My computer’s been crashing left and right lately, so I’ve spent the past few days transferring all my old writing onto an external hard drive just in case. Reading through my old journal entries has reminded me of what an emotional roller coaster my life has been, but it has also made me so grateful for where I am now.
I thought I’d share this letter I wrote to myself on December 14, 2012–my 28th birthday. This was only a few months ago, so it kind of boggles my mind how much things have changed. (I love my job, I’ve made remarkable progress on my novel, and I’ve found the most incredible man who I am 100 percent certain I am meant to share my life with.)
Life can be pretty amazing if you just let it be.
Happy birthday! Chin up, 28’s not that old. You still have plenty of time to land your dream job, find your dream guy, and adopt those African babies! Why are you stressing so much??
You’ve been stressing a lot lately, actually. About everything. Why do you always feel the need to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders? You’d think that by 28 you’d have it figured out—things are going to carry on, play out the way they should, regardless of whether you worry about them constantly or not. So stop worrying about them constantly.
Quit wondering when your writing will be noticed by the right person and just write. Quit chasing after that one guy and let someone who actually cares start chasing you. Quit worrying about your eggs drying up—you don’t understand how that biology works, and you’ve always wanted to adopt anyway.
Life isn’t the pretty package you grew up believing it would be. You should know that by now.
You didn’t get that internship with National Geographic. You didn’t land a full-time writing gig immediately out of college. You got kicked out of law school. And now you’re a bartender who writes on the side. Get over it. Nobody else’s life goes according to plan either, so why are you so obsessed with your own?
Let’s make 28 about fulfilling your dreams. You’ve had plenty of fun these past few years. Heck, you’ve had a pretty kickass 27 years. So let’s buckle down. Let’s focus your time and energy on being a better person and perfecting the craft you love.
Drink more tea and less tequila. Eat more fruits and veggies and less Taco Bell Dollar Menu. Play more outside and less on your video game console.
Walk your dog every day. Read every day. Write every day. Call someone you love every day.
Pay off your credit card debt. Create a website. Finish your novel. Jesus Christ, Jessica, FINISH YOUR NOVEL.
You’re a good person who works hard, but it’s time to be better and it’s time to work harder.
This is your year.
I love you,