Thursday, June 13, 2013

A letter to my 21 year old self

Hey 21 -

The cornerstones of your character will be the same at age 36 as they are now, so don’t worry – I’m not going to tell you to change a lot of things. The mistakes you make over the next 15 years will lead you down the roads you need to take to get to where you should be. I will tell you some things to make everything just a LITTLE easier, or so you appreciate things a little bit more.

  • The way you drink now will become a distant memory by the time you’re 26 or 27. You will NOT be fine by noon the next day no matter how many tips and tricks you employ. Enjoy it now. Bottoms up, bitch.
  • You cannot drink cinnamony booze. Run like the wind when you see it.
  • Spend more time with your grandparents. They’re not going to be around or in good health forever. 
  • Your parents are not only your parents – they are people too. They weren’t put here solely to answer to Mom or Dad.
  • There’s always more to the story than what you see on the surface.
  • You are allowed to fuck up. It’s part of life. Don’t make it bigger than it is. 
  • The time you spend worrying about what could happen is wasted time. What will be will be regardless of if you worry about it or not. 
  • Don't waste time arguing with ignorant people about anything, large or small.
  • Be the change you want to see in the world. Likewise, let the world change you.
  • Get in the habit of regular exercise now. And put down the frozen chicken things when you're hung over. And don't eat so many club sandwiches at the Blue Fountain Diner at 2 a.m. in your early 20s.
  • Don’t spend so frivolously. 
  • Your 20s will be full of lessons and hard knocks. You will be rewarded in your 30s. Patience, grasshopper. 
  • Write more. 
  • It's much cheaper to drink at someone's house than it is to drink in a bar. 
  • You are not invincible. Don't do dangerous shit.
  • Go to the movies even more than you already do. In 15 years you'll spend a lot of time bitching about the cost of movies.
  • Be grateful for your life and everyone and everything in it, every day. 
  • Don't wear killer heels when you're going to be walking a lot. You'll destroy your feet before you're 30.
  • Be who you are and don’t apologize for it – I know, I know…you’ve known this in your bones since you were born. I don’t need to tell you that.

Linking up for
Toby's Tails


  1. TRUTH!!!

    i would add:

    1) don't let anyone tell you who you are; you need to define that for yourself

    2) people will treat you the way YOU LET THEM treat you.

    3) haters gonna hate. their words only have power if you give them power.

  2. Love it all but that last one is so, so true.

    Sounds like your twenties were pretty great :)

  3. OMG I am so happy about this one!
    "You are not invincible. Don't do dangerous shit." Oh and the drinking at home thing is a must and safer.
    Not poisoning your body with alcohol, drugs, whatever. Your body is the temple of your soul! Being thrifty is also not being wasteful. We need so little and have so much. Shirley MacClain's The Camino- about her hiking journey- not that I will do that EVER, but shows what you don't need. Altho, I LOVE having my stuff with me(in my car, Sophia). Good God, I am rambling on with fundercats(aka thunder) going on. Godspeed to get this storm out of here and harming no one. Angels and lights everyone.
    Going to sit in the dentist's chair for 1.5 hrs for a temp crown.
    Gas up your vehicles- can't hurt!
    love your MOMMA

  4. The exercise part and the writing part. I feel like the first 5 years of my 20s were spent be lazy and were shockingly undocumented.

  5. I just want to tell my 21 year old self to demand better. Period.

  6. Thinking about Cinnamon booze gives me the shudders. Ugh.

    I would tell 21 year old me not to wear sandals to walk around New York City, despite how cute they were. I think my calves were sore for days and my feet were a level of filthy I've never seen before.

  7. Wow, 21 year old Steph sounds like she was a thirsty girl! But man am I with you on the spending...WTH was I thinking... I could have a nice sized nest egg... but no...

  8. Love Love Love! Sounds like we would have been quite the drinking pair in our 20's!

    I have to add...

    You will grow apart from some that you once thought were great friends. You will reconnect with some you lost touch with, and they will become life-long friends

  9. It is definitely much cheaper to drink at someone's house than in a bar...unless it's The Stone Balloon (RIP) on mug night. Which then leads to bad hangover choices. So maybe just stay at a friend's house.

    I'd add these: let go of pettiness. What seems like the end of the world really isn't. The choices you make now may not define who you are later on but they certainly will impact you so choose carefully. And finally, don't let anyone ever intimidate you or bully you into anything you don't want to. Stand up for yourself. You'll be so glad you did.

  10. Stopping By from the bloghop!

  11. Haha, "bottoms up, bitch!", so very true. Love all your wise tips to young Steph.

  12. Karen Klein-SchafferJune 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Great post.
    I would add "When you do get to 30, don't get hung up on the "what ifs" and the "if I had only....". Monday Morning quarterbacking will kill you if you let it. Don't let it.

    I will share this one. Thanks.

  13. So true, Karen. Monday morning quarterbacking will always kill you!

  14. The "it's cheaper drinking at someone's house than it is at the bar." Yeah, 21 year old Holly needed to know that too.

  15. I adore you so much that I just had to tweet you!!! Seriously, your posts are some of my favorites, Miss Wise one!! Love how so much revolved around drinking! LOL!

  16. lol i love how you say you arent going to list "a lot" of things and then you list at least ten heehee a girl after my own heart!

  17. This is all so wisdomous you are my dear!

  18. drinkin at home is cheaper fo sho. and you can play fun games.

    thanks for your comment today. i don't know what i see myself doing ... some combo of social media/marketing/photography/writing ..... hmmm :)
    ironic, since i neglect the hell out of my own blog.

  19. Lovely, lovely post, Stephanie. So wise and honest. I really enjoyed it and am better for reading it.

  20. Yes to pretty much everything you said. My biggest advice would be - go to effing class and actually try since it costs a lot of money to be in college.

  21. Damn it! I feel hung over now even when I don't drink. LOL. Gosh I miss being able to drink lots of tequila.

    Awww. The grandparents. Totally pouty lipped about that one. I miss them. And wish I would've listened a little closer to their stories.

    I swear you just wrote a letter to most 21 year olds. So many "yep" moments.

  22. Late to the game on the comments. I usually don't read your posts for a few days so I can sit down and read for more than a few minutes. Thanks for the escape. I needed it today as the dog and the toddler and the teenager (oh my!) are making me want a grapefruit sized Valium. Love the letter to 21 y/o Steph! You're pretty fantastic, ya know? Oh! Your momma's comment on this is, quite possibly, my favorite ever. Love her. - Kim Norway

  23. I just had a flashback to "chicken things on a round thing." LOLOL

    Great letter!


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