12507092_10154064360112018_421423443595377082_nDear Steph,

As I approach 40, I want to tell you some important things. So, you see, life may not exactly turn out exactly as you thought it would. You know all those timelines and “supposed to’s”? It’s safe to throw them away. There isn’t much I can protect you from right now but I can tell you a few things:

  1. It’s so important that you not marry the wrong guy just because it’s time or the pressure to check off a box. Don’t be scared to leave people with whom you can’t live in harmony. Go against the grain and keep believing in love. It will happen more than once and it won’t always be forever — but you will learn a whole lot.
  2. Your career isn’t a one day decision. Be open to where you are being led and don’t forget that it’s really all about the people. You are going to work with and for some amazing people and some totally certifiable ones, but take good notes and let it mold you into a great leader and manager.
  3. Read. Never stop reading.
  4. Say yes to things you are afraid of and no to things that give you that weird feeling in your stomach. Should you say yes to the latter, don’t beat yourself up about it — you are never stuck with anything.
  5. You know almost nothing even though you think you know a lot. The next 15 years will be full of ups and downs — happiness and sadness, loss and abundance. You’ll try to control most of it, but the beauty will sneak in when you let go.
  6. Be ok with being different. Typical is awfully boring.
  7. You are so much more beautiful than you every allow yourself to think, and you’ll actually look better in 15 years than you do now.
  8. Laugh every single chance you get. There will be some tears and you’ll need the laughter to balance it out.
  9. Don’t go see Spring Awakening with your dad without talking to someone who has seen it — avoid the most awkward moment of your young adult life at all costs.
  10. Love. Love and more love. Show it to even the people who make you want to scream but most of all to your perfectly imperfect self.

See you in 15 years. We got this.