1. 0. Congratulations on being and staying alive!
    There's like a 40% chance you ate your twin to get here, but that just means you're a survivor, so good job, I guess? Kick evolution in the ass!
  2. 1. You can walk & semi-communicate your thoughts with your mouth. Keep up the good work!
  3. 2. Well done on all those songs and animal sounds you know!
  4. 3. You have entire books memorized! Good for you!
    No one is buying that you actually know how to read though. Sorry. Please try to learn now.
  5. 4. No, people do not flock to theatres every day to secretly watch you sing & dance in your backyard, and yes, realizing that has rocked the very foundation of your worldview. But that doesn't mean making up songs about your life is a waste of time! Congrats on the creativity!
  6. 5. Yay, you're in school now!
    No, I don't know why you wanted this either.
  7. 6. Keep on keeping on with that speech therapy, girl!
    P.S. Mom was exaggerating when she said your lisp was a professional embarrassment for her, & even if she wasn't, that's her problem, not yours. (Now go actually do your homework. You will thank me, I promise!)
  8. 7. Good job on actually doing your homework assignments this year! You'll earn Mom's trust back yet!
  9. 8. You're smart enough to know Dad leaving has nothing to do with you whatsoever. Good for you!
  10. 9. You're really getting good at that piano!
  11. 10. You made it to the double-digits! \o/
  12. 11. I'm so sorry, I don't remember any big accomplishments from this year. You can do long division without a calculator? You're rocking those overalls?
    In all honesty, contrary to what Mom & Grandma have told you, you are not, in fact, rocking those overalls. They make your body proportions all weird & you look even shorter. Please stick to regular pants.
  13. 12. You made it to Jr. High! You bought a skirt! You colored your nails black & Mom got mad! You're growing up, just like you wanted!
    Please don't want that. Please stop growing up. Also, please go punk so I can't stop regretting not going punk when I had the chance.
  14. 13. It was hard & scary & you cried for the first few weeks, but in the end, you really rocked this 'being in high school & going to school for the first time' thing! Good for you!
  15. 14. You're strong enough to know your own mind. I wish you didn't have to spend the next four years being afraid you'll be punished for it, but I'm proud of you for being brave enough to protect yourself.
  16. 15. You've started writing a book that you're actually going to finish!
    Yes, it will take a year, & yes, in three years you'll find it totally unreadable, but it's still an accomplishment!
  17. 16. You've come to terms with some very heavy stuff & even though you won't fully process all this for another four-and-a-half years, you've taken the first steps & I'm so happy for you.
    You also got your license & graduated high school!
  18. 17. You are surviving. That would be impressive enough. But you're also still living. That is astounding.
  19. 18. You're doing your best in a impossible situation & still managed to take your journey a step further.
  20. 19. The important thing isn't that fell you into an abusive relationship, the important thing is you got out once you realized it.
  21. 20. You did it. You forgave him. It took twelve years, but you got there.
    You also graduated from college!! Amazing!
  22. 21. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You were strong enough to ask for help & that is incredible.
  23. 22. You did it. You made it to 22. I know you didn't think you would, but here you are, better than ever.
  24. 23. You always wanted to live in DC & now you are! Good for you!
  25. 24. It's not your fault. You did the right thing. It's not your fault. You did the right thing.
    If you say it enough, maybe one day we'll both believe it.
  26. 25. You finally got a job working in an office! You've driven in snow! You've survived your first car accident! You're gonna make it back to SoCal before your 26th birthday! You might be a superhero!!!