As a part of 20sb’s 5th birthday carnival, sponsored by GlassesUSA.com, the 20sb Executive Board would like to share our letters to our younger selves. We also added pictures of ourselves from five years ago for your enjoyment!
Submit YOUR letter to yourself by leaving the URL in the comments section of this post.
Dear Lisa of 5 years ago,
You are barely 20 years old, mid-way through your undergrad and working a summer co-op job in NYC. Right now you’re training for your first triathlon and, while I’m sorry to say that you’re going to have two knee surgeries that take you off the start line for a while, 5 years from now you’ll still be in love with the sport. Some advice: no, you don’t need all those expensive energy gels for running, but yes, proper bike shorts are totally worth it. You just decided to start a little social network for yourself and a few of your other 20-something blogging friends. In a few months, you’ll hit 100 members and feel so proud of such success! But girl, you have no idea what a ride this network is going to take you on, and how strong and loving of a community you’ll soon find yourself a part of. Keep wearing sunscreen!
25-year old Lisa
Dear 21 year old Renee,
Your senior year is upon you. You’ve got it all going for you; a great internship that could turn into a promising career, a great roommate, a delicious job at a frozen custard place, and a solid group of friends. You’re going to screw up some of those things soon, but you’ll come out wiser in the end. You know that Minnesotan boy you’re dating? He’s going to ask you to marry him in a year. You’ll say yes, of course, and the Congressman you’re working for now will preside over the civil ceremony. You’ll start channeling your writing into a blog in just a few months and you’ll meet some of your dearest friends through it. Eventually, you’ll be asked to help manage a blogging community and will refocus your career to studying the Internet. So when Mom asks you to get off the computer, tell her to bug off, it’s going to get you a scholarship.
26 year old Renee
Dear Jenn of five years ago,
Right now you’re in the thick of it. You just left small town Illinois and moved back to Chicago. You’re living with your grandparents, but the rent is free. That guy you’re dating? He’s going to break your heart. He will crush you, but in the end you’re the one who decides to walk away.
You’re going to graduate from massage therapy school at the top of your class. You’ll walk away with a newfound understanding of and love for the human body, but you won’t pursue work as a massage therapist. Turns out, you really don’t like touching people.
Pretty soon a blogger pal is going to ask you to help out at the company she’s working with. It will be your first social media job. It’s going to frustrate the hell out of you, and you’ll give up a lot, but it’s worth it. You’ll fly across the country for conferences, get paid to do what you love, and you’ll even end up moving to Los Angeles (don’t worry, you’ll be back).
But right now, you’ve just got to trust in your journey. There’s so much uncertainty and the fear of the unknown is holding you back from so much. When you’re invited out for the first Chicago blogger meetup, don’t hide in your room. Get out there because that group of Chicago bloggers is going help you through a lot of rough times.
P.S. Meredith and McDreamy get married (on a post-it note), so stop stalking Blockbuster for the DVDs.
27(2 weeks away from 28)-year-old Jenn
Dear Erini of 5 years ago,
Congrats on graduating college! You’ve just moved to Chicago and things will never be the same. It’s not exactly how you pictured it. You’re going to be lonely at times, but you get through it. You’re not going to jumpstart into a career right away, but that’s okay. And grad school? Yeah, we’re still not there yet.
Things weren’t easy. You left and lost jobs. You left and lost friends. Not to scare you, but in a couple years you’ll be in the hospital and have to deal with a disease you might never get rid of. But you pull through. It’ll actually push you to be stronger and to take better care of yourself. You won’t get your heart broken, but you’ll be a little careless with it. Just be safe and remember some flings aren’t worth it. No matter what happens, you always pull through.
These next five years in Chicago are going to be amazing, once you get to look back on them. You’ll meet so many amazing and interesting people. You’ll get to travel and go to events, and make so many great memories. You’ll also get two amazing kittens, who will keep you on your toes as well as cuddle you so hard. And when Josiah invites you to Midsommar Fest, say yes without hesitation, because you’re going to meet a band that will change your life.
Relax, you’re amazing,
You’re 23, soon to be 24-years-old and have been out of college for a little over a year. Don’t worry about not working in journalism like you planned – the job you have now will lead to great things in your career down the road. You’ve finally stopped dating military boys, that was never a good idea in the first place now, was it? Your family is thrilled that your new boyfriend is local, and guess what? You wind up moving to the Bronx soon to get an apartment with him and then in a few more years, you two get married. You had a little bit of a rough patch in between, but you made it through. It’s hard to believe that in just another short two years you’ll be parents to an adorable little baby girl named Sadie.
Some of your friends may change over the next few years, but that’s more than okay – the new ones you make, and the ones you’ve had for forever will really be all you need. Oh and this little blog you’ve been writing in? It’ll be one of the few hobbies you’ve stuck with (ever) and you’ll make so many amazing friends from it, and be granted a ridiculous amount of opportunities too.
Stick with it kid, you’re doing something right!
28, soon to be 29-year-old, Lacey