10 Things My 31-Year-Old Self Needs To Hear From My 22-Year-Old Self


Everyone writes that letter to her younger self, to give her advice about how it's all gonna work out in the end and that there's nothing to worry about. But now, at 31, I find myself becoming increasingly risk averse, as my finance-industry friends would put it. There are more things to consider now, I guess. What meaningful impact am I making? What's all this business about starting a family? Do I need to start thinking about that? What about buying property? Settling down? Should this somehow factor into my next move? How, what, where, why, WHEN? And so on.

22-year-old me wasn't all that worried about things. Nine years ago, she did what she wanted. She would try something new without questioning whether it would work out, how it would get done, who would be there to support her, how she would make friends. Risk? Sure, let's do this. Uncertainty? Awesome, sign me up.

31-year-old me thinks it should be different. She thinks she needs to plan better. Think things through. Apply facts and sensibility. Make adult, responsible decisions.

Sometimes, they say, you have to take a step back to make leaps of progress. Sometimes, though, you spend so much time trying to avoid mistakes on that path of progression, that you hop, skip and run marathons backward. My 22-year-old self didn't care about mistakes. She only looked ahead. And she leaped. And I think it's time my 31-year-old self did the same.

1. Go. Do not overthink. Do not collect $200. Just go.

2. Intuition is Queen. You really wanna know a way to waste a lot of time? Fighting what you already know and ignoring that inner guide that has all the answers you keep trying to find outside yourself.

3. You'll find the money.

4. It will work out. Whether it's a success or a "failure," it will work out, because it's meant to. If it's not the right fit, you will be course-corrected, and you can take the next step after that that makes sense. But taking this step was another lesson in what you don't want, helping you to figure out exactly what you do want.

5. You are supported, even if they're not in your physical realm. Support systems are key. Sure, it would be nice if your family and closest friends are in your immediate zip code, but it's not necessary. The ones who matter will still be with you, virtually. So go explore.

6. You don't have to do it all alone. It's not always easy to ask for help. But people are willing to help if you ask.

7. So everybody thinks you're crazy for doing this. Who the f*ck cares? That one's pretty self-explanatory. It's your life, you know you best. You are now even more self-aware and you know even better where you're going and what you want to accomplish. Keep going.

8. Don't play small. You would think my 31-year-old self would be saying this to Miss 22, but 22 knew what was up. She wore her hair big, and dressed up, and stood out without trying. She probably made some people uncomfortable in the process, but that was not something she had control over. So she continued to express herself herself in a way that was true to her. This is a big one. It will propel toward where and who you want to be. The world has been waiting quite some time for this.

9. Don't forget to dance. At 22, I was still spending my days in dance studios. When I dance, I am my happiest. So, 31-year-old self, as you strive to create a life in which you can experience every day in that kind of flow, remember to dance in those moments you don't want to move. Kick-ball-change your way to everything you desire.

10. Don't be guilted by guilt. About what you've done or haven't done. About what you want or don't want. About what you gave or didn't give. Learn from the lessons, change what you don't like in the present, but don't worry about what's done in the past.