A Letter To My 30-Something-Year-Old Self
Can we talk about how insane your twenties are? (Lol at me acting like that’s not what I write about every month.) Like no offense but what in the actual f*ck? Y’all just let this happen to us with no warning and we have to adapt to being in quarter-life crisis mode for half a decade? I’m EXHAUSTED. It’s Kate, actually, that I’ve talked to (begged for reassurance) on multiple occasions about how intense this ride feels right now. She always gives me this knowing smile, and promises me that your thirties are so much better. And I just kind of stare at her like she’s this oracle and beg for her to tell me more because I want to be tidal-waved in validation that the decade after this one will be just a tiiiinnny bit easier. Or just, different, rather.
Like ideally I could yell down a time travel tube (tube? idk) and just say “HEY! Are you still an anxious psycho or did you figure some sh*t out?” And she’d yell back “Everything’s fine! Please stop picking your face though!” and I could just go about my business knowing in 2028 I’m doin’ A-OK.
So I’m writing myself a letter. I’ve already set a calendar reminder for myself to check in on this each anniversary this article goes live for the next ten years, assuming my phone’s not just built into my brain or something by that point.
I hope you can walk by a mirror, or a window and not reflexively look into it to make sure you look okay. You look GREAT! Also: WHO CARES?!!! (I do care, a lot.)
I hope you can wake up on a Monday morning and have peace of mind. You have really bad Monday Scaries and you keep doin’ this routine meltdown thing? It bums me out.
I hope you can learn how to calm and center yourself solo and not salivate for the reassurance from others. It would be the most useful tool you could ever teach yourself.
I hope you’re sure of your words and deliver them with confidence. You know what you’re talking about! Don’t get in your own head as soon as you open your mouth. Speak up! Conviction!
I hope your student loan debt is below like at least $20,000! Not your fault though, student loan debt is a national crisis and we will all die with Sallie Mae still as our #1 enemy!
I hope you’ve learned how to process bumps in the road a little better because, Geez, you are a sensitive little flower and I worry desperately for when a real actual bad life thing happens to you.
I hope confidence grows in you from something other than outside validation. Like girlfriend, why are you so “GIVE ME IT OR I’LL DIE” about approval from people you don’t even really care for? What’s that all about?
I hope by now you don’t assume that people that don’t know you are immediately turned off or annoyed by you right as you open your mouth. WOWWW that feels six shades of pathetic to type out. (It’s true: If you don’t know me and you hear me talk I assume you’re now thinking about how you thought I was going to be smarter. It’s fun. It’s a fun game I play. WOO I love games.)
On a similar note, I hope you find value in and fully believe your own instincts. You have intuition, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Believe what you feel. Sharpen that superpower as much as you can.
I hope your sharp edges have rounded a bit. You can be a little intense. I think you like to feel like you’re heard, which I get! I think that’ll dwindle as you (God-willing) get more confident.
I hope you call your parents more. You seem to loosely grasp that they won’t be around forever but let’s maybe stop acting like they will.
I hope you have at least like, looked into budgeting correctly. Don’t be an idiot. I’m serious.
I hope you and Erik are still together. I really love him. He’s dancing in the kitchen right now and keeps refilling your wine glass when it fringes on empty.
I hope you’re not still clamoring to prove to women that you’re not a threat. It is exhausting!! You are likable. You are enough. May you one day know both of those things to be true!
I hope you figure out whether or not you want to have kids at an age that doesn’t turn that into a stressful decision! I know that’s something that’s very much a question mark for you right now!
I really hope you find the skin you’re comfortable in. You’re so close. It’s like you found the exact right dress and the color is great but you just need to get it altered a smidgen because the shoulders look kind of funny, right? But, then again… maybe you don’t need to get it altered at all. Maybe you’ll grow to love that thing you wanna change. Maybe it’ll become your favorite part.
Image via Tobruck Ave.
Liz Welle is a professional feelings feeler but gets paid to do social and digital stuff for brands in Minneapolis while occasionally food styling on the side. She lives in Uptown with her boyfriend and their thirteen plants. She is doing her best.