Letter To My 30-Year-Old Self : Alison Burdick-Evenson

Hands-Writing-Notebook-Journal-Concrete Photo : Alanna Bagladi

There is so much I want for you.  Whether you’re a kick-ass PR woman heading a team for amazing beauty and fashion labels or if you’re a free-lance blogger and editor who lives out of a suitcase in far-away places – I hope you’re living. Not just happy, but that you feel complete. At 22-year-old I’ve never felt that way.

I spend a lot of my time anxiety-ridden over miniscule matters. Sometimes I am paralyzed by overwhelming anxiety. I’m working at a better coping strategy so I need you to stick to that. Take care of yourself. Stop beating yourself up all the time. It’s like I can’t make one decision without tormenting myself over it. You need to breathe. I’m sure all the decisions you’ve made in this last decade have landed you somewhere grand.

Release your inner introvert and allow the surface level extrovert to lead. Dig deep and let her plant an outgoing seed so you keep meeting amazing people. Right now I’m in a new city, at a new job, where I know nobody. I am so painfully awkward that I’m not letting myself go into situations to meet new friends. I’m assuming you’ve moved a half dozen times by now so hopefully you’ve learned to be open.

Be proud of yourself! You made it to 30. At 22 we’ve already accomplished the three major things in life you wanted for yourself.  Allow yourself time every day to reflect on how beautiful that is – how you took chances and changed yourself for the better.

Stay in touch. With yourself, with your friends and with your family. Early on you knew you wanted to give up a stable Midwest life for a different adventure, but your support system is how you made it this far, never bail on them.

In contrast to societal pressures, I hope that you’re 30 and you don’t have kids. I almost want to hope you don’t have a husband yet either. I decided a while ago not fully give my heart to someone until I accomplished some serious dreams – I’d like to think you stuck to that for at least five more years. Not to say I want you to be alone – I wish that you had to be alone for a while so that at this point, you know who you are solo and you are bringing stability to a relationship.

So, my truth is that I hope you (recently) found an equal partner. Someone who, like you, is searching for freedom, who will “not settle” with you. A man who will sooner live on a boat than own a plot with a white picket fence. A person who likes reading your writing because the topics you’re passionate about are what attracts him to you. I hope you both dress well but still shop frugally. I hope he lets you fight your own battles but always stands behind you during them. Honestly, I’d like if you’d learn to support his fights and dreams too (a bit better than you have with others in the past). Listen to each other.

Listen to your gut. Get out of any situation you don’t feel good about. You’ve taken a little too much time with this one before.

Continue sticking to your morals and fighting for what you think is right. Find an organization that believes in the same cause and make a difference. Never back down. Campaign. Volunteer. Donate money – because it was only eight years ago you could have used the money.

As you reinvent yourself again and again, keep what you love about yourself. Right now it’s your sense of adventure and your loyalty to your friends. Remember that.

Love,  Alison


Alison Burdick : Broke-Ass PR Practitioner. Netflix Binger. Obsessive Animal Cuddler. Devoted Shopaholic. Wanna-Be-Nomad. I Live By The Motto “Death Before Decaf.”