A NEW YEAR'S LETTER TO (20-YEAR-OLD) ME

Dear 20-year-old Me,

Happy New Year! You're about to ring in 2007. Get excited because 2007 is a big year. And so is the next decade.

In the fall you'll start your senior year and decide law school isn't for you. You'll have no idea what you want to do when you grow up (and 10 years later you still won't), but you'll go to a career fair with a stack of resumes in tow. About halfway through shuffling from booth to booth, you'll hand your resume to a man standing behind a table for some company whose name escapes me at this point. The company doesn't matter and neither does this man. You'll know right away that you're not interested, but you'll give your elevator pitch anyway. Just do it. And give it your all because it will end up being the most important 30 seconds of your college career. The woman standing next to this booth, a woman working for a completely different company, will overhear you giving your pitch. You'll walk away, but she'll run after you. A few weeks later, she'll hire you. You'll spend the rest of your twenties working for her company, a company that will bring you to Chicago.

Happy_New_Year_2017

Those first few years in Chicago will be a mix of everything your early twenties should be. You'll book two impromptu trips to Europe. Don't hesitate saying yes to either of them. You'll do your share of crying. At times it will be justified. Often it won't. Either way, never hold it in. You'll spend a lot of nights out at the bar way later than you want to be there. But you wouldn't change these nights for anything. And don't worry, at some point it becomes socially acceptable to call it a night at 10pm. You'll become involved in some great organizations and spend a lot of time going to events without knowing anyone in the room. It's awkward and uncomfortable at first, but don't stop going. You have friends in the room, you just don't know it yet.

In January of 2012 you'll meet a guy at one of these events. You'll come home that night and wonder if you had just met your husband. You'll be right. But be patient...you don't get married until 2017.

Your late twenties will be a mix of figuring out how to grow up and coming to terms with the fact that you're growing up. You'll be just as unsure of the unknown lying ahead of you as you enter your thirties as you are entering your twenties, but for completely different reasons. You are, however, very excited about the fact that it is now socially acceptable to call it a night at 10pm. See above.

So I guess I'll just leave you with one thing... Every time you catch a glimpse of the Chicago skyline you'll feel a little sense of pride for how far you've come. Never lose sense of this. It will never get old.

Also, you like wine now. You really, really like wine now.

Welcome to 2007,
30-year-old Me

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