“Wherever you are in your life right now, you're not going to be there forever.
Imagine being in your 30's or 40's and writing a letter to your 20-year-old self. What would you say? That's what Cassie Boorn requested on her blog. She's a 22-year-old college student and single mom, and she needed advice. So she asked some of her older fellow bloggers to write letters to themselves when they were in their 20's. And here are some of the responses that she got.
Sarah Brown wrote: First of all, let's get this out of the way—no, you are not crazy. Yes, you should probably talk to someone. There's no shame in that. You should also get outside more.
And this from Jessica Gottlieb: You're going to meet a really nice guy who's going to take you helicopter skiing and send you mountains of flowers. He is bad news. Trust your instincts.
Cassie Boorn is the woman who started this letter project and she joins us now from Davenport, Iowa. Welcome, Cassie.
Cassie Boorn (Blogger, CassieBoorn.com): Thank you for having me.
Michele Norris (Hostess): You know, some of them are1)unvarnished.
Cassie: Yes, a lot of them are very honest, and what I found about those specific stories is you know that when she was in that moment, and when she was trying to decide what to do, it was such a big deal and such a big decision. And to be able to look back on that and say, hey, you made a mistake, it's not a big deal, everything turns out OK. And that message is so encouraging to hear. Like, you know, these big things that are in your face that you're so scared of, in 10 years, you're going to be laughing about that same thing.
Michele: You know, this is a great idea for collecting advice. It's almost like collecting recipes. So if you had sort of a 2)Rolodex of great advice that you got through all these letters, do me a favor and sort of tick through it. Just pull out various cards and tell me what you've learned.
Cassie: I have learned to appreciate myself more, both my body and the kind of person that I am. And those things in your personality that might be a little quirky or a little odd or might make you seem a little dorky are actually you know, they're there for a reason, and in 10 years, you may figure out what that reason is.
I've learned to take myself less seriously, not worry about where I'm going and what I'm going to accomplish and focusing in on the fact that I'm 20 years old, and you have to enjoy this time because it's only here for so long.
I've learned a lot about how quickly things change and just realizing that wherever you are in your life right now, you're not going to be there forever. And I think that was the biggest lesson. It's so easy to get caught up in what's happening today and what's happening this week. But in five years you're probably not going to remember today or this week. So just do the best you can and enjoy the moments that you have.
Michele: Why do you think so many people actually wrote these letters to their younger selves?
Cassie: I think that especially in women, there's this desire to support each other. And a lot of people wrote me and said this was so therapeutic to look back at what I was doing in my 20's that I realized maybe I hadn't forgiven myself for, and in writing this letter, it was almost like a closure, of I know you made mistakes, I know your 20s were hard, but things are good now, and I'm going to let this part of my life go and just close that era.