Sometimes I wonder what my younger self would think of my older self. At 23, have I accomplished all the things I wished for as a child? I remember thinking I would be fully grown up and mature by the time I was a twenty-something, and I now realize just how ridiculous my expectations were as a wide-eyed, freckle-faced, string bean with bangs back in the day. Even so, this is what I imagine my 10 year-old self would say to present-day me…
1. You’re telling me that at 23, you’re not a veterinarian yet? Hang on, you’re NEVER going to be a veterinarian? WHAT ABOUT ALL OF THE ANIMALS WHO NEED YOUR MEDICAL ATTENTION? What, that Halloween costume two years ago was for nothing, then? I wore a lab coat and a customized badge that said “Dr. Maddie, D.V.M.,” how much more official can you get? Okay, at least tell me you picked something just as cool as a vet, like a ninja or a figure skater. You didn’t? Oh great. Well then, tell me exactly when you lost sight of all your hopes and dreams in the past 13 years.
2. You’re not married and you don’t have a boyfriend? I thought all adults were married. You were going to marry one of the Hanson brothers, when did that plan fall through? Did you actually start taking Mom’s advice and realize you can be an independent woman without a man? Have you abandoned all hope of living happily ever after like the Little Mermaid?
3. You LIKE asparagus now? Yuck. What about that is okay? VEGETABLES ARE THE WORST.
4. WAIT, you were a vegetarian for 10 of the past 13 years? WHAT PART OF “VEGETABLES ARE THE WORST” DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?!
5. You have your own computer and phone, so I guess that makes you pretty cool. Did you ever beat your high score on “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?” Because if you didn’t, you’re not actually that cool. Or smart.
6. What is this crap music you’re listening to? There is no way some guy called Bon Iver is better than ‘N Sync. Why did you abandon your roots? bRiTnEy SpEaRs 4 LyFe!!!!1
7. I guess drinking several cups of coffee a day makes you a grown-up. Ew. You’re practically Dad.
8. I can’t believe you don’t sleep on a bunk bed anymore. Bunk beds are the best kinds of beds. You know that.
9. You don’t drive a convertible? Remember when Mom and Dad wouldn’t let you have one of those life-sized Barbie cars that all your friends had and you swore you would drive a convertible when you were an adult? Get on that.
10. I hope you still play outside and dance around the living room to Paul Simon with Dad and get excited when Mom lets you have sugary cereal on Saturday mornings and have a best friend you tell everything to and spend time with your little sisters and wear leggings because they’re way more comfortable than jeans. And even if you still do at least one of these things, I’ll know that you’re holding on to the best parts of being a kid. Even though you’re a grown-up.