Letter to 22-Year-Old Me

Twenty-two-year-old Robyn,

In ten years, you’ll have no tolerance for pussy-footing. I’ll get straight to the point. I am you, ten years older. I’m visiting you from the future via this letter with some game that will change the fabric of your life. This advice won’t guarantee you a perfect existence; even if you avoid my mistakes, you’ll make your own. However, heeding these words will save you some time and heartache along the way.

Throw away every self-help book you’ve purchased to date. You’ll only need two: The Four Agreements and He’s Just Not That Into You.

Stop faking it in church. Get a therapist and an astrologer.

You used the idea of your “specialness” as motivation to excel in school. You’ve got your college degree. You don’t have children. Yay, you. Now, let that shit go.

Stop aspiring to greatness. You’re like everyone else who has to figure out how to make a living and have a life. Pursuing vague notions of greatness keeps you in a cycle of self-loathing and inaction that will nearly cost you your life. (Look up “48-hour psychiatric hold”)

In your career, focus on what you can do well with the most ease. Make your work about work; not fancy titles that make you feel important. If anyone tells you you’re not dreaming big enough, tell them to Google “Executive Assistant Average Salary.”

You’re wondering if you’ll ever “become a writer.” It won’t look the way you imagined, but it will happen. In the meantime, research “how to start a blog.”

Grad school is a waste of time; unless you can go for free.

When renting a car, always get the liability insurance.

You’re pretending to like Vodka because you’re pretending to like Cosmos. Make Jameson and ginger ale your signature drink. It goes down smooth and is a great conversation-starter with men in bars.

In a few months, you’ll reconnect with that tall, charismatic cutie you’re pretty sure is full of shit. He is. When you run into him and those sparks fly, fuck his brains out for three days. Then change your number and block him on Facebook. You’ll save four years of stress.

Read up on minimalism. Everything and everyone you invite into your life should serve a purpose.

Learn to love 15 minutes a day on a treadmill. You won’t need to worry about your weight for another 10 years, but starting an exercise habit after a lifetime of laziness is a bitch.

You’re never going to change your mind about not wanting children. Leave the pills alone (they will make you crazy–again, look up “48-hour psychiatric hold); summon the ovum to require all your lovers to wear condoms. Even the ones who love-you-so-much-and-will-never-hurt-you.

Finally, life is beautiful. Life is also trash. Accepting this will help you appreciate the beautiful moments. You’ll find perfection in the taste of a light, fruity Pinot Noir on your tongue; joy in a well-crafted sentence; contentment in a full night’s sleep. Don’t spend so much time copy-editing your existence that you forget to live it. You see, there are no secrets or keys to this thing. It’s all in the living.

Don’t worry. You’ll be fine.

With Love,

SBG (you’ll know what those initials mean in a year)

One Comment

  1. brooke

    Don’t spend so much time copy-editing your existence that you forget to live it. You see, there are no secrets or keys to this thing. It’s all in the living.— This sums it all up! The key to living is to live.

    Beautifully written.

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