Everything I Want To Say To My Future, Married Self

by Brittany Berke

You've made it!

You made it to your wedding. You made it to MARRIAGE.

You made it to the altar with someone who actually wants to marry you. That's crazy. They're crazy, right?

Are you sure this isn't a dream?

Remember when you were 24 years old and had just told the 5-year-old you nannied for they could have candy at 8 am?

I think it's safe to say you were feeling pretty hopeless if you would ever get to the point of your life you're at right now. And for that, I want to say congrats.

There were many reasons for feeling hopeless, and it wasn't just because of finances.

Fortunately, you've been blessed with parents who, although dysfunctional, somehow made you semi-functional. Yes, you couldn't have made it to this point without them.

Unfortunately, they were never good examples of what an ever-lasting marriage should look like. However, they were the kind of dysfunction you needed to help you become the strong, independent and self-aware woman you are today.

They've become the best example on everything not to do in a marriage. Oh, the irony your whole life has been.

Yet, you've found that although they're not together, you've always admired the kind of love and adoration they have for one another regardless of the circumstance, especially for the sake of their kids. This is a major lesson to you.

No matter the differences you experience between you and your wonderful hubby, you need to constantly maintain the loving foundation and respect you both knew was there from the start.

You want this love to last forever. You've always aspired to be the best example of marriage to your kids someday, so do just that.

Now, let's address the obstacles that helped get you here: The boy you thought you could absolutely never get over, and the debilitating anxiety the breakup plagued you with.

Well, you've finally overcome that.

You always need to acknowledge your past and give credit where credit is due. If it weren't for him breaking up with you, you would've never known your downfalls or became the person you are today.

Today you're a healthy person, someone who is motivated and eager to challenge herself and her partner every day, for the rest of her life.

Unfortunately, you've faced many painful experiences. However, if there's no pain, there's certainly no gain.

You, my dear, are a strong-willed, kick-ass woman. Always stay that way.

Girl, let's face it: You've never been very good at hiding your emotions, even in times when you probably should have been.

On this journey of marriage you must remember these two things: Always stay true to yourself, and pick and choose your battles.

You've found someone who validates you in all the best ways, and those are the very things he loves about you. These are also the things you've grown to love about yourself, so don't ever lose them.

You may love that you're an emotional person, but please continue to learn how to tame those emotions.

Remember marriage is a give and take. It's a sacrifice for both parties. You're not going to have butterflies for every little thing he does, but you should know he won't always have them for you either.

Fighting is healthy but criticizing and nitpicking is not.

Don't fall too deep into stuff that doesn't matter. Remember what's important, and most of all, remember those damn vows you over-analyzed for so long.

This leads me to my very last, but certainly not least important point.

When in doubt, bring it back to the basics. Remember where you come from, but don't live there.

You're on a fast track moving forward and that's where you always want to continue to go.

Being married doesn't mean you have to stop growing and learning about yourself. The only difference now is you have someone else to consider.

However, my darling, you're still a work in progress. Think of yourself now as a more courageous version of yourself because you now have a beautiful man to have your back.

Go on, be happy and never stop dreaming.