Dear Little Alie,
I know that you are very upset right now–the lovely blackout that’s affecting the entire northeast for multiple days had the audacity to fall right smack in the middle of your birthday. You are so sad that instead of enjoying Baskin Robbins ice cream cake (the best kind, because it’s cake AND ice cream–you will still feel strongly about this in 10 years) for days, you watched your cake melt. You will continue to dramatically tell this story for the next decade, if that’s any condolence. But I know that right now you just can’t get over that this is the worst birthday EVER.
If I could go back and time and give you this letter, I wouldn’t. Because, while this is the worst right now, this isn’t going to be your worst birthday ever. In the next 10 years you will fully enter adulthood, and you will come to realize that your birthday, unfortunately, isn’t always the best day ever. You’ll have birthdays where people will make you cry. You’ll have birthdays where you’ll get food poisoning. You’ll have birthdays where you’ll have to eat gluten-free cake, even though right now you’ve never even heard that word before (it’s good though!). You’ll have birthdays where your heart has been so broken you don’t even want to celebrate. Growing up sucks.
But you’ll have great birthdays too. When you turn 21, even though you’ve had alcohol quite a few (many, sorry Mom) times already, you’ll be so drunk and silly that your habit of leaving Leela drunk voice mails will cause you to drunk dial her in the cab home while you’re sitting next to her (of course she’s still your best friend, not that you’re surprised. When you’re in your 20s you’ll finally become roommates like you’ve dreamed of since you were 7, again, not that you’re surprised. On your birthday 10 years from now, she’ll get you this great cake filled with private jokes you haven’t even gotten to yet). When you’re older and your parents have gotten divorced (again, I’d never give you this letter from a time machine), they’ll still be there, together, on your birthday. And your friends, your wonderful friends (you’ve got some good ones right now, but just wait to see who you meet in college and adulthood), they’ll be there with you for all of them. And you’ll know that even with blackouts and tears and heartbreak, that you really are blessed with what matters.
So no, Alie of 10 years ago, this will not be your worst birthday ever. But make a wish on that melted cake anyway and know you’ve got some truly great people in your life now, and have so many more you won’t believe how lucky you are coming your way.
Love, Old Alie