A Letter To My 30-Year Old Self : Lily Gieryn

Girl Writing in Journal Photo: Alanna Bagladi

Well, Self…  thirty is just around the corner.  What are we going to do?

Self, I think we can agree that we’ve never dreamed about thirty.  Who does?  Twenty-something is romanticized in books, movies, music…  Thirty?  At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be anything romantic about thirty.  It even sounds unromantic.  Twenty sounds peppy, energetic.  Thirty sounds like something you get after eating bad Mexican food.

Well, Self, you need to shake that off because facts are facts and we are looking at the big three-oh in about eleven months.

Self, your twenties brought some big changes.  Two degrees, marriage, a baby and a big move!  I know that you’ve felt shaken by these changes; don’t think I haven’t noticed you taking cover in the comforts of pajamas and Netflix night after night instead of exploring and socializing.  I know that in trying to find stable ground you’ve taken a step back in your career; I know that you’re trying to figure out who it is that you are with these newly acquired titles like “wife” and “mom”.

So I hope that thirty will be a spring board; a smack in the face; a reminder that yes!  Things have been scary lately and uncertain and messy.  But moving forward – you still have things to accomplish!

Self, I hope you never forget that before you were a “we” you were a “me”.  And while major decisions need to be discussed as a family, don’t give up on the goals you’ve dreamt of for years.

I’m counting on you.


Lily is a social worker, a mom, a wife who likes to eat apples and bananas, play peekaboo and will occasionally make it to work on time.