“What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self” by Ellyn Spragins features a series of letters written by mature women to their younger selves. Madeleine Albright, Maya Angelou, and Vanna White are the names of a few contributors.
Hindsight is 20/20, and although we don’t have the capacity to see it ourselves, a lot (maybe most) of our anxieties are age-symptomatic.
In a nut shell, the 20’s bring a lot of heartache, the 30’s answer with a sigh of relief. The 20’s are notorious for being a time of uncertainty and self-exploration. Conversely, for men and women alike, studies show that the 30’s are the best years. At 30, you start settling into yourself a little bit. It’s more likely you’re closer to where you want to be in your career and your love life, and you know yourself better.
I took pieces of what women said in their letters, added things, and made my own letter:
Believe me when I say, you will get through this fog and uncertainty and you will do it in the best possible way. You will pick yourself up off the ground, again and again, because you have character, and you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for. You have the guts to find your own purpose. Believe with every fiber of your being that you can do anything you set your mind to. And Natalie, doubt is a cancer. Burn your doubt, put the ashes of your newly incinerated doubt in a mason jar with some sizable rocks, and drop that sucker off the side of the Coronado Bridge. Put down cigarettes now. Be your staunchest supporter. Don’t worry, you will love what you do. You’re going to be okay. Being an adult is better than being a kid. You’re going to grow up healthy and whole. Trust your instinct. You’ll get married, have kids, all that. But for now, enjoy your unfettered time. One day, carpool and packing lunches will be your life. Enjoy your freedom. Enjoy the moment.
Someone who knows
I love these letters, I think they’re beautiful, and I’d like to do something similar to what Ms. Spragins did. I’ll be collecting letters, and I am so excited to read what people write. Stay tuned.