Letter from a 30-year-old Alyssa to a 20-year old Alyssa

Dear 20-year-old Alyssa,

That stuff that you’re studying in school right now…you know that law stuff? You won’t need any of that in ten years. But keep at it for now, okay? It’ll keep your brain from turning to mush and help boost your savings account when you move on to other things.

You know that dude that you’re seeing? My mistake…any of the douchebags that you’re “casually hanging out with.” It’s all temporary, so don’t get worked up over that crap. In ten years, you’ll be in the best relationship of your life and it’ll make sense without having to try so hard. Sorry to say, there’s a lot of shit to go through between now and then.

Put more effort into your friendships, because believe it or not, you’ll still be hanging out with some of these fools in ten years. Everyone will move, change, pop out babies, or start to suck. Don’t dwell on it. There’s a ton of cool people coming your way, and most of the ones that really matter right now will still keep in touch in 2013.

If you thought things were rough with your parents before, you haven’t seen anything yet! But hang in there, you’re an only child so don’t be a total jerk. Believe it or not, mom and dad will actually respect you and accept you for who you are in ten years. But they’ll never stop sending you three letters a week with tampon coupons and newspaper comic strip cutouts.

Keep writing. Even when it feels lame and everything you put down sucks. You’re a creative person, so stop letting people put you in a boring, corporate box. Trust me, it’ll come in handy down the road.

Keep drinking. Your twenties will be full of booze-fueled misadventures and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on any of them. Step up to the plate and make sure you hang like a real woman. Your headaches will become excruciating in a few years, so enjoy the late nights while you can.

Get outside. When you’re feeling depressed and can’t find your purpose to anything, open the door and step on some grass. You’re not a religious person, and you’re barely spiritual. Let nature fill the void you keep feeling alive.

Think of change as an adventure. You’re going through a lot of right now, so soak it up and chock it up to accumulated experience. There will be plenty of years ahead to make feel stagnant and stuck in a rut. Change is cyclical, so take deep breath, take a step back, and take control of the ride.

Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. A lot of people you know will be more successful than you by traditional standards. They’ll move to cool places and make more money than they know what to do with. You’re on a different path. You still won’t know exactly where it’s going in ten years, but the universe thinks you’re going the right way.

Screw everyone’s judgment and travel more. I know that waitress job isn’t getting you rich, but start doing some research because you actually can afford to travel now. You can play it safe when you’re old and feeling content watching Matlock in an easy chair. Your travel won’t be glamorous and it’ll take a lot of work to figure out how to do it, but you’ll feel a lot more satisfied about what you accomplished by the time your thirty.

Yours truly,
30-year-old Alyssa

P.S. – Happy birthday, you lush.

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