Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Wisdom of 21-Year-Olds

When I was 15, I wrote myself a letter to be opened when I turned 21. I wrote about what I was doing at 15, what I had hoped to have accomplished by 21 and, I'm pretty sure, some stuff about how much I hated my lab partner.

When I was 21, I wrote myself a letter to be opened when I turned 30. I just read it. The lab partner was long gone from my life, but I was just about to embark on my last semester of college.

Here are some choice passages I thought I'd share. The text in italics are my thoughts now.

"I guess I'll start off by saying that a few months ago I opened up the letter I wrote to myself when I was 15. Man, it was strange: sorta like being visited by a ghost of someone you used to know." Yup. It still is. Strange but cool.

"So what am I doing at 30? Am I living in NYC? Yes. Where's my family? In the same house. Do I keep in touch with my college friends? Yes. Am I married? No. Do I have kids? No."

"Now for future goals...By the time I'm 30, I want to have sold a script. Didn't happen but I did sell a manuscript. I really, really, really, really want to be a writer. I am."

"I know I must be a little scared to be turning 30 today. 21-year-old Sarv wants to say don't be. The best years, the best age, can be whatever you want it to be. Be bold, write yourself another letter, and set out to accomplish even more." Wow. That's pretty astute, 21-year-old me. You know what? I'll take your advice. And I will write myself another letter. To be opened when I'm 40.

"P.S. I like how I have to put smiley faces next to my jokes just in case 30-year-old Sarv doesn't pick up on the sarcasm." Don't worry. I pick up on it. And guess what, 21 y.o. me? I still overuse emoticons. So there.

Do you have things you hope to have accomplished by your next milestone birthday? Think you might write them down?


  1. This is awesome! I am totally doing this for when I turn 30. I have been keeping a diary ever since I was 12, so I do have all sorts of ghosts to visit if I want to, but years later I still haven't read any of my diaries. Maybe when I turn 50?

  2. I have done the same thing - it's fascinating to read letters from your past self and to remember the person you were then. As for things I want to accomplish by my next milestone birthday, I'm not sure… I think it might be time to write another letter!

  3. I LOVE this idea. I want to start doing it.

  4. I love this - I wish I'd had the forethought to do this at those pivotal ages. You're very wise, Sarv.

    I'd love to be a full time writer by my 45th birthday. I almost just choked writing '45th' birthday because I then realized it's only 4 years away. But I still think I might be able to do it. Maybe. If I stop liking food and shelter so much...

  5. They're totally fun to open, guys! You should definitely try it.

    Joanne, that's an excellent goal and--I think--totally attainable! Besides, food and shelter are totally overrated anyhow. :-p

  6. Thanks so much for sharing!!! Love this post and love both the 21 year old and 30 year old you :-)

  7. Isn't it exciting to see how you ended up accomplishing your goals? When I was 14 or so I wrote down what I thought my life would be like as an adult. Some things were eerily spot-on. Others (like having a house full of cats) fell by the wayside but make me laugh.