Dearest Jessica Louise Fulcher,
Happy Birthday! This is your 22 year old self. Look at you, 17. I can't believe how grown you think you are. You aren't. I promise. You've got so much to learn. Your life is about to change. That boy you like? He's going to break your heart. It will be your first heart break. It will hurt. But you will gain a life long best friend from meeting him. Samantha. Hold on tight. You're about to enter a roller coaster. This coming February, you will have your first kiss. He will kiss you once, and then he won't do it ever again. You will do all kinds of things someone your age, probably shouldn't do, but you will learn a lesson. He is going to stop talking to you, but Samantha is going to stick by your side no matter what happens, so keep your head up. The two of you are going to have a crazy wild summer together, with lots of rapping, lots of uno, and lots of singing in the car. Tons of late nights, boys after boys after boys after boys, lots of nights at Dairy Queen, and some movie nights at the apartments on Hawaii lane. You're also going to discover a boy, who has been by your side the whole time, quit teasing him and date him. He will make you happy for 11 months. You will have some pretty killer fights, he's going to wreck his car, and you and Samantha are going to part ways for a while because of him, but don't worry. You and your first real love, will also give each precious gift. Something so precious, that you will never ever forget each other. This is a big deal. But you'll take it for granted. You won't regret giving that gift to him though. The two of you are going to have an awesome time together. Your first summer as just the two of you, you're going to go to the beach together. Batten down the hatches though, because he's about to rock your world. You have noticed that is has been getting harder to get him to say he loves you. Just breathe. He's going to call you a week after you get back to the beach, and tell you he needs to talk to you. Try to keep calm, and go ahead. When you get to where he is, please try not to cry too much, because that just shows you're weak. You're going to cry a lot anyway, even though, you probably shouldn't have. It's okay though, this is a different kind of heart break. Your first true love is going to leave you for another girl that night. He's also going to lie to you about it. But you're strong. You can get through even though right now you're defeated. I will warn you, it will only get worse. But it won't be bad forever. Samantha is going to find her way back into your life. You are going to be close with her for a while, but that first true love of yours, is going to keep his lies going into your head, about Samantha. You and her, will fight more. It will actually get so bad, that there will be a terrible fight between your first true love, and her best guy friend. You may think he's standing up for you now. But he's going to screw you over again, for the girl with the glasses. The girl he left you for to begin with. How I wish I could stop you. How I wish I could tell you how NOT worth it he is. But I can't. I will only tell you it will get better someday. You are going to turn 18. You and Samantha are going to part ways again. You are going to part ways with your first true love as well. But it's okay because a very sweet, very scrawny guy, will meet you at Walmart one night. He's going to make you smile, make you laugh, and give you his jacket. The two of you are going to go on dates every weekend, he is going to help you keep gas in your car. He's going to be the best friend in the world to you, and you are going to love him so much. But you aren't going to want to be with him. (You're ridiculous.. and still hurting from your first true love) He will be understanding though, and stick by you. He won't care what the other people say. You will string him along behind you, for half a year. You will also fancy a soldier, come summer time, and it will be so hard for you to choose one. So you just keep them a secret from each other. You're a jerk. You will break the sweetie's spirit, to pursue the soldier. Only, to find, that the sweetie, is the one you need. You will come crawling back to him, and after tears for days, he will forgive you, and the two of you will be completely lost in a whirlwind of love. You're going to move out of your moms house because your step daddy is going to be more than you can handle. You're going to get tired of his mean words. You're going to move in with a sweet friend who is going to help you, and he is going to be with you. He is going to love you hard, and love you strong. You're also, going to become friends with Samantha again. She likes him too. He is going to give you every single piece of him, and you're going to fall for it all. He is going to wrap you up in his arms, and take you away from every kind of love you've known. He's going to change you. Wonderful right? If only teenage years worked like that. You're turning 19 now, and you never see the sweetie, whom you've called yours for 4 months of bliss now. He seems distant, and has started drinking heavy. You almost have to beg him to come around. You know what's coming. Just hold on sweetie. This is going to be rough. He's going to break up with you on your 4 month anniversary, and he will do it over the phone. I am sorry. You are going to go through the worst pain you've ever felt. He is going to crush you. You realize that your true love, was never love. That this is what real love was. You loved the sweetie, until he turned mean. Until he hated you because he was told to. This is not going to go away quick. You are going to become distant. I wish you would not do that. But you will. You will lose almost all of your friends just because you're so devastated. He's going to tease you for months and months, take advantage of your mind, and of your body. You're going to let him. You're going to lose weight, and take up smoking. You're going to start getting less sleep and you're going to skip school. He's going to change you even more. One day, you're going to be on the way to the gas station, to buy cigarettes, and you're going to see that they're building something new in Dobson. A "Sheetz". You've never heard of Sheetz before, but you need a job.
You and your mom are getting a house together, so you want to help pay the bills. You are going to apply. They are going to call you back a week later, set up and interview and you'll get the job. Hold on even tighter. Your life, is going to spiral out of control. You're going to start training every day at Sheetz. They're going to wear you out, but it's going to take your mind off the sweetie, who has turned into a drunk. You'll wonder what you were ever thinking. But you're secretly not over him. In may, of 2012 You'll work every day of the week between 2 jobs. You and Samantha will find each other again. You will meet a player. You will let him get you drunk, you will play along, you will smoke many cigarettes, and sleep none. You are going to move in with a couple of life long friends. You are going to party on the weekends. You're going to get in trouble with the police. Your Sheetz in Dobson will open and you'll work during the day and party with the player and his friends at night. A month or so in, with hanging with this player (around July) you'll decide he's too clingy, and too immature for you. You are going to cut him off, and he is going to talk trash about you, to everyone you know. One day at work, you're going to be in the break room crying, and you're going to look up, and see someone who is going to change everything. Mr. Perfect. He's going to cheer you up. He's going to make you smile. You're going to talk day in and day out. But, there is one problem. He has a girlfriend. But you'll already be in love. This is a different kind of love. He is different. He is perfect. He does no wrong. He will help you stop smoking, and partying. Right when you think he is going to leave your friendship for good, he's going to break up with her and tell you he loves you. You are going to float over the moon. I don't want to give away the end, but there is no heartbreak at the end of things with Mr. Perfect. It only gets better. Everything changes. And all the pain, heartbreak, struggle, and lessons, will be worth it. You're going to be just fine. This journey is going to be harder than you have ever imagined, but I promise you, everyone was right when they said that it will all get better. Just keep your faith in God and he will see you through. I bet you can't wait to see your future can you? Well, I will give you a hint.
All my love,
Jessica Louise Cavanaugh