A Letter To My 30-Year-Old Self : Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

girl studying with books and macbook at a coffee shop Photo: Alanna Bagladi

Hey MFK,

What up girl?

I’m kinda jealous that you’re thirty. I just have these feelings in my bones that the thirties are supposed to be the best years of our life. It’s the decade that makes the most sense anytime someone talks about it. I mean, a lot better sounding than, say, high school.

Things are good right now. I’ve made some big, official decisions and I’m super excited to see what comes next.  You could be doing any number of things right now! I will say this: I hope you are the best at whatever you’re doing. One thing that hasn’t been a problem yet, is your ability to do a job well. Whatever you’re doing, I hope you are doing it really well and I hope you’re impressing people.

I hope that you are not thinking back to me at this age and thinking about how dumb I am or what terrible mistakes I have made. I hope you remember this feeling of focus and passion. I hope it’s not naive. I hope you still feel it. If I know anything, it’s that we are capable. We are, right?

I hope you’ve left the country at least three times. At least. I can’t imagine you haven’t. I mean, we both know that whenever we are reminiscing about being happy, we’re imagining Europe. Spain can’t be the only “happy place,” and I hope you found others.

And, shit, if you’re in the south of France right now, permanently, then I couldn’t be more proud.

I hope you have at least 4 new marathon medals. You know you want them, and you know you can get them. I should have one out of the way for you in the next two years. (Gotchu, girl)

I hope that you have things together, but I also hope that you still find spontaneous adventures.

If you haven’t done this in the past week, call Mom, Dad, Mas, Erin, Mads, Smalls, Grandma and go from there. Actually, add Bubs to that list. How old is he now?  TWENTY?  COLLEGE?  Goodness gracious, that’s weird to imagine.  Where does he go? Where do YOU live?

I’d like to think that Obvi is going strong, and that there’s an office and a bzillion writers all over the world. You know, that’s the dream. I’d like to think that this coming Wednesday you have a Tina-Fey-in-Mean-Girls type assembly at some high school in some town where you will inspire girls to respect themselves and each other. I’d like to think that you have so much knowledge now, and that you’re striving to share it with as many young women as possible.  Have you gone to Grad School yet?

If you were making me proud, your hair would be pink and you would have a left arm covered in tattoos. It’s not too late.

I hope you’re strong enough to make tough decisions for yourself. I hope that you’re happy, and that if you’re not, this will remind you to get it together. Because it proved to be really hard this year, but hopefully will prove worth it. I like to think you’re okay, and that there’s a reason for everything that has happened and will happen.  You know, the universe.

What’s your dog’s name?

MK, as I am trying to configure the next 1-3 years of my life, I am doing so with our best interest in mind. I really hope that I did right by you.


With the biggest heart full of the most love,

Mary Kate


Pleggenkuhle_Mary Kate_Bio
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle : Mermaid Songbird. Tattooed Beauty. ChampionSuperstarPrincess. Proud Mamabear of “Obvi, We’re The Ladies.” Sarcastic, But Rarely Caught Without A Smile On.