Dear 26 year-old Carrie,
I send this to you to let you know that you’re doing the right thing.
I know how precious that feeling is to you. I know that, even as you are in your early twenties and so unsure of what life holds after college, you know that you want to do the right thing. Above all else, it is this desire that propels you in everything you do. I should know, young Carrie, as I’m you many years down the road.
Joe is right for you. And you can’t see it now, but he’ll be better than others that are coming down the pike. He doesn’t look like the type you dream of, but he’ll outshine all of them. Not because he’s taller or stronger, although he will be taller and stronger than every other guy you meet. He won’t outshine the rest because he’s smarter than most, although he is. And he’s not better because of his position in society or his money.
He’s better because he will accept you for you. You know what I’m talking about. That secret world you have inside of you that nobody knows about. That secret person inside of you that you hide from everyone else. You’ll be able to share all of that with him and he will understand and he will accept. It might not seem that a guy like him would be impressed by a wallflower like you. Here, in this college setting, everyone knows him while you remain nameless by most. Don’t doubt that you have something to offer him that nobody else ever gave him.
You will grow with him and let him be himself. You will help foster the best inside of him. And he, in turn, will coax out of you some of the most amazing things. Things you are afraid to say, afraid to write, afraid to admit about yourself. Let him be that strong man you need by showing him you are the strong woman he can enjoy.
Just be gentle with him. This road will lead you through dark places. Accidents. Deaths. Operations. There will be times you question your very self. And he will be there to hold you and put you back together. When nobody understands, he WILL understand.
When the baby dies, he won’t stop loving you. He will convince you that you are not ugly. He will help you find yourself again.
Nobody will ever get under your skin or occupy your thoughts like he will. Conversations with others will pale in comparison. People won’t believe how happy you make each other. It will be an amazing road.
He’s very convinced of the correctness of his thinking. And he will think you’re the only one for him. Let him be right.
Love, 38 year-old Carrie