Letter to My 30-Year-Old Self: Kathleen

Smalls-Short-Blonde-hair-steps-writing-notebook Photo : Rachel Mandel

Dearest Kathleen,

How’s it up there in 30?! So far, in the 25 years of your existence, you’ve learned a thing or two about what to expect at 30: You’ll ultimately begin your day with a strong coffee, wearing fashionable heels and a pleated skirt as you juggle your coffee, purse, and phone on your way to work in the city center of some fabulous city. You’ll have an ok (or horrible) boss, eat a (vegetarian) Cobb salad for lunch, meet up with your friends for drinks and dinner in the city; all your friends will be slowly joining the masses of the married and having-kids-collective, you’ll live in a spacious apartment and complain about it, and your sexual libido will skyrocket. I’m paraphrasing every chick flick I’ve ever seen so far…

There’s nothing wrong with that picture, especially the cute heels. But what I’m hoping is that whatever you’re doing, wherever you’re doing it, whoever you’re doing it with, that you’re happy. I don’t care if you’ve sold out to the Big Corp (but you better have a damn good reason for working for the man, Kathleen), or if you’re a world famous yoga teacher, or a writer living in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I don’t care what job you have, what you look like, if you’re married, if you’ve adopted children yet, or if you’re living abroad. I care that you’re taking action to live in the present, to hug and kiss the people you love, to nourish yourself and bath yourself in love. I hope you’re living in your truth.

You wrote one of these in high school, but it read more like a 15 year plan. The year you’d get the perfect job, the year you’d settle down, the years you’d spend traveling. But I know now that things change, and they change drastically. Life doesn’t happen on a schedule’s terms, life happens on life’s terms. And that is ok, because you are more than equipped to handle it.

Though sometimes, let’s be real, you’re too hard on yourself. You are strict on making your goals, which can be a good thing (yay, motivation!), but you also need to give yourself a chance to breathe! To learn and experience life outside the 5, 10, or 15 year plan. Presently, you’re struggling with anxiety about the next level, the next step for the future; a movement onto the next best thing before you’ve even completed or absorbed the first best thing. You’re stressed, but you don’t need to be. In all the mixed emotions and frustrations with wanting to do it all, you are perfect just the way you are.

Right now, you’re a spunky feminist lady with tattoos and pink&purple hair. You’ve shaved your head twice, lived in Paris, and swam naked in the Aegean Sea. You’ve learned how to heal people within different modalities, but more importantly you’ve learned how to heal yourself. You sing when you’re happy and cry about everything, and you embrace yourself in your power all the time. Yeah, you don’t know what the fuck is going on half the time and you have a mini-heart attack every month when it’s time to pay student loans, but you’re a badass, empowered woman.

I’m not worried about you at all. I know you’re doing just fine. You’re exactly where you need to be.

Much love, girlfriend,

Kathleen