November 3, 2013

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Dear 14-year-old Brandi,

Here’s the thing, I know you are a super awkward human being. You aren’t good around new people and have a really tough time in any situation requiring vulnerability or emotion.

But this summer you are going to go to summer camp in the mountains in Colorado. You are going to have SO MUCH fun and make a ton of friends. The last night of camp there will be a dance. I know your gut reaction to any situation is sarcasm, but honey, it just doesn’t always play well.

Let me just tell you what I did and let you decide on your own how to proceed. There’s a cute boy I’d been making eyes at all week. I also blushed uncontrollably because like I said, human interaction wasn’t always my bag. Anyway, the morning of the dance we were both in a group of people talking. He turned to me and asked if I wanted to go to the dance. I blushed and emphatically rolled my eyes and said, “uh, no!” His face, in response, fell faster than I have ever seen and he looked heartbroken! I didn’t even imagine he would take me seriously and had to back track and fumble through an apology and plea to take me despite my acting like such a dick. We ended up going together but it was weird and I just felt bad the whole time. This sort of informed my dating life for a while, and it did not go well.

So I know I said I’d let you decide how to proceed, but I need to offer a little piece of advice. Instead of holding everyone at a distance all the time maybe try just being open and honest. You can answer people truthfully without sacrificing your ever so hard exterior. And I’ll probably thank you for it. And you’ll for sure get a lot more dates. ;)

Sincerely,
28-year-old you (ew, I’m double your age! barf)

November 2, 2013

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Dear me 36 hours ago,

Ok so I know you are in the middle of a club on your first night in Vegas but pay attention. Well actually first, don’t agree to dance with that guy. He seems nice but will grind up on Rachael and you’ll have to give her your engagement ring so he’ll back off.

Back to my point. You aren’t a gambler, so you will only bet modestly. For example when you get back to the hotel tonight you will put a dollar in a machine and will win 30 cents at which point you will cash out because you’re up.

But tomorrow, your time, not mine, you will go to the Cosmopolitan Casino and will double your money. I only bet $20, but you can change that. Go big, lady! Also, at the Wynn on Saturday morning, stop when you are ahead! Learn your lesson from the day before, stupid.

Ok, that is all for now, talk to you tomorrow.

Yourself in 36 hours.

November 1, 2013

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Dear 17-year-old me,

Here this goes. A friend of Rachael’s (Sam, you know her) started this project where she writes a letter to herself every day in November. I (you? we? this is going to get complicated) was floating the idea of doing the novel November project, but this sounds pretty fulfilling and easier so I’m going with it.

I should start by being honest. I’m writing this on a plane on October 31. Well, actually, thats’s a lie. I did write it yesterday but it was lost so I’m redoing it the exact same today because I’m too lazy to come up with a new letter. You see me, Rachael, Jaime, and dad’s girlfriend Julie (oh yeah, dad and mom get divorced) are on our way to Vegas for the weekend and I thought there would be a good chance I’d wake up hung over tomorrow and skip the first day so I’m cheating a bit.

In this first letter I felt the need to let you down a bit. Nearly nothing about how you picture your future life is accurate. You do not become a super star prosecutor who makes it her life’s mission to right the wrongs of a big city. You (I? seriously, confusing) do become a lawyer, but it’s basically in name only as I don’t really practice. Truthfully, a lot of times I feel like it was a big waste of time and money. Feel free to learn from me and skip it. But you will miss you on meeting cool people, be forewarned. You certainly aren’t a world traveler. You just got your passport last year.

Also, you are not single and fabulous. You get married at 20. I know, girl, I know. Cry it out. Your dream of an independent life is crap. And to pour salt in the wound you end up really liking to crochet and may or may not have a drawer of craft supplies. But you do still hate the word craft and have stuck to your guns about not having kids. But we’re kind of considering it, so don’t hold your breath.

Really, nothing goes how you think. I mean life is great. Our husband is amazing. We travel a lot around the country, have four pets we love to pieces, and a home that actually feels like home. But I’m definitely a bit lost and have yet to see where this life will take me. Maybe we can talk it out over the next 30 days.

Sincerely,
28-year-old you.

Oh and one last thing. You are in college and claim you like tequila, and since we both know that’s a bit of an exaggeration please do us both a favor and say no to at least a few of the shots that end up in front of you on your 18th birthday. Our liver and esophagus will thank you.

Out East

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Cory and I just got back from a long trip out East. I meant to hop in occasionally and relay some updates but ended up being too busy exploring and having the best time.

I fully intend to recap, but for now I just want to say a precious few words about the last stop on our trip: Boston.

We were there on Marathon Monday. We were staying just 3 blocks south of the blast site. We were supposed to be out being touristy and exploring the Boston Public Library and Copley Square but laziness overtook us and we put that off in favor of an afternoon nap. We woke up to sirens and helicopter blades and texts from loved ones frantic for news on our condition and a city reeling from the news of such a gruesome attack. But we woke up safe.

Any number of things could have been different and put us in a position of danger. We were just flat out lucky to have things turn out as they did.

That afternoon were able to walk the city and see the responders and guards and citizens come together and help. We saw strangers give one another rides when the transit systems were suspended. We saw Bostonians and out-of-towners alike deliver coffee and snacks to the men and women who stood for hours and hours to protect the scene. We witnessed a bruised and battered city unite.

Cory and I have been in two cities where unspeakable tragedies have occurred recently and more than anything I think it has showed us that while terrible, awful things happen, while some turn on their fellow man for unexplainable reasons; for the most part, people are good, people are helpers, and people love one another. It’s these people I think of when I need to answer the question, “Why?”