There Will Be a Boy…

A letter to my 13-year-old self…

Dear Nichole,

There will be a boy who teaches you about life.

You will meet him when you are sixteen and you will earnestly believe that you have found your soul mate. You will spend weeks, months, years believing this to be so.

You will celebrate birthdays, holidays, and summer vacations together. You will feel like a part of his family and practice writing your name with his. He will give you a sweetheart ring, a promise of forever, and you will feel that it is your destiny to be with him for always.

But, he will ultimately break up with you and you will feel like you are going to just die. But you won’t.

He will want you back and you will jump for joy. Then, before much time has passed, he will break up with you again. This will happen many times. You will cry and you will wallow, and in time, you will heal.

It will be painful, but this will teach you about self-worth. You will come to realize that you should never have to convince another person to love you, to want to be with you.

You will realize that he was learning, too…what it means to love someone and what it feels like to stop. He will be sorry, but won’t know how to reconcile what he wants with what you need.

You will grow and change and you will come to forgive the boy as you realize that he was … just a boy.

You will also forgive yourself.

You will come to think fondly of him, as he taught you what it felt like to be loved for the first time. He will have taught you more about yourself than you could have ever imagined.

You grow strong, independent, decisive, and confident.

Years will pass and you will meet a man who you won’t have to convince to spend forever with you. A man who’s eyes are honest and kind.

He will love you unconditionally and you will be grateful that you never settled for anything less than that.

He will hold your hand through life’s many challenges and you will go to sleep at night knowing that you are exactly where you want and need to be and you will be grateful.

You will wake each morning by his side and say a silent prayer of thanks for this beautiful life that you have been given the opportunity to live.

It will feel like a precious gift and you won’t take a single moment of it for granted.


  1. Breathtaking. Truly. My story is very similar, except that I met that first boy when I was 19 and we married and had two children. I learned a million things from him, including how devastatingly wonderful a good marriage to the right partner can be. Thank you.

  2. I need only say one word. Beautiful.

  3. Tiffany

    I love this! I am planning on writing a letter to myself soon too. Great post!

  4. Nichole

    Thank you. It was such a sad time in my life, but I think it built a foundation for future relationships to build upon. I wouldn't be the person I am today if things hadn't happened exactly as they did.

  5. Nichole

    Thank you! I look forward to reading your letter. :)

  6. Nichole

    Thank you so much. Funny how beauty can come from pain, huh?

  7. Chelsea Hebert

    Nichole, I am bawling after reading that post, and I'm not even entirely sure why. I suppose it hits home. Beautiful. There are a lot of letters I wish I could write to my "former self" as a struggling child and teenager. Kind of like, "you'll be okay, I promise" letters. Thanks for sharing this.

  8. Nichole

    The feelings we experience during our teen years are kind of universal, aren't they. I wish I could have understood then that going through all of that would strengthen me and prepare me for life. Look how wise we are NOW! :)
    Thanks for reading and thank you so much for commenting–it really means the world to me.

  9. Craig

    My dear wife,

    I love your written word and I'm so pleased that those that are lucky enough to find your blog get to experience just one aspect of what helped me to fall madly in love with you over a decade ago.

    I hadn't wanted to "expose myself" and comment on your touching and heartfelt posts as of yet, but clearly, I couldn't let today's go without letting you know that yes – I love you unconditionally and more importantly, always will. You as well helped me realize that what I felt was inconceivable love actually does exist. And, as we approach Mother's Day, I would also be remiss in not letting you know you have allowed me to realize the most cherished accomplishments in my life – our children. I am proud to stand beside you with our beautiful kids and can't thank you enough for the life you have given me.

    I love you,

  10. Nichole! This is so beautiful and rings true in so many ways for me, as well. What a blessing it is to see our lives in retrospect and know we are here because of what was there.

  11. Nichole

    I wouldn't be here, doing this, if it weren't for your love and encouragement. Thank you for believing in me and for pushing me to do something that is just for me.
    And thank you for leaving a comment…it means the world to me. I am so incredibly lucky to have you in my corner, holding my hand for always.
    I truly love you.

  12. Nichole

    Being a teenager is bittersweet at best–so many lessons to learn, most of them learned the hard way.
    Thank you for reading and for commenting!

