June 25, 2010

A letter to my 20 something self


A few months ago I found a website by a lovely woman who goes by Formerly Gracie on her blog. If you haven’t ever been there, you should.  She’s very gracious and she has beautiful photos and her posts are always worth reading.  Anyway, a few weeks ago she did a post which was a letter to her 20-something self. Grace’s friend Cassie, who blogs at Cassie Boorn had decided to encourage other women to write a letter to their 20-something selves as a way of reflecting and sharing.

So, I commented on Grace’s Blog post of her letter to her 20-something self. I was very moved by her letter. And, y’know, Grace emailed me! She emailed me! Yes, Oh My Gazpacho! Gracie is a major blogger (she may not think so, but to me she is HUGE) and her email to me was so sweet and encouraging. So, at her behest, I am going to participate in Cassie’s letter writing program. As I am now 41, I’ll be looking back half my life. I may not remember all that well (blocking, much?  old age?) but I’ll be honest. Hope you enjoy reading and learning more about me.

Dear Sara of the 1990s,

What a decade this is going to be. The 80s were a lot of fun, but this next 10 years will be a time of much change. Don’t get overwhelmed or frustrated, you will have people around you to help. Let them!

Remember when you were 7 and said you wanted to be a lawyer? You will. Nothing to worry about. It will be challenging in more ways than you know, but you’ll look back on it and think it was pretty easy. And that won’t be the only post-graduate degree you get. You’re really smart! And don’t worry that you’ll be off in law school stuck in the books with no friends, you’ll find them. Don’t push them away. And don’t be afraid to share with these new friends who you really are. No, not everyone will accept you. But I can assure you that those few who do will be with you for a very long time!

That guy you’re dating? Do I really have to tell you? He’s THE ONE! You’re a jerk to him a lot of the time so just stop! He’ll show you how much you mean to him when he stands next to you when you think you’ll be standing alone. Be nice to him. Mom loves him dearly. Everyone else who doesn’t will come around. Guaranteed! You found your lobster the day you met him! He’ll travel to the end of the world for you, despite your stupidity and pushing him away. Push all you want, he’s not going anywhere. And that’s AWESOME. Because he will open up your world and help you see that you are much more closed minded than you think you are. But not in a bad way. You’re sheltered. You’re scared.

But, then you’ll fall in love with another. You will want this and will spend a lot of your time figuring out how to have it. No, it’s not a person. It’s a place. Paris will come in to your life toward the end of your 20s, and you will be smitten long before you see that iconic Tour Eiffel. Yes, Tour Eiffel. That’s French. Don’t worry, you’ll learn that too. Not well, but enough to get by. Just go with it.

I wish I could tell you there would be no heartache, but there will be. She’ll leave you. Not on purpose. But she will. And you won’t get to say goodbye. Not a real one anyway. And before you say goodbye, you’ll have to fight with your family. It will be ugly and terrible and they will make you feel crappy, but know that what you did was right. They’ll come around and realize that you meant the best. Mom will die too young. You won’t be there but she’s OK with that. She actually doesn’t want you to be there. Don’t beat yourself up that you were not there at that moment.

The heartbreak and sorrow won’t stop with Mom. You’ll have time to heal and regain your strength, because you will need it. The choices you will make will be difficult and, yes, they will impact the rest of your life. But remember, family comes first. Work will always be there, even if it isn’t what you imagine for yourself right now. You’ll make sacrifices and you’ll feel like you’re giving up. Trust me, you’re not. You’ll need these experiences so you can get through others.

You’re confident now. Actually, you kind of stuck up. Young confidence. You’ll get knocked down, but keep picking yourself up. It may seem like a stupid game, but it will be necessary for your growth. You’ll lose your self-confidence but you’ll find it. It will take time but your work ethic and your dedication to being the best you can be will help you more than you can imagine.

Be happy. Inside I know you are but you rarely show it. You also don’t show how funny you are or how silly you can be. You’re barely in your 20s and you act like a 45-year old woman. (no offense) Live life. Enjoy life. Stop being afraid to live! Stop being afraid! People will try to hurt you but you’re super strong and you’re more wily and crazy than you know.

Before I go, I have to tell you that you’ll be a great mom. You’ll be older. Wiser. Mature. But those things will all be necessary for you to be the mom you need to be. Experience life, because your daughter will need you to be her role model. Don’t stress about everything, you’ll get it all done and you’ll do a better job at it than you think you can.

Your BFF, Me

What would you say to your 20-something self? If you’d like to participate, please do. And when you’re done, email your letter to cassieboorn {at} gmail {dot} com and she’ll post it on her blog.



Amy @ Dealusional June 25, 2010 at 6:10 am

Love this part, “Don’t stress about everything, you’ll get it all done and you’ll do a better job at it than you think you can.” Wish I could still get that through my thick skull! I certainly wish I could tell my younger self that stressing out so much just to get straight A’s all through college and pushing myself to finish in 3 yrs is NOT important, that I should take time to enjoy the learning process and not be so anxious to get out into the real world. If only we could have do-overs!

Suzanne (Crunchy green Mom) June 25, 2010 at 6:53 am

Sara.. that is great. You never told yourself to avoid a situation.
I love how you realized EVERYTHING that happens helps make you who you are.

Glad you and your 20 year old self could talk.

Debra @ A Frugal Friend June 25, 2010 at 11:18 am

Love this idea……….having lost my mom too young too, I wish I could tell my old self a few things ! 🙂

Formerly Gracie June 25, 2010 at 11:32 am

You flatter me… Please, do go on 🙂

I smiled when I read that line about your “lobster”. Ah! Friends! This is a great letter! I’m so glad you decided to write one.

Ann @Coupons, Deals and More June 25, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Oh to have a redo… or at least a partial redo. Still we would not be who we are today with all those 20-something mistakes.

Sara June 25, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Thank you all for your lovely comments. Sometimes I’d like to have a do-over but then I wonder who I would be now if I could go back in time. It was great to write that letter. I encourage you to do it, even if you don’t post it. Do it for yourself!

Honey June 26, 2010 at 8:27 am

Hi Sara,

What an awesome post. All the way though, I was thinking about what I would say to myself.

I really enjoyed he read. Thank you for always making me think deeply.


Cassie June 27, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Sara, this letter gave me CHILLS!

Thank you so much for taking part in this. I love this letter!

Sara June 27, 2010 at 12:21 pm


Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I really appreciate your starting this project.

Kindest Regards,

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