Spoiler: Jake Ryan Doesn’t Show Up

Dear 18 Year-Old Christen,

First of all, good job with the sunscreen. KEEP IT UP. You won’t regret that and all the girls who showed up to prom tan look like handbags now.

I feel like I need to quickly assure you that your life is going to be great. It looks almost completely different than what you’re imagining right now (some of your timelines and expectations are, to be blunt, fucking bonkers) but it’s really the best and you are happier than you thought you would be. You go through some wild stuff to get to this point, but it’s worth it.

I don’t want to give too much away, but please, please listen to your instincts when it comes to…pretty much everything. People are going to tell you you’re doing a lot of things “wrong” and it’s tempting to listen to them. But your path and your life are different from anyone else’s. Don’t settle and don’t talk yourself into doing what everyone thinks would be best. They may seem like they have it all figured out, and although they mean well, they have their own shit to figure out and are putting their neuroses on you. You’re doing just great and every mistake you make leads to this life you’re living right now.

You could stand to drink more water, though. Maybe work on that a little.

Happy Birthday!

Love,

38 Year-Old Christen

PS You’re going to wake up this morning with a zit. DUDE I KNOW.

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