Letter to a Younger Me

Dear 16 Year Old Kari,

This is 26 year old Kari—don’t freak out.

It’s been ten years. A lot has happened.


You finished high school. High five.

You went to and graduated from college. You started as a journalism major and finished with a degree in counseling because you didn’t like other people telling you how to write.

You are still paying for college 😦

You got married and you married well.

{This is your husband. He is hot. I can not describe to you how much you will love him}

You moved across the country to Massachusetts.

You’ve moved three times in Massachusetts and you’re not done yet.

You don’t have kids. They still scare you. But you finally got a cat…and sometimes she scares you too.

You colored your hair. Can you believe that? Me either.

You have to wear contacts because you see like an 80 year old woman without them. You had glasses but you lost them somewhere between Massachusetts and Missouri. The glasses were pink. You chose them from the children’s section (even though you were in your 20s) so it’s probably best that they got lost somewhere between here and there.

You don’t cry anymore. You will find it doesn’t help and one day, you’ll just stop.

There will be this thing called Facebook. You will join somewhere around your junior year of college.

In college a fellow journalism major will ask you what a “blog” is. You won’t know.

You will write a blog.

You will grow more confident about some things, more insecure about others. Security will be a life-long journey.

You still hate fish. I hope you always hate fish.

There will be little tiny phones called “cell phones.” People will walk around typing little tiny emails into their cell Phones—this is called “texting.”

You know that ghetto coffee shop called “Dunkin’ Donuts”? Embrace. Soon you will be best friends.

You will work at an aerospace company. I know, I can’t believe it either.

You will gain weight. Lay off on the Twinkies now doll.

You will always love taking pictures but  you won’t need film anymore.

You will tutor in math. Stop laughing. No, keep laughing because you will hate every second of it and laughing is the only thing that will get you through.

Indiana Jones is still hot.

For one year you will live in the cutest down town apartment with brick walls and wood floors. You will feel like a bird in a tree house and love every second of it.

Max Factor is going to go out of business so buy mascara like it’s the apocalypse baby.

Video stores are going to go out of business too but they will have this thing called “Netflix.”

You know that song by OneRepublic Chris made you listen to? Pay attention; they will become your favorite group.

You will find the world is much bigger than you think and you are wrong about many things.

You will have to say you’re sorry many times.

You will learn to say “I love you” but it will take much longer than you think.

If I could go back I would tell you:

Sleep now. Like, a lot.

Listen more. Talk less.

Breathe in the fresh country air; it will be hard to come by later.

You will get knocked down. You will get hurt. You will feel stupid and ugly. You will get back up.

You are not stupid or ugly.

Those guys you hope will notice you? They aren’t all you think they are. You are fine by yourself and there is a much better guy waiting for you.

You will never stop being afraid you will just learn to push through the fear to accomplish your dreams.

Don’t study so hard in college. Make time for people and build friendships. People will matter long after grades have been forgotten.

Don’t be so sarcastic all the time.

Don’t try to forget where you’re from. Your roots are important and you could never be who you are without them.

In some ways you will be very different. In some ways you will be exactly the same; this is the nature of growing up.

Life is not easy. People are mean. Not all of your dreams will come true.


Even though life will not turn out at all as you imagine, it will be fine.

You will be fine.

You will be just fine.


Your old wrinkled self

{26 Year Old Kari}

P.S. The world is supposed to end this year. I’ll write you in another 10 years and let you know how that goes down.

28 thoughts on “Letter to a Younger Me

  1. Pingback: Creative Blog Idea « muffinsandmocha

  2. Wonderful! Love this post. Made me wonder what I would tell myself… most likely the kid you are dating is still hanging around 42 years later… Also that courage is fear in motion… I think the 16 year old Kari would be in awe of 26 year old Kari, she obviously grew up to be an awesome woman! DAF


  3. Hi Kari! I knew the 16 year old, Kari and loved her very much! I wish we lived closer now so we could be a part of one another’s lives. We have both grown and changed a lot since then. I would share my kids with you since you don’t have any yet; they bring much joy!! You know, Rachel is now a freshman in college. How time has flown– fond memories of you babysitting my little ones.


    • Vivian,
      I wish we lived closer too. I have so many good memories from the time I spent with your family. I can’t believe how the kids have grown up! I love seeing pictures on Facebook and seeing what you guys are up to.


  4. “You will grow more confident about some things, more insecure about others. Security will be a life-long journey.” This along with a few other statements which are pregnant with meaning make this post worth reading again – even though I am not a girl or care about journalism.


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