I may be late to the party, but I think this is a fabulous idea.
Dear 20-something Bethany,
Hey. What’s up? So, I guess I’m supposed to tell you what to do, or to not do, or offer sage advice or something. Guess what? I’m still clueless! I’m still bouncing around – though I have settled down enough, you will be happy to know, to have a very nice bed. And a dog. But not a motorcycle. Not yet, anyway. Maybe I’ll pick one up on the next bounce.
Anyway. I guess I do have some advice after all. Being clueless is kinda okay. Don’t sweat the fact that you don’t have it all (or anything) figured out yet. It’s cool. I still don’t have anything figured out, and yet I’m still damn happy. If anything, being clueless and aimless will just make you into a flexible, capable person, and that ain’t bad, right? So don’t worry when your friends start finding “careers” and having “babies” and stuff. Your bumbling way is a perfectly viable life path.
What else… Oh, thanks for doing regular maintenance on your dear little red truck Tach. Nearly 10 years and 200,000 miles later he is still running like a champ, and he massively appreciates it. Keep defying the disposable culture! Eventually people will see your wisdom. Oh, and if you could take a little bit better care of your teeth, that would be awesome. Otherwise you’ll end up in some very cold, broke places while you’re paying for chipped teeth and root canals.
(And yes, I said 200,000 miles! You will make it, girl, to every state but two! And you were totally right to make travel a priority. Your Mega US Tour will rock. Do try to hit Louisiana and New Orleans, though. Without going into spoilers, you’ll seriously regret it if you decide to skip it and return when your head is in a better place and you have more money and time. I know, you’re saving it for later because it’s the one spot in the country you want to visit the most; just listen to me on this one.)
Everything else I have to tell you I think you already know. Write more; your memory sucks. Hang out with Mom more; she’s pretty awesome. Stop putting the hard things off. Eat more veggies. Have more sex. Wait, scratch that. Just fall in love more. And since you don’t have control over that, do what you can: make more eye contact and smile at the boys. You’re fabulous at chatting up people, so stop concentrating that fabulousness on only old men and women, ignore all of that nervousness, most of which is due to… okay, add back in that sex bit of advice.
Oh shoot, and if you can, take better care of that UC Berkeley sweatshirt that you adore for sentimental reasons. I can’t for the life of me remember where I left it.