A little over a month ago, I braved my basement and spent some time down there going through...stuff. I found boxes of things from long before Rick and I were married. Things that had traveled with me from when I moved out of my parents' house. Things that I had kept for years and hadn't looked at in quite some time.
In one of the boxes, I found a small pile of handwritten journals from my high school days. I perused them briefly in a sentimental fashion, but placed them on a bookshelf in my living room until tonight.
As I passed the bookshelf tonight after getting home, I glanced at them again and picked one up. And then, on a whim, I decided to find out what I was doing 15 years ago tonight. I flipped through pages of my own handwriting until I found January 16th, 2000.
With a lump in my throat coupled with a smile, I read the first line. "I'm so incredibly happy." And I was. I really was. I had fallen in love with the only other person besides Rick I've ever loved. And as silly as my teenage ramblings may be in retrospect, despite my young age, the emotions on the page were startlingly, beautifully real, and I could close my eyes and admit to myself that I have real experience with what true happiness feels like.
Maybe I'll let my younger self show me the way.