20 In life

dear 23-year-old me…

I am 33 today. THIRTY-THREE!

Not a milestone birthday by any means, but it floors me that I’m in my mid 30s when it feels like yesterday I turned 21 over a glass of wine in a Bemidji bar (yes, that actually happened).

My 20s included all ends of the spectrum, from big dog + small town house to solo travel + big city loft. And, during that time, fumbling to figure out what direction I wanted to lead my life, there are a few things I wish I would have known.

In honor of that, a letter to my 23-year-old self.

front row

Stop over-analyzing everything. Things aren’t as complicated as you think they are. And, no one cares what your hair or your eyebrows look like or what kind of denim you’re wearing, and if they do, they aren’t true friends.

Appreciate your friends. You’re blessed with some amazing, thoughtful and kind pals – spend time with them, and enjoy every moment.

Sisters. Yours is the very best, and your friendship will only get better.

Be nicer to mom. She knows what she’s talking about and always has your best interests at heart, even when she’s momming you.

Stop cutting bangs. You’ll only like them for about five days before you wish you’d never cut them.

Keep going. It may seem tough at the time, but everything has a way of working out for the best.

Do things that scare you. The scariest things often turn into the most amazing things, the most memorable things, the most life-changing things.

Do what makes YOU happy, not what makes someone else happy. It’s not always easy, but it’s always exactly where you need to be.

Boys will be boys. There will be a lot of thoughtless jerks before you meet the one while biking down Summit Avenue.

Speak up. Don’t ever undervalue your own contribution because what you have to say is often important and insightful.

Start triathlon and yoga sooner. Both are wonderful, supportive communities and a great way to meet cool people.

Don’t sell your first Trek road bike. You fell in love with two wheels and the peloton on that black Pilot; keep it and explore MSP on it when you move there at 28!

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  • amikoch
    12/18/2012 at 8:39 am

    Awwwww, thanks, Sis! :) And I loved the bangs one… made me laugh. :) HAPPY 33rd BIRTHDAY!!! Many more!! xoxoxoxo.

    • erin
      12/23/2012 at 6:51 pm

      Hehe… happens every single time :) Thanks so much for celebrating with me and for the fabulous gifts! xoxo!

  • rita
    12/18/2012 at 10:28 am

    the bangs comment made me laugh too! happy happy day!

    • erin
      12/23/2012 at 6:51 pm

      :) Thank you, dear!

  • Candice
    12/18/2012 at 11:01 am

    saving this, I am 24 and can relate to each and every one of these. ahhh perfect timing, thanks Erin and happy birthday :)

    • erin
      12/23/2012 at 6:52 pm

      I can still relate to them at 33, too :) Thanks much, Candice!

  • Emily Dingmann (@nutritionisteat)
    12/18/2012 at 1:18 pm

    Happy Birthday Erin, I love this post! Hope you have a wonderful day and even better year!

    • erin
      12/23/2012 at 6:52 pm

      Thank you, Emily!

  • Sharlene Klegstad
    12/19/2012 at 12:28 am

    Hindsight…I especially liked your plan for being nicer to mom! Hope you’ve had the best birthday ever! Excited to see you & Nick soon! Love you! Mom

    • erin
      12/23/2012 at 6:53 pm

      :) Thank you, Mom! It was a wonderful birthday… I’m a lucky girl :) Love you, too!

  • Carrisa @ G-Free Runner
    12/19/2012 at 8:08 am

    Happy Birthday Erin! What a beautiful letter…hope it was a fabulous day!! :)

    • erin
      12/23/2012 at 6:53 pm

      It sure was a fabulous day… best birthday yet :) Thanks, Carrisa!

  • Gab
    12/19/2012 at 6:03 pm

    Happy Birthday, Erin! Lovely post. It’s always so nice to reflect on how far we’ve come over the years.

    • erin
      12/23/2012 at 6:54 pm

      Indeed, it is. Thanks for the inspiration to write this post, Gab!

  • eatingRD
    12/19/2012 at 11:45 pm

    Happy belated Birthday!! Great words of wisdom :) Have you tried brewing kombucha?

    • erin
      12/23/2012 at 6:54 pm

      The SCOBY is sitting on my kitchen counter… this coming weekend! Thank you, dear!

  • Luv What You Do
    12/20/2012 at 8:53 am

    LOL! The bangs comment is great! Happy Birthday to you! The BOY and I were just talking about how long ago 21 seems (as we are not 31) and how much we will appreciate 31 when we are 41! Enjoy the entire day! Stay warm and safe up there!!!

    • erin
      12/23/2012 at 6:55 pm

      Thirty-one seems SO far away at 21, doesn’t it?! Appreciate every single day :) Thank you, lovely! Safe travels home from Florida!

  • weekly workouts | december 17 | sweet sweat
    12/23/2012 at 6:30 pm

    […] … and, ended the day with this flourless chocolate cake at Oceanaire… happy 33 to me! […]

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