10 Things I Would Tell My Newlywed Self
10 years, in the blink of an eye. If I could go back in time and tell 22-year-old Jessie anything, I’d tell her these 10 things:

1. Soul mates probably aren’t real and that’s okay.

Over the course of the next 10 years, you’ll find out that a lot of things you believed in also aren’t real. Friendships you thought were solid, family ties you believed were unbreakable, ideals you held that you believed to be absolute truth, dream jobs that turned out to be just another way to pay the bills… One thing I can tell you for certain that is real is the power for two people to prevail over anything as long as they’re committed to doing so. Two people who continually choose each other day in and day out, through all of the hard things… that’s something to believe in.

2. Probably don’t make fun of the Cowboys so much.

Also, if you could retroactively go back in time and avoid buying him that Romo jersey, you should do it. Season after season, he just wasn’t that good.

3. You married a very logical, straight-forward man who is a relentless problem solver.

He is unflinchingly honest, and his bluntness will be tough to handle sometimes. He married a restless dreamer with big, sometimes impossible ideas. You aren’t as tough as you’d like to think you are, and he’ll value you all the more for that. You are polar opposites in nearly all aspects with the exception of your dedication and drive (or stubbornness, as some have called it). Find a way to utilize each other’s strengths to accomplish big things rather than constantly trying to water yourselves down so you can “meet in the middle.” It’ll mean some arguments and sleepless nights, but you’ll move mountains together when you forget about the way things “should be done” and instead embrace the possibility of doing things your own way.

4. The very thing that attracted you to him will be the very same thing that drives you insane sometimes.

And that goes both ways.

5. Once he’s committed, he’s totally committed (and then you are too).

Don’t casually mention that you’re thinking it might be time to look for a new vehicle unless you’re ready to have one in your driveway in the next 36 hours. Also, don’t mention a massive project that you want to take on unless you’re totally convinced you want to do it. He’s a problem-solver, remember?

6. Together, you’ll create three of the most beautiful humans you’ve ever known.

They will be the source of immeasurable joy and irritation, sometimes simultaneously. Give each other grace when it comes to raising those three little people. Neither of you has ever done this before and you’re both doing your best.

7. You will walk through some of the happiest, most beautiful seasons together…

but first, you’ll have to walk through some really shitty ones together. When you’re in the middle of a shitty season, the ability to make each other laugh is invaluable. Fight for each other rather than against each other.

8. The ability to hold each other accountable is a difficult one to master, but once you do, it’s a game-changer.

Learn to dish out and gracefully accept tough love, and realize that you’re both in it to make each other better.

9. 10 years from now, you’ll look back on this day and be filled with so much gratitude.

But it won’t be about the invitations you painstakingly designed and assembled, the bouquets you built, or the killer playlist you put together. You’ll look back with love for the people that were there. You two have somehow managed to surround yourselves with an incredible group of people who will continue to be by your side through moves, children, job changes, and life in general.

10. Your marriage doesn’t look like anyone else’s and that’s okay.

You’ll spend some of your happiest moments together eating family dinners on the floor of the one clean room of your home on demo day, or sweating your butts off dancing at an outdoor concert in the middle of summer, or drenched and shivering at a race that gets rained out. People will look at you like you’re crazy sometimes, but that doesn’t make your way wrong. Your memorable moments and family traditions won’t be Hallmark-card-worthy, but that won’t make them any less beautiful.