Originally I had written this introspective piece on turning 35. But I deemed it too mushy. I don’t do sentimental well.

That aside, I have been thinking about my 35th birthday post for a while now. I wasn’t sure what to say about it. I had never dreaded a birthday like I did this year. In your 20s who cares about getting older, 30 was a novelty, and I guess between 30 and now I have been sidetracked by the kids. But 35, 35 is like…close to 40…or halfway to 70, as Jay likes to remind me.

So instead of sentiment, I am going to take this opportunity to introduce a new section to the blog called Dear Twenty-Something Self.

Sometimes I find myself saying, “What do you think 23-year-old Elizabeth would say about this?” Like, for instance when we were cleaning up an up-the-back poop situation from one of the kids. Or when I find myself singing Fresh Beat Band songs. Or when I say things like, “You have to finish your fries before you can have any ice cream.”

So here’s what my 35-year-old self would tell my 21-year-old self:

  • That tall, handsome guy you just met at The Pigskin in the Beavercreek high school hat and orange plaid button-down? I know you can’t believe it now but it’s for real. He likes you too. You’re going to see him again, and again, and again, and in three years he’s going to ask you to see him for the rest of his life.
  • In eight years you are going to have that goofy bastard’s son.
  • In ten you’ll have that goofy bastard’s daughter.
  • In 13 years that goofy bastard will have himself surgically altered so you cannot have any more kids. You will not be sad about this.
  • In five years a lot of your friends will have moved away, but you will keep in close touch with them. In that same span of time you’ll make some new fabulous friends you can’t imagine your life without.
  • In 12 years you’ll start a blog because you won’t have a job at Rolling Stone. It’s kind of a big bummer, I’m not going to lie to you. But you’ll have fun writing what you want, when you want. And you haven’t lost hope. So that’s a good thing. Keep dreaming, girl.
  • In 14 years, you’ll be developing books on economics. This actually happens. Try not to choke on that vomit in your mouth.
  • In 11 years you’ll be a great aunt. Don’t even try to wrap your head around that one.
  • In 13 years you’ll start to find gray hairs. Frankly, you should be impressed your hair held out that long. It’s not too bad though, you can pull them out.
  • In 14 years you’ll be happy to know that hot guy you met at the bar hasn’t left you yet, considering what a pain in the ass you have been for nearly half of his life.
  • In 14 years you’ll have finally stopped really caring what people think. You’ll stand up for yourself more. You’ll learn to say “no.”
  • In 14 years, I’m sorry to say, you do not look exactly like you do now. You have started to buy wrinkle creams and concealer. You wear sunblock. You see a dermatologist.
  • In 14 years, even though you don’t look 21 anymore, you still got it. Don’t worry, your looks haven’t completely gone to hell.  So you’ve got that going for you.
  • But try not to squint so much, or that line between your eyes will become permanent.

P.S. Do not tell me that any of my math is incorrect or I will hunt you down and beat you.