I see these types of letters all the time. People share their new-found wisdom with the person they once were. I thought I’d give it a try:
Dear 25-year-old Lisa,
You’re really good at drinking a lot and doing productive things the next day. Keep it up! These days are numbered. They won’t last forever. Soon you’ll be stuck having to choose between a bottle of wine the night before or getting out of bed and leaving the house the next day. When you have a mortgage and a muffin top, the bottle of wine isn’t so much fun anymore.
Enjoy the partying days while they last. You won’t regret it. Ok, you’ll regret some things – actually, you’ll regret a lot of things – but that’s ok. Make stupid mistakes now and learn from them (or learn how to live with them), so that years down the road when your choices affect other people in a strong way, you’ll know how to make the better one.
He’s not going to call.
And if he does call, you probably don’t want him to. Chances are, if you met at a bar, got really drunk, maybe smoked some weed together and walked down the block for 2 a.m. street-pizza, he’s not going to be that great of a catch. You’ll be fine without him, I promise. Maybe next-weekend you’ll upgrade to someone who will take you out for 2 a.m. Chinese food.
High school is over – thank god! Maybe you thought you were cool in high school and wore a size or two smaller jeans, but you were actually a total loser. You’re not the same person and you never will be again, and that’s a good thing. You’re meeting new friends each and every day. Cherish these people. They will be some of the most real, honest, hilarious alcoholics you’ll ever meet in your life. They’ll love you no matter what and will put in equal amounts of effort to ensure you stay friends.
Your high school friends are great, too. Stay in touch with them. They are people that have known you your entire life and you don’t want to lose them. Just because they are going in a different direction than you doesn’t mean you can’t respect, admire and love each other. Be happy for them and let them be happy for you. Everyone has their own journey to live.
Omg. Dump that guy! He’s a total loser and there is no potential of you two having a bright, happy, forever-after future together. Just cut the cord already.
Good for you for getting scholarships and being on the Dean’s Honour Roll! You probably won’t win very many other awards in your life, so frame the ones you’ve got now.
When you go home for the holidays, hang out with your parents a little bit more, even if they drive you nuts. Your parents miss you every day and worry about their baby girl working in a bar in the big city to put herself through school and pay for the full-time smoking habit she’s picked up. When you go home, pack some Nicorette, some nice clothes, and rent a movie with them. Stay awake and off of your phone. Show interest in what they do on their spare time – and by spare time I mean when they are not virtually stalking you and booking flights to come see your new, rented, ghetto, basement apartment that you are paying way too much for.
Try to save a little bit of money. I know you’re in college, living on your own, working two jobs and going to school, but you really don’t need to buy that fake Coach purse, do you? Just stick with the one you have. Rip-off designer stuff isn’t cool anyway. Put that $80 right back into the bank where it belongs.
You how how they say the older you get the harder it becomes to lose weight? This is true. It sucks. Enjoy being able to drop 10 pounds in a month before you go to Jamaica with all your friends! Either of those things are probably never going to happen again.
Take more pictures. There will be a lot of nights you won’t remember – and sometimes you may want to keep it that way – but this is a time of your life that one day you’re going to reflect on and miss.
Overall, you’re doing a lot of great things. You’re getting yourself an education and life experiences that will benefit you immensely in the years to come. Don’t worry, someday you’ll have everything you’ve ever wanted: a lot of bills coming in your name to the first permanent address that you’ve had since you were 18; a nice, good looking, down-to-earth man that is going to have goals in life, treats you like a queen, and doesn’t party like a rock star at the age of 30; a great career that you’ve worked hard for; your health, your family, and a community of eclectic friends that bring a smile to your face every day.
You’re doing everything that your 25-year-old self is supposed to do, and it’s ok. Stop being so hard on yourself and enjoy the ride.
Yourself, a few years older and maybe wiser…
Some of my friends and I in college at one of our favorite watering holes. I'm on the far right.