My Twenties are Officially Over. Here’s What I Would Tell My 20 year old Self.

The author getting a lovely vegan bday lunch at Bareburger in BK

Grrl, you are in for a wild fucking ride. First of all, you should probably know a few things. For one, you need to use face moisturizer. It will be life changing. Second, if your friends aren’t rooting for you, they aren’t your friends. And last, you’re as gay as a day at the DMV is long. Oh and you should really stop eating so much fat. Your brain doesn’t appreciate it. 

I love you. Most importantly, little 20 year old, alone in the world, having talked to your father for the last time last year and realizing that you will only see your precious baby brother that you helped raise a few times a year now, I love you. Stay as strong as you are. You are fucking hardcore. You will find people who love you – FOR YOU. The loud, weird, crazy person inside who will come out eventually. She has been there all along, but she has been forced to stay inside. You are gonna be ok grrl.

Breathe more, be as present as possible because years are gonna zoom by. Try new things all the time. Say YES and HELL YES. And know that it will all be ok, even if nothing is going to stay the same.

I don’t have regrets. At all. Not only because of that goddamn cliche that everything I have done before has led me to where i am now (true) but also because I have truly done over the past two years everything that I have had even a tiny inkling of wanting to do. i wanted to go and get brunch with my frand – I did. I wanted to tell a stranger that I liked her shoes (sparkly, rainbow, bomb-ass Converse) and I did. I told the girl I loved that she was the love of my life because it felt right. 

I like to think of myself as rational, logical, skeptical. And all of that is true, to a point. Humans cannot be 100% logical. We have our experiences, those treasure troves of memories that created neural pathways and led us to become who we are. For you, for instance, seeing a woman and a man on the street getting into a verbal fight might cause you to shake your head. For me, my PTSD tells me to get involved, stab that man. I calm it down, I wait and see what happens, I step in or the call the police if necessary. This is because I know what can happen when men are angry. I’ve seen what can happen when women are angry too – also not good. 

My emotions are a part of me. And yours, you. And that’s ok. Let’s work with them. The next time you have an instinct to do something – not stab an angry stranger, jeez – but if you want to ask that woman out, if you want to go back to school, if you want to dance but are hesitant because you are afraid – just do it. Your life is speeding by, it is up to you whether you live it while it’s here. 

It’s December of 2019. I have just turned 30. My twenties are over. I am free from so many things. So much expectation, so much concern of not being enough or doing enough. If my therapist is reading this – I know I need to work more on that, Karan! Also, see you on Wednesday. But the older I get, the more I become more of myself, my true self. I am letting myself have and do what I want and as long as it doesn’t infringe upon someone else’s well-being, I’m gonna do it. And you should too. And 20 year old me should too. She will, soon, realize that she has barely been actually living in the sense of doing what she wants and what makes her happy. Soon she will. She’ll look at herself and she’ll see what she wants to be and make a plan to get there, to become her. And now, 30 year old me sits here, on my yoga mat, smiling and sipping my tea and wishing her well. I look back at lil’ me and want her to calm down – but she has work to do to get there, here. She doesn’t even like tea yet. She cray. But not crazy.

Christina, I love you. You are who you are and you will find out who you are soon enough. And you will keep finding out as you grow. You will learn to like change as you grow. You will fall in love so many times and you will have your heart broken so many times. And you will bandage your scrappy self up and brush yourself off and try something else. Try again. Because you do not give up, girl. Just keep going. You’ll be better than ok and you will some day be happy. It make take a real decade, but you’ll get there, here. You have you. That’s all you really need. Trust her. She knows what she’s doing.


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