A Letter To My 30-Something-Year-Old Self


A Twenty-Something's Letter To Her Thirty-Something Self – Wit & Delight

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.


Dear Me:

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.

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-4-21-00-pmLiz 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.




BY Liz Welle - March 17, 2018

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March 17, 2018 12:20 pm

I just turned forty-eight, which is a never-ending source of surprise to me. Here’s the letter I’d write for my younger self:

“Don’t worry. Things will mostly be fine. And when they’re not, you’ll be able to handle it, because that’s what we humans do.”

I mean, my younger self probably wouldn’t pay any heed to this advice, because that wasn’t her strong suit, but still.

Liz Welle
March 24, 2018 9:40 am
Reply to  Tammy

Isn’t that just the weirdest part of life? We’re only able to understand and believe the advice we need when we’re kind of past the point of needing it??

Taking “you’ll be able to handle it, because that’s what we humans do” with me. <3

March 17, 2018 1:20 pm

I needed this hard today. Thank you for the reminder *insert uplifting emoji of your choice here*

Liz Welle
March 24, 2018 9:40 am
Reply to  Ansley

Anytime, darling. <3

March 17, 2018 3:15 pm

I love this.
I cannot wait until my 30s. I imagine it as this glorious time where everything finally fits…but I’ve never truly thought about what edges and bumps I must soften for life to run smoother when I hit the big 3-0. I think I’ll have to try this and remind my 30-year-old self what 25-year-old me hoped to accomplish—whether those ambitious were silly, justified, accomplished, or not.

Thanks so much for sharing.

– Grace | The Keen Kind

Liz Welle
March 24, 2018 9:42 am
Reply to  Grace

WE’LL GET THROUGH THIS, GRACE. As my boyfriend always (annoyingly, but is right) says: just keep showin’ up. It’ll figure itself out.

March 17, 2018 8:52 pm

This is beautiful, LIZ! You amaze me by your clearly focused insight and finely tuned words to express yourself. There isn’t a trace of doubt in my mind that your 30s will be magical and that dress will be a perfect fit!!

Liz Welle
March 24, 2018 9:42 am
Reply to  Mom

Thanks for always cheerin me on, MA. <3

March 17, 2018 9:32 pm

From a woman rolling through mid-thirties myself to myself at 30 (based on your super thoughtful thoughts with some tweeking) When you say Yes to one thing, you say No to something else. Something must always be sacrificed, so reevaluate your priorities when life changes happen. You can be thrilled with one area of life and desperately disappointed in others, most people need to be fairly satisfied in each realm to be happily satisfied: Home, Love, Family, Work, Friends, Area. One or more of these, is often changing, as are your ideas about what you need in these realms! Love… Read more »

March 19, 2018 5:11 pm
Reply to  Lisa

Great list Lisa. I am 45 and your list is so good for any age. I am going to adopt some of these.

Liz Welle
March 24, 2018 10:16 am
Reply to  Lisa

LISA!!!!!!!!! Are you KIDDING ME!!!!!!! This is the greatest piece of collective advice I have ever read in my entire LIFE. I’ve read it aloud to several people and copied and pasted it into my phone’s notes so I can go back and read it like, uhm, EVERY DAY.

Are you a life coach???? An angel??? Just a very good writer human?? WHICHEVER you are I am so thankful for you and you make writing and sharing THAT much better.

March 17, 2018 11:42 pm

Thanks for the great read and motivation! We can’t wait to read more blogs form you.
Keep inspiring

Dang, now I want to write a letter to my 30 year old self! 🙂 I used to write emails to my future self all the time, to be received around 2 years later. Then every 2 years, I’d have such a delight reading them. I don’t know how I stopped doing that… I got so lazy! 🙁

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Liz Welle
March 24, 2018 10:18 am

You’re not lazy! Sometimes other things take priority in life! Maybe this is your sign to get back into it 🙂

March 19, 2018 11:49 am

first, i really love that your mom commented so sweetly on this post. second, i think this is incredible. and hilarious that you share common anxieties and potential insecurities because i have frequent text message exchanges with my friends about your presence on instagram (“woah, she made another amazing looking meal for dinner! her haircut is amazing! i want to do a friend weekend like our girl, liz!”) and for real, my sister and i just planned a taco crawl during our upcoming april vacation to portland. i DO know instagram is a false image of people’s real lives, but… Read more »

Liz Welle
March 24, 2018 10:32 am
Reply to  Tiffany


I think we’re always just assuming that we’re the only ones feeling this *MUCH* anxiety or this exact *TYPE* of anxiety when in reality that COUDLN’T BE LESS TRUE, and my only writing goal is to keep reminding people that they’re not alone in those feelings AT. ALL.


March 19, 2018 3:21 pm

I feel like I had a lot of the same insecurities when I was mid-20s. I wholeheartedly applaud you for setting future goals and already trusting yourself to look inward for advice (something I didn’t figure out until recently). That said, none of these 20-something “insecurities” mean there is anything wrong with you now. You are EXACTLY who you need to be in the present moment. It’s all part of being a human and learning as you grow. Someone who has really provided me with a ton of tools to manage my mind (especially the external validation bit) is Brooke… Read more »

March 19, 2018 6:18 pm

Thank you so much for this. Really needed this and lifted my spirits. Love all your posts and hope you recognize how much of a positive source of sunshine you are!

Liz Welle
March 24, 2018 10:38 am
Reply to  Elyse

Elyse my girl, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to write that. Truly.

April 4, 2018 3:40 pm

Girl, I love and admire your self-awareness! I wouldn’t be surprised if that fierce, self-confident, 30-year-old version of yourself shows up sooner than you think!

April 16, 2018 7:33 am

did you actually write this for me?? seriously – i can relate to pretty much everything you listed above. i’m 31 so i feel like i’m in a weird transitional phase. i’m definitely more comfortable with myself than i’ve probably ever been, but i’m still plagued by a lot of insecurities. i do feel like i’m more motivated to focus on myself than ever before, which is a positive. we just have to keep taking it day by day 🙂

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