Dear younger self,
Relax, take a deep breath. You have an amazing future ahead of you. It is full of love and family and a wonderful husband and amazing kids. That is not to say that it is going to be easy, and I would recommend that you call NOW to get anti-anxiety medication.
There is truth in the old axiom that you should take one day at a time and it will all work out. Nothing is insurmountable when broken down into small increments.
Never say never. Life will throw you curve balls. And while I will tell you that you need to stay strong in your convictions and morals, what you see is not always what you get, and you will have to make some very difficult decisions in life.
The person you choose to marry will be the most important person in your life. They call your spouse your “other half.” The reason is that nobody on earth will have more power to make you happy, break your heart, share in your joy and your pain. They will make or break you financially, and they will share equally in decisions to have children or buy a house.
Ultimately you are in charge of your own happiness. Nobody is responsible for that but you. They might have influence, but they are not in charge. Surround yourself with people that are generous in spirit. Do not let people take advantage of you. You have a generous spirit and people will see that and latch on like leeches. Learn how to tell when that is happening early. Cut them off before they suck you dry.
Most of all, take some time to take care of you. When they are telling you what to do in case of an emergency on a plane, they always tell you to put your own mask first before assisting others. You cannot help someone if you are passed out, just like you cannot take care of someone else if you are empty inside. You need to find a hobby that makes you happy and find a way to incorporate this into your everyday life.
Lastly, take care of yourself physically. You only get one body so treat it right. Keep active as God made your body to move, not sit in front of a computer or TV all day. Start to like whole grains now, and your stomach will thank you later. Trust me on that.
Your 40 year-old self.