Dear 20-year old Me

We’ve got a birthday to celebrate. In honor, some hopeful words of encouragement:

  1. You’ll get a chance to go to Scotland. You’ll have to spend every cent you won to do it. Go to Scotland.
  2. That German dude? He’s an idiot. When he compliments your maroon Brass Plum purse, expressing surprise that an American would own something so stylish, tell him his LaCoste shirt expired 20 years ago. Then, go get yourself a 2 Euro glass of red wine. By yourself.
  3. So yes, you did need to tone down the excessive display of opinions. Great, you’ve done it. Now stop there, before you go too far. You’ve got words to say; say them.
  4. Make peace with *a* path. It’s not about choosing one job. Decide if the hard road is truly your dream; consider what sacrifices that route will entail. Can you live with those sacrifices? We both know the answer is no. Pick a different dream, and let the other one go.
  5. If a doctor or three tells you that a pill is the only solution? Take the pill. It’s the only solution.
  6. There’s very little correlation between the amount you try and the actual results achieved. Try less. The trying is the problem, not the thing you’ve labeled as the problem. That might not be true for everyone, but hot damn it’s true for you.
  7. You know how “A Prayer for Owen Meany” got you through those first weeks in France? Lean into that. Books will hold your hand when there’s no one else readily available to do that.
  8. Buy the fancy jeans.

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