An Open Letter To My Twenties

Dear Twenties,

It all seemed like so much fun, didn’t it?  Penn State, Penn, moving around, the new friendships, the uncertainty of what the next year (or even the next week) would bring. Knowing that I could change my life course in an instant, if I felt like it. I loved your instability- which, to me, translated to possibility. The potential for change was always there.

With that potential for change, however, came near-constant insecurity. Friendships that were based more on a mutual interest in happy hour than a mutual interest in anything real. Overextending myself in a desperate attempt to succeed so that I would feel validated in my intelligence and work ethic. Relying on caffeine and Wawa to get me through the day, because my nights were filled with trying to fulfill all of the obligations I forced on myself rather than giving my body and mind the rest that it craved.

I dreaded the day I would have to leave you, twenties. I was so sure that I would miss your excitement and possibility. I thought that I would spend the rest of my life looking back at “the good old days.”

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

My thirties have brought me a sense of peace, security, and happiness that I didn’t know was possible. Suddenly, I have the ability to put my health and happiness before the needs of others. My sense of self-worth comes from within- not from the praise (or criticism) that I receive from others. I realize that it’s a good idea to ask for help when I need it. I treat my body with love and respect. Although it’s hard, I remind myself that I teach others how to treat me. Friendships are real, and are based on the fact that we enjoy spending time together (even if it has to be time spent together via text or phone- #militarylife). I know change happens at every age, but now, I am constantly excited for the next phases of my life, and I’m no longer worried about what others will think, or if they’ll approve.

Thirties, I can’t wait to see what else you’ve got.

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