First of all, you should know that you will have a really hard time remembering your life in your 20s once you are in your 30s. Think about that. Are these moments in your life right now important enough to try to slow down, or are you happy that they will be a brief moment in your past that will be hard to look back on/remember? I will try to answer that for you in this letter.
Things worth soaking up, taking in, slowing down:
- Your friendships. You will make some of the most amazing friendships in your 20s. Spend quality time with the important people in your life. Put stock in the people that call you just to check on you, not to see where the party is at. There will be some who want to use you for a good time, but there will be some that will end up being family.
- Speaking of family… You won’t get to see your little sister much. You will think that when she is done with school you will finally live near each other, but it isn’t going to happen. Right when she ends up coming home you will be forging your own new path. Soak in every precious moment you have with her. Your older sister is going to go through some really hard times. She is going to need you. Prioritize more time for her. She will end up meeting an amazing, god-fearing man and at that time you can stop being worried about her. After that some babies will come and go from your life. You are going to love them like they are your own only to have them leave you again, crushing you each and every time. Knowing what I know now, I will tell you not to do anything differently. Spend as much time as you can with these foster children. Love them endlessly. Make sure when they leave your life they KNOW how much they were loved.
- Keep on your career path. You may not know what that exact path is, but keep doing what you are doing. You will know exactly when to go, when to stay, where to move on next. You have always been able to see where you are valued and how to add value when there isn’t any. You are going to learn so much and meet so many people. One career will lead you to the dream job you are doing now, and another will help you find the love of your life.
- Continue choosing kindness. You always believed in karma growing up. You believed that what goes around comes around and/or they will get what is coming to them. None of that really happens. When you get older you just realize that your actions and behavior can have a profound effect on everyone around you. And that choosing kindness will lead more and more to choose that path as well. And eventually, you will have two little kids that will grow up to be kind too <3.
-Stop planning. You aren’t in control. The ‘I will be married with kids by the age of 25’ was a teenage pipe dream and when you grow up a little, around the age of 25/26, you will realize you are no where near ready for any of that.
-Corny, but true: every heartbreak led to you where you are now. There is a reason all of those country songs exist. Every relationship, bad or good (and boy, will you have some bad ones), will put you one step closer to knowing exactly what you want and what you deserve. When you finally find him, it will be the most natural thing in the world. Yes, there will be some regrets. That is just a part of life. When you are in your 30s you will find it hard to even remember the names of some of these regrets, much less worry about what happened way back then. Forgive and move on. There is a man out there looking for you too, but you need to be open to it.
-PLEASE start a daily skincare routine!!!! Cleanse, moisturize, and start using anti-aging serums immediately. Don’t wait until you are 30.
-Discover self-tanner and for the love of God don’t get in a tanning bed. Wear SPF daily. Protect your skin.
-Can you please put hand lotion on before bed every day. I know this seems like a weird request but after you discover Botox you will realize that your hands will give your age away first.
-Stop buying so many clothes. You don’t need a different dress for every night of the week. Start saving your money or spend it on enriching life events, like traveling.
-Be a trendsetter, not a trend follower. There will be times when you choose to be creative and do your own thing and there will be times when you choose to follow the crowd. The former will get you everywhere, the latter will get you nowhere.
-Do more charity work NOW. You have so much time right now. Stop being selfish with it. When you are finally ‘ready’ to give your time you won’t be able to because you will already be pulled in a million directions. If you start now it will be easier to make time for it later.
-Don’t dye your hair blonde. You will like it for about a month and then be over it. It will cause damage that you will still be paying for in your 30s. Oh and while we are talking about hair- bangs never worked for you either and took over a year to grow back out!
-If it isn’t a HELL YES, it needs to be a no. Stop sacrificing your own thoughts and beliefs to try to please other people. You can say no. It will free up more time for all of the above.
Guess what? You won’t be the person you are in your 30s until you are in your 30s. You are constantly going to grow and evolve and you won’t always get it right. But, when you are in your 30s I can tell you this much: you are going to be extremely thankful for your life. You are going to feel extremely loved, happy, and blessed. So hang in there and continue to try to be the best version of yourself that you can be. It all pays off for you in the end. Your best years are still ahead.
xo 34 year old Amanda