Happy birthday to me!
If I could tell myself anything and change the past, I would say to the young girl who had just moved to Denver Colorado in 1979: don’t be afraid of the life you find here. Life may not always be easy or happy or full of warm gushy feelings, but it can be full of adventure and fun… and ultimately, it is yours. You will make mistakes. You will stumble along the way but lack of perfection is human and it’s okay. You don’t need to live in shame and fear the rest of your life. You don’t need to worry about the Big Lightening Bolt of God’s wrath if you’re not a believer. You have questions and you need to follow those to find your own true path. Follow your bliss and don’t worry about making the people in your life happy. They never will be so it is a futile effort. Don’t take efforts (as defined by your overzealous parents- and grandparents) to be perfect. It’s not attainable and will only lead to your making decisions that have nothing to do with what is best for you.