When I turned 30 last week I spent a lot of time reflecting on my 20′s. A lot of it was a mix of not knowing what I was doing in life, with relationships, and in general so I wanted to write a letter to my 22 year old self and what I wish I could tell her now.
Dear 22 year old Neely,
So you’re finishing college! That’s great. However you are going to hate working in Advertising and it wont last long. You are far too strong willed and opinionated to be stuck in a cube all day. Be wary of the people you call your “best friends” in 5 years you won’t be talking to any of them anymore aside from one. You will realize that they are not the type of people you want in your life. They are the ones who drag you down and facilitate bad decisions. They are the friends you party with but not the ones that are there for you when you need them. Take note of the kind of friend you want and be that friend. Don’t worry in a few years you will have some of the best friends imaginable and it will feel like you’ve known them forever.
Boys. Oh boys. So next year you will meet a guy that you are convinced is the one for you. You will think this because he is 5 years older. He has a good job, nice friends, hes a grownup. You have not dated a real grown up man yet so this will cloud your judgement. When you guys break up you are going to think its the end of the world. It is not. Unfortunately 2 years later you will meet another guy. Trust your instincts 2 months in when you break up with him for not being the right guy for you. When you think he really isn’t into the relationship TRUST THAT. Sadly though you will spend 3.5 years going back and forth about it. Never fear a mere 4 months after you finally cut ties with him for good you will meet the one you will marry. Its a rough journey with boys but in the end you will see it was worth it because you have found your one.
Instead of spending every Thursday-Saturday of your weekends when you are 23-25 drinking at bars with your friends maybe take up a hobby. Trust me all that comes from those weekends are a lot of bad decisions, and days spent feeling like crap. But you grow out of that phase around 25 and start realizing that staying home with netflix is far more fun. Remember though it takes everyone time to get here. Don’t judge those that still want to go out and party. To each their own.
You are so much stronger than you ever thought you could be and this will be tested when your dad gets Cancer. It will be right around your 28th birthday and you will discover that you are his rock. All this time you thought he was yours. It goes both ways. Stay strong for him because he will fight through this.
Your mom is always right. Period. Just remember that when you are arguing with her about something. She’s been there done that and she knows.
When you are 25 you will discover a passion for something you didn’t expect. Blogging. You will think it wont last. You will think no one will read. You are wrong. This will become your true passion in life and you will love it even when you hate it.
22 year old Neely you will go through a lot before your 30th birthday but remember you will come out on the other side. Maybe a little worse for wear. Maybe a few gray hairs. But you will get through it. Just enjoy the crazy ride.
30 year old Neely
What would you say to your 22 year old self?