  13. Kris

    Awwww . . . this one made me all teary. I am not a teary sort. I love the memories of the ones that weren't meant to be, because they got me to the one who was. Changed by each of them to become the person who was meant to be . . . with him.

  14. Nichole

    When I was a child, my very Catholic grandmother used to stress that we should never pray for something specific, but rather for the strength to handle whatever came to be. I was well into adulthood before I could completely understand what she truly meant by that.

    I am so incredibly grateful that all of my prayers went unanswered (or seemingly so) all those years ago.

  15. KLZ

    God, that first guy is just so heartbreaking while it's happening.

  16. Nichole

    There were weeks where I barely got out of bed–I'm so glad I made it through in one piece.

  17. Scary Mommy

    That post was beautiful, but the comment from your husband and your response got me just as much. It's no wonder this is your favorite- it's pretty remarkable. :)

  18. Nichole

    Thanks so much for not only coming by, but also for your kind words. I can't express just how much I am enjoying blogging and how alive it makes me feel.

    I love your new space and I look forward to be an active member of the new community.

  19. Tonya

    I don't which I love more… your post or Craig's comment. You two are precious and few. Treasure each other. Always.

    Thank you for your help today.

  20. Miss_Scarlett99

    That is beautiful. I don't know if I could manage to put into words exactly how beautiful it is. You have such a magic touch with how to say things. I don't suppose you have a resident fairy supplying you with pixie dust, do you?

    That sounds a little weird perhaps but truly you have a gift.

  21. Ratz

    And this exactly why first love is so important… lovely write Nicole…

  22. Cheryl @ Mommypants

    Aw, you two…I will bask in your glow for a moment..

  23. This was just want I needed to read. Your first love breaks you down but builds you up so you are ready when the right one comes around. Thanks for reminding me that those weren't waisted years, but years preparing me for true, everlasting love.

  24. oh the lessons we need to learn are the most difficult but the ones that can make all the difference in the end.

  25. Jen

    Ok, the post itself was painful but beautiful but your husband's comment took it (and me) to the next level.

    Ah, I just love love.

  26. Sara

    Okay, I was already a little weepy from the post and then I saw your husband's comment and I went right over the edge. It gives me such happiness when I see other people who love and appreciate each other so much. Beautiful.

  27. Simoree

    Hand me a box of tissues, please. This was just breathtakingly beautiful!

  28. Amy

    This is so beautiful and it resonates with me profoundly. I too remember when I thought that first love was "the one" and how much it hurt when I realized he wasnt.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  29. Jennifer Dillon

    I love the letter format. I'd like to think that my thirteen year old self would have read a letter from an older self and took it to heart, but I doubt it. Your piece reminded me of how stubborn teen love is, how everyone thinks that they are going to be together for life no matter the odds.

  30. Adelle

    Your post was wonderful – wonderful – honest and true and inspiring. We can, and do, survive those early hurts.

    But the "My Dear Wife" just sent me right over the bawling edge. It's so wonderful to be so loved, and WELL DONE CRAIG for publicly praising your wife. Well done.

  31. A really beautiful letter. My fav part: "you will go to sleep at night knowing that you are exactly where you want and need to be and you will be grateful." That is a blessing indeed.

    Stopping by from the red dress club.

  32. Your post is beautiful, but I agree with Adelle. It was Craig's My Dear Wife that sent me over the edge.

    It really is those first loves that prepare us for the future ones.

  33. Natalie

    I’m not sure which is more touching- the post or your husband’s sweet comment.

    I’m often asked if I would go back and change past relationships to prevent the inevitable pain. The problem with changing the past, you’re also changing the future. And my right now? I wouldn’t trade for the world.

  34. @2bKate

    Both your post and Craig's comment has me in tears. This is beautiful…. and I'm so glad to know you IRL. xoxo thanks for sharing.

  35. Your wife is amazing, and you rock for recognizing that. :)

  36. So true! Beautifully written.

  37. ksluiter

    oh Nichole. this is beautiful…and such a familiar story to me. and the comment from Craig? You have one of the best, I tell you. I just love the both of you so very much.

  38. This is so great. I think back on my first love and just wonder what I was thinking. I also wish my future self would write to my present-day self and assure me that there IS somewhere great out there…

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