There are a lot of "letter to 17-year old me" posts out there and plenty of "top 10 things you should know at ____ (age)" lists, which have gotten me thinking lately about age. Sure I would love to be able to go back and tell myself at seventeen things like - you are gorgeous, enjoy this time right now because in a few years you'll have a ton of responsibility and that's even scarier than being a teenager, have a little fun, stop being so serious, stop being so scared. But I can't go back and say those things. I'm twenty-eight, just fifteen-months from thirty, and I thought now would be a good time to write a letter to my future self.
I'm not going to write things like don't worry so much or enjoy every moment, because to be honest, I'll be a worry-wart for the rest of my life and aging (and taking on more responsibilities) doesn't alleviate that. I hope in fifteen months I can look back on this post and try to apply a few of these lessons to my thirties:
Dear 30-year old Alanna,
1. Eat the damn cookie. Sure you're not as skinny as you were at 17. But, you also no longer log every single calorie into a private journal and try to convince your body it can live off saltine crackers. Skinny doesn't always equal healthy, so stop worrying about a few days (maybe in a row) of treating yourself and just enjoy the treat.
2. Get outside. You get restless when you haven't smelled fresh air in twenty-four hours. Get out from behind the computer, off the couch, and go outside. Take the dogs for a walk or go hiking with Keith tomorrow.
3. Stop thinking about the lines under your eyes. You look young for your age, even if you still have short hair in your thirties and don't get carded as much. Youthful looks run in your family and you have always been awesome about protecting your skin and applying eye cream nightly. No one else sees those lines the same way you do. And lines tell a story ... I know you're not buying this statement, but try.
4. Write Keith a love letter. You know he loves it when you use his typewriter and leave him letters on his nightstand. I don't know if things will be more challenging in two years, I don't know what marriage in your thirties will be like, but you two have a great marriage. Plus you made it through those first six, insanely hard at times years (only you know exactly what I'm talking about) so you CAN get through absolutely anything else life throws your way.
5. Put on a fun bangle bracelet and big sparkly ring. You don't always feel super feminine and sometimes you get a little too formal in your work clothes, so pull out some of those bracelets Mamaw gave you or you collected over the years. Heck, be crazy, and wear multiple ones on each wrist! They make you feel young and pretty.
6. Buy yourself a really nice, insanely flattering pair of jeans. You never used to wear jeans and I love that you got more comfortable in them in your late twenties. Bring Keith with you and go to a nice store with shopping assistants, and invest in a pair of jeans that make you feel gorgeous even on days you don't want to get out of bed. They will be worth every single penny.
7. Treat yourself to a spa day. Go get a massage, a facial, a body scrub, anything that makes you feel relaxed and helps clear your mind for a few hours. You do worry too much, and since you'll keep on worrying throughout your life, take time for yourself every few months and clear out some of those toxins.
8. On that note, let Keith get you back into yoga. If you sign up for a yoga membership, you won't use it. But Keith is a great workout partner. You two will still be running together in two years, and maybe even swimming at that point, but yoga would be such a great additional practice for you. Plus you won't regret trying.
9. Write yourself a love letter. I know it won't be easy but I think you should write yourself one for every year of your thirties. Start the night before your 30th birthday and then every year on March 16 for the next ten.
10. Drink a glass of wine. Even if you're alone. Even if you have a long run tomorrow. Even if you've reached your calorie count for the day. Life is too short to not enjoy the time we have - with a good glass of wine, delicious dessert, relaxing massage, amazing travels, and wonderful husband.
p.s. I don't know you yet but I think you're awesome. And skinny. And beautiful.