Advice for My Present Self

Since it’s Tuesday and also my birthday, I was going to give advice to my past self. However, the more that I thought about it the more that I realized that is an annoyingly overdone idea and also there is nothing I can do about what’s happened in the past. Who am I to say that I have all the answers now about who I should have been back then? I’m still trying to figure out how to make the right decisions and I constantly misstep. I decided it would be more useful to give myself advice for right now. So, here we go.


Dear Kierstyn,

Stop being so hard on yourself. You’re not the first person in the world to make a mistake. No one is as mad at you as you always are at yourself. You’re not expected to be perfect at this whole life thing. In fact, at 24 you’re not even expected to be pretty good at it. Chalk missteps up to learning experiences and move on. You said yourself a paragraph ago that there is nothing you can do about what’s happened in the past. Just try to be better in the future.

On the topic of things that you should get better at, call your damn parents. They gave you life, supported your whole existence, and are just super nice people who deserve to be treated as such. I know, you’re so busy, but they are more important than whatever it is that you need to get done. Not to be a downer on your birthday, but they won’t be around forever, you know.

Speaking of important things. Stop prioritizing bullshit. Why do you waste so much time focusing on things that aren’t important to you and then complain that you don’t have any time to focus on what you’re passionate about? You have the time, you’re just prioritizing in the wrong order. Make some changes. Do more of what makes you happy.

While we’re at it, if you really want to be happy, then stop being so adaptable. Yes, I realize that adaptability is usually one of your positive character traits, but being able to feel comfortable in a new environment and giving up anything that you desire because it’s just not the easiest option right now are two very different kinds of adaptability. You don’t have to just settle into whatever situation you find yourself in. If you don’t like it, push back.

Stop believing that you’re unintelligent. Just because people around tell you that or make you feel that way, that doesn’t make it true. You’re incredibly smart with great ideas and voice worth listening to. You’re not an air head just because you’re goofy and you’re not a dummy just because math is a struggle for you.

Stop being intimidated. You like to tell people that you are firmly against networking because you think it’s stupid. That may be true, but mostly you’re just afraid of approaching powerful people and advocating for yourself. It’s okay to be shy, but you’re not going to get very far unless you get comfortable engaging with people smarter, more experienced, and less intimidated than you. Like you just said, you have great ideas and voice worth listening to, but no one will ever hear any of that if you’re too afraid to open your mouth.

Finally, you’re not old. Yes, you have gray hairs, are officially in your mid-twenties, and eat oatmeal for breakfast every day, but that doesn’t make you old. So, stop having a meltdown every time you feel like your youth is slipping away from you. You are so young on this planet and if you stopped moping around you might actually get to enjoy your mid-twenties.

Basically, have a gr8 summer. Don’t ever change. Except for the stuff talked about above. Change all of that.

Mildly Tolerate,


2 thoughts on “Advice for My Present Self

  1. First of all, Happy Birthday! And second, you are an amazing, beautiful, bright, articulate, personable and successful woman. That’s me talking to you!


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