notes to my 20 year old self

I’m turning 40 in a few weeks. Bizarre. Surreal. Cannot believe it. Just yesterday I was ecstatically getting the hell out of high school, wearing shoulder pads and stilettos underneath my graduation gown; knowing full well that the world was my oyster and that extra-hold hair mousse would get me through almost any encounter. I can hardly believe that I can say, “twenty years ago…” about anything.

Dear Danielle at 20:

1. Algebra really is useless.

2. Credit cards are mostly evil.

3. Talk is cheap.

4. If he doesn’t stay until morning, he’s probably married or deeply insecure.

5. There is no soul mate. I know, this is particularly hard news to take because you are longing for The One 24-7. But, guess what, The One is The One because you say he/she is. And that’s way more liberating and empowering than anything preordained or supposedly destined.

6. And while we’re ‘dising cosmic romanticism–there’s no such thing as destiny. Life really is what you make it.

7. Tragedy happens. Yes, everything happens for a reason, but life can be cruel and wrenching and while it all comes out in the cosmic wash, some souls collide and mistakes do happen.

8. Louise Hay is a magnificent woman, but there is more to the machinations of life, illness, and cosmology than the simple explanations offered by You Can Heal Your Life. Cancer is not necessarily a result of repressed guilt, and you may not necessarily choose to heal your life this time around–that’s okay. Illness doesn’t make you a New Age Loser.

9. Diplomacy is overrated.

10. If your boss tries to french kiss you, it’s out of bounds.

11. Only lend books if you don’t want them back.

12. Go to more concerts.

13. If you don’t kiss girls in your twenties, you’ll probably never get around to trying it out. You should try it out.

14. You’re right–kindness is one of the most powerful natural resources there is… infinitely renewable.

15. Your feelings are exceedingly more useful than your ability to rationalize your fears or other people’s poor behaviour.

16. Your heart… your heart… your heart is where it’s at.

17. When you turn 40, you shall be rocking like never before, grateful for absolutely everything, and you will finally, finally feel like earth is home… for the most part.


With Love,