The Lessons I Learned On My 25th Birthday
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To Myself On My 25th Birthday, Here Are The Lessons I've Learned

From boozy brunches to working on Broadway and with the Harlem Globetrotters.

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To Myself On My 25th Birthday, Here Are The Lessons I've Learned
Sarah Ann Valentini

Before I write to myself, I first need to take the time to say hello again. It's been a long time since we've caught up, dear readers. Almost four years to be exact. How've you been? I'm sorry I've been away for so long but I hope this finds you well wherever you are. There's a reason I'm writing again. You see, I stumbled upon this letter that I wrote to myself when I turned 21, and now here I am, a month away from 25, taking a younger yet wiser me's advice. Who would have known that what I needed to hear would come from myself?

Here in 2020, so much has happened since I first wrote those words. Obviously, I turned 21. I boozy-brunched to my heart's content. I landed my first job out of college working on Broadway - the Broadway- and I hugged Tina Fey. Yes, that Tina Fey. And now, I'm onto my second big gig, media planning for The Harlem Globetrotters tour. Oh yea, those Globetrotters. That girl back in 2016 had no idea what was really in store for her and sometimes I still take a pause, at a loss for words, when I process everything that I've been lucky enough to experience.

It wasn't always a razzle-dazzle musical but that's showbiz, and if there's one thing I've certainly learned - the show must go on. And with that in mind, I write this to myself in my 25th year so that maybe a few years from now, a future me could look back just as proud of who she's become and give herself a standing ovation.

Dear Me,

You've grown so much over the past few years that some may not even recognize you anymore and that's not necessarily a bad thing. You're stronger than you've ever been; you've learned independence, confidence, and acceptance in more ways than one. You've learned to accept change; the things that you can and cannot change; the people. You've learned to accept that some people will just never accept you but that's a them thing and not a you thing. Don't you dare ever believe anything different.

You've learned to take more risks and I hope that you never, ever stop taking them. You've held yourself back in the past because of fear but over the last few years, you've learned to face every single thing that scares you. Keep facing it all straight on and never look back. Not to stereotype but you're a Gemini, you know. Spontaneous decisions are in your DNA and the ones made on a whim - or based on your mood - have worked out more times than not. Don't ever make that fire go out; don't ever make anyone or anything stop you from moving forward to where you know you need to be.

Don't be so hard on yourself - you're your biggest critic, truthfully. You know more than you give yourself credit for sometimes. You're going to make mistakes but you're also going to find solutions. Stop panicking and putting pressure on yourself prematurely. Slow down and take everything a step at a time - you'll get there when you're supposed to.

Love yourself and keep being yourself. Not everyone has to "get" you. Honestly, no one has to understand you at all as long as you know who you are at the end of the day. Keep being the biggest nerd there is; stuff your bookshelf until it bursts, write until your fingers are stained with ink and never lose that feeling you get when you walk into Barnes & Noble. You know the one.

Don't forget to be thankful for what you have and who you have in your life. The friendships you have are finally solid, your co-workers could not be more supportive, and your little family is filled with so much love that it's bursting out of the four walls. Sing the Wheels on the Bus to your baby cousin 7 times in a row because it makes him happy and there's nothing better than his smile. Watch that show with your mom until you're both too tired to leave the couch and swear you'll "just watch one more." Sit outside and talk with your grandma because you know she's been waiting all winter to feel warm again. Take it all in, every single moment and don't miss a thing worrying about what's not right in front of you.

Don't forget you have everything you need to do everything and anything you want in this life. You've come a long way and this is just the beginning - keep going.

Love,

Me xoxo

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