorced him. He was cute but, you can do better. And did we really do all that schooling, and do that for work? Our boy is so amazing, he gives me hope for my future, I can’t wait to hold him again. You must be so happy. We have more than I ever dreamed of.
And that’s it. I would be compelled to embrace life with confidence and assurance that it’s all good because someday I will be 20 years older and that lady would tell this woman to enjoy.