I was looking for some college stuff to show my son, who is in the process of applying to colleges, and there weren’t many pictures to show him. First, I absolutely hate having my picture taken, and second, back then we didn’t carry cameras around to document everything unlike today when there are cameras in every cell phone, instagram and face book. I did find this one, though, and remember being so insecure about how tight the dress was, so much so that I almost didn’t wear it. So to my younger self, let me just take a moment to smack you up side the head like Cher did in “Moonstruck” and yell “SNAP OUT OF IT!” I would have told her to be more carefree, and less self-conscious. I would have urged her to just roll with things more, and not worry so much about not measuring up. I would have patted her on the back for working so hard to put herself through college, and let her know that choosing not to party and hook-up was the right choice, even though it meant getting dumped a bunch of times. I would explain to her that marching to the beat of your own drum would be a central theme in her life and that it would be one of the major reasons that she would learn to view the world in such a different way than everybody else. Most importantly, I would thank her, thank her for her altruistic outlook on life, and believing that everything would always work out if you had faith and were willing to work hard. It was at college, when her passion for God and seeing the potential in everything really blossomed, and I apologize for having to be reminded of that. I would also like to promise her that I will work hard to keep her hope and dreams alive in my heart as I continue to walk the path she set in motion so long ago…I will remember that my journey has meaning and purpose, even when it’s at a particularly steep part of the climb. As I look at my son who is almost the same age as I was in this picture, I feel confident that she was an essential part of why he is the great kid that he is.