Hindsight is always 20-20. So if you had the opportunity to talk to your past self, what would you say?

Well, it took me a while – and various iterations – but I did it. And it ended up being one of the most rewarding writing exercises I’ve ever done.

I’m sure you would have different advice for YOUR past self, so I definitely challenge you to write your own letter!  It is something I’m sure you won’t regret.

So here goes! A letter to my 20-Something Self:

Dear 20-Something Self,

I’m not here to judge or critique or regret. You’re doing great and life will only get better. But if there was ever a chance that I’d actually, truly get the opportunity to give you some advice (or pat you on the back), here’s what I’d want you to know:

Don’t pick a career.

Careers are like tattoos.  Sure, you can get rid of them and get new ones. But doing that can be painful and expensive. For the most part, the decision will be with you for the rest of your life. And you know you’re not the kind of person that will pick a tattoo that you will love forever.  So don’t kid yourself.  Leave the tattoos and careers for people that were born to have tattoos and careers.  

Instead, focus on skills that will give you ultimate flexibility.

Extreme flexibility – the ability to work anywhere, anytime. The ability to change your mind about what you want to be doing and the ability to jump at amazing opportunities. Skills that will give you the courage to take chances and follow happiness. Those skills will give you far more than a career will.

Being a mother is your calling.

Sorry to be corny, but it’s true. Once you have your first baby you will realize why I’m telling you not to worry about finding a career. THIS will replace your career.  And you will be happier than you ever imagined.

You are seriously awesome.

One day, you will realize that you are the coolest person you know. So don’t waste time thinking anything otherwise. You are seriously unbelievably cool…and funny.


You should stretch more. Stretching is underrated and has all the benefits of strenuous exercise, if not more. If you stretch every morning, you’ll avoid countless injuries that will take months to heal from. Seriously. Stretch.

Don’t stress about cleaning.

Some people were born to clean.

You were not.

But relax. It doesn’t mean you’re messy or scatterbrained or don’t have your priorities straight. You DO have the clean gene…it’s just more like a slow, time-release capsule than an instant hit. You will eventually clean like your mother. In fact, a day will come when you will vacuum every single day. And you will love it.

Save, save, save.

I will be so grateful and so proud to have been you when I realize the gift you’ve given us. Even if it’s just $25 at a time. Keep on saving!

Plan on having kids.

You are right. Having children will be the most amazing, wonderful, fulfilling thing you will ever do. It will be just as amazing as you’ve imagined and even better. So PLAN on it.  Spend just as much time planning for a future WITH kids as you do planning a future WITHOUT kids.

Find Jon.

He has the key to your future (Yes, you become THIS corny). He will set your life in motion and give you more than you ever dreamed.  Try and find him even sooner (but don’t stress if you can’t…you’ll find him eventually).

You’re on the right track.

You are awesome.  You’re building your empire. You’re carving out an amazing life for us. I’m proud of you and so glad I got to be you!




A Letter to My 20-Something Self

8 comments on “A Letter to My 20-Something Self”

  1. Pretty interesting activitiy for one-self. This is a great revelation on what are the things you’ve had been left and to be pursued on. A simple guide though. You are right, we need to motivate ourself from our own self too, not just from other people. Thanks for this amazing post. Cheers!

  2. This is such an awesome idea! I love your letter to yourself. I’m not sure what I would say. Maybe something along the lines of, “You think you are having fun now, just wait, it gets WAY better!” (I should probably tell myself to save too, but I don’t think my younger self would listen! haha)

  3. I totally agree with you about the career stuff. 18-22 is way to young for figure out what you’re going to be for the rest of your life. In addition to that and saving early, I would have told my 20-year-old self to think twice about those loans for grad school ;). Also, I would have told myself to break some rules (like, life rules, not “the law, i.e., immediately go out and find a 9-to-5 job after college). I realize now that the consequences for taking some chances when I was younger probably would have been pretty small, but at the time, they seemed huge. Anyway, loved this! I may steal this idea from you 😉

    • You should totally steal the idea!! And it’s great to hear from other people that agree about the career stuff 🙂 I was definitely worried that I was alone there!

  4. That is a really cool idea. 1) “you are cool” advice – I am curious do you think you would have believed yourself if you had heard that? I think I would not have – for me confidence comes with time, sometimes it is just something you grow into. Like a self discovery journey…(yeah I went to the cliche too:))
    2) like the comparison: career =tattoo. Not sure if I see it that way but still a great illustration;)

  5. Aw, Nikki, this is so cute! I’ve been wanting to write a letter to my younger self. I might finally do it now that I’ve read yours! Your advice to yourself about not choosing a career and to save early, I wish I could have told myself that, too!

    • Thanks Jen! You definitely should write a letter. It was a ton of fun and felt really good afterwards. I was nervous about the no-career advice, so I’m so glad you agree! Thanks <3

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