Letter to My 30-Year-Old Self : Colleen O’Connor

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

Dear Colleen,

You’re going to be thirty pretty soon. Are you crying yet? I mean, I know how you were when you turned twenty-five so I would expect nothing less. Seriously, that waitress was not telling you that you were old, you just really can’t sleep in bars. I know growing older can seem like a pitfall but come on, look at all of the amazing things you have accomplished.

You have that lean, toned, athletic body you always wanted… wait, you do have that don’t you? Shit, you’re eating cake and laughing right now aren’t you? Oh well, I at least hope that you have learned to love the body you’re in. I really believe if you just stopped looking at the tiny flaws and saw yourself as a bigger picture, you would be much happier with yourself.

Don’t forget that you’re married to a super cool guy who has been supporting your every crazy move since High School. You got pretty lucky in the love arena, so remember to tell him that! I’m sure you two are up to like what, 50 dachshunds so that’s super cool.

I have a feeling that your career is still moving full speed ahead. Keep taking risks and trying new things in your professional life, you never know what good could come of new adventures! And, I know you work hard so, remember to take time for yourself and enjoy life!

There are other things I hope you have accomplished, like writing that novel and working on a photo series. Seriously, stop doubting yourself and just do it, the worst you can do is fail and you do that so fantastically anyways! (your green hair fiasco of 2012 comes to mind)

I hope that you have maintained your friendships, these girls you call besties now are amazing. I really believe they will be your friends for a lifetime. They have been pushing you to be your best self and they deserve your loyalty and compassion. They never laugh at your big ideas and are always there to show support. I know it was hard for you in your early twenties when you didn’t have these girls by your side, but you have them now, continue to cherish them!

I also really hope that you have finally taken that trip to Europe and enjoyed the museums and culture they have to offer. You and the hubs need to remember that your dreams are important, no matter what. Put aside your work for a minute and live those dreams together.

Most of all, I hope you remember who you are. You are strong willed, loving, creative, funny (or, we think we’re funny), empathetic and enthusiastic. You’re not afraid to cry and will do anything for your friends and family, if you remember that your thirties will be a piece of cake.

P.S. I think it’s time for another tattoo.

Love the baddest bitch in town,


Colleen Rae : Artist. Writer. Feminist. Wizard.