Dear 17 year old Cat,
It’s your last year of high school, and you’ve been working so hard. It’s such a special year for you. Please enjoy every second. Enjoy the freedom of going to an awesome school where you get to dance half the day. Live it up. Seriously, why do you follow so many rules?
You just decided that you were going to major in history in college, thus solidifying your nerd status for life. You’re never going to change your major, by the way. You’re such a stickler! That’s so like you. And, you’re even going to go to grad school and study history some more. Studying history is this fun, fresh, and new idea to you right now. Soak that up. It does get harder, but you’ll be ready for it.
And while I’m at it, 17 year old Cat, why are you fretting about boys right now? Isn’t it kind of ridiculous that you took pictures with two boys at the prom and not just one? How did you get away with that? You’re ridiculous. You’re going to meet The Hubs next year anyway. You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you that. But yeah, you’ll meet your future husband next year and you won’t ever date anyone else again. So there.
Hey, Cat, get a hobby. You’ve spent some time doing crafts in your room with your friends. You mod podged a table. You ironed on some letters on a shirt. Seriously, you should do this more. You need to live a little. You’re kind of a workaholoic even at 17. You should quit that. Life’s too short.
You’ll probably always love the Backstreet Boys but thankfully you’ll grow out of that ultra preppy wear a polo shirt every day thing. That’s kind of for boys, Cat. You’re a creative person. Surely you could have thought of a better outfit than a polo shirt and khakis?
Even though repairing your fashion sense is important, Cat, I have something even more serious to tell you. I urge you to go into your room at home and twirl around. Look out at the beautiful Louisiana scenery. Take a swim in your pool.
I might not tell you this even if I had the chance but in just a few short months, something completely unfathomable will happen. A ridiculously intense Hurricane worse than you could ever imagine is going to make a direct hit to your town and everything you know will change forever. All that worrying you did about which college to choose won’t even matter. You’re actually never going to step foot in one class at Tulane, which is where you think you’re going right now. It’s going to be a bumpy road, but you’ll make it.
And hey, you’re smart to be planning an 18th birthday party on the lake with all your friends. Those memories will last forever since it’ll be the last time you’ll have them over to that house.
All of this sounds kind of scary, but this hurricane will show you what’s most important in life. Don’t get me wrong, Cat. I wish I could sugar coat it for you (which you know I can’t do because you’re me.) What you’re about to encounter in a few months is going to absolutely devastate you. It’s going to devastate you for a long time – years even. Honest. But you won’t die from it. And you won’t miss a beat in school because you’re a hard head. And, slowly but surely, your heart will heal. And like I said, you’re going to meet The Hubs soon and he’ll be your guardian angel guiding you on from one year to the next until all of this is just a sting, just a pinprick, and not heartbreaking anymore.
I’m proud of you 17 year old Cat, even if you are a nerd. Keep up the good work.