Happy Birthday to me – A letter to my 22-year-old-self

Today is my 25th birthday! Growing up, I thought 24 would be the year I got married and it would always be the best year because it was my Golden Birthday and it just “made sense”. 24 was actually an incredibly challenging year for me and I’m ready to start fresh! (Speaking of fresh starts, switch your subscription over to slowlybutsurelykatie.com – posts wont be showing up on this WordPress owned site much longer!)

The other day I was cleaning out my Important Papers binder and came across an amusing list from my 22-year-old-self about my 5 year goals.

Dear 22,

If I could show you how much will change since you wrote that list just 3 years ago, you would be shocked. Simply stunned. But honestly, you would also be pretty damn proud. I remember you writing that list in the kitchen of your apartment after just moving to South Carolina. You thought you were pretty ambitious, but were hopeful that it was all possible. The cool thing is, even though the path of life has drastically changed repeatedly in the last 3 years, you have been able to cross off so many of these goals and even more than expected.

You wanted a career with benefits and you wanted to stop working at Express (if I could afford it). Well my dear, you’ve certainly done that a few times over and you’re working to find a position that challenges you and lets you make a difference. You work hard and even own your own side business!

When it came to the love life, you emphasized not settling for anything less than Best Friends + Fireworks and to not worry about what others are doing. After a really tough year and a lot of lessons learned, you stayed true to this goal and you don’t regret it, no matter how wonderful my ex is and no matter how many people are getting married at my age.

You wanted to travel and explore, have a newer car, run a 5K, have fun and make new friends! I’ve certainly traveled, you’ve made some of the very best friends and met some incredible people. You have a newer car that works well (although it’s technically totaled) and you even one-upped the 5K to a half marathon! You hoped to be living in a house and are currently working towards that. Although you don’t have a dog just yet, you freaking love Abby, the family dog, and will have your own when you’re more financially ready – there’s still 2 years until 27 rolls around!

You wanted to have a stronger relationship with Sarah and to not let your family stress you out so much. You never could have guessed that Sarah would be married already but it has definitely made us closer. You’ve learned your fair share of family lessons and you’re still learning so much. You’ve grown even closer with your extended family after living in New York City for a year – bet you wouldn’t have guessed that your biggest dream would have quickly came true just months after writing this list!

Financially, you wanted to pay off your smallest student loan and maybe the next one. You didn’t have credit card debt yet but you were about to quickly find out thanks to only earning $12/hour fresh out of college. You’ll be happy to know that credit card debt is gone along with the smallest loan. You also wanted me to have a retirement fund started and to maintain excellent credit. Check and check! Although you don’t have car payments or a mortgage just yet, you’ve learned so much financially that it will certainly be the case when it happens.

You took a huge risk to pack up your life and move to South Carolina fresh out of college. When you wrote this list you had no idea what was in store or if you could figure it all out. Little did you know it was just the start of so many life-changing adventures. One of the best decisions you could have made was to resolve yourself to get out of your comfort zone whenever possible. You have surpassed your expectations in so many areas and turned a big dreamer into a productive goal setter. It has only shown me that there’s so much more to do!

So happy birthday dear, we made it. It’s been an absolutely insane ride but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Cheers to a new year!


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