MICHELE NORRIS, host:
Imagine being in your 30s or 40s, and writing a letter to your 20-year-old self. What would you say? Thats what Cassie Boorn requested on her blog. She's a 22-year-old college student and single mom, and she needed advice. So she asked some of her older fellow bloggers to write letters to themselves when they were in their 20s. And here are some of the responses that she got.
Sarah Brown wrote: First of all, let's get this out of the way: No, you are not crazy. Yes, you should probably talk to someone; there's no shame in that. You should also get outside more.
And this from Jessica Gottlieb: You're going to meet a really nice guy who's going to take you helicopter skiing and send you mountains of flowers. He is bad news. Trust your instincts.
Cassie Boorn is the woman who started this letter project, and she joins us now from Davenport, Iowa. Welcome, Cassie.
Ms. CASSIE BOORN (Blogger, CassieBoorn.com): Thank you for having me.
NORRIS: First of all, where did you get this idea - that you wanted to turn to some of your fellow bloggers who are a little bit longer in years, and ask for their advice?
Ms. BOORN: Well, I actually started blogging a couple of years ago, and I had traveled around to a lot of conferences and met a lot of really great women. And in our conversations, I always picked their brains about what I should be doing. And I wanted to find a way to take all of the great stories I had collected and be able to share them with other women my age, and to give them the access to that advice.
NORRIS: You know, some of them are unvarnished.
NORRIS: I'm looking at a letter from Jen(ph). First of all, that guy you're dating, you're not going to marry him, in spite of the fact that you'll get engaged to him in about a year. I know it's nice to have something to fall back on while you're away at college, but once you get back to Houston, you won't be able to date any stoner, snowboarding guy. So you might as well get it out of your system now.
BOORN: Yes, a lot of them are very honest, and what I found about those specific stories is you know that when she was in that moment, and when she was trying to decide what to do, it was such a big deal and such a big decision. And to be able to look back on that and say, hey, you made a mistake, it's not a big deal; everything turns out okay. And that message is so encouraging to hear.
Like, you know, these big things that are in your face that you're so scared of, in 10 years, you're going to be laughing about that same thing.
NORRIS: You know, this is a great idea for collecting advice. It's almost like collecting recipes. So if you had sort of a Rolodex of great advice that you got through all these letters, do me a favor and sort of tick through it. Just pull out various cards, and tell me what you've learned.
BOORN: I have learned to appreciate myself more, both my body and the kind of person that I am. And those things in your personality that might be a little quirky or a little odd or might make you seem a little dorky are actually - you know, they're there for a reason. And in 10 years, you may figure out what that reason is.
I've learned to take myself less seriously, not worry about where I'm going and what I'm going to accomplish, and focusing in on the fact that I'm 20 years old, and you have to enjoy this time because it's only here for so long.
I've learned a lot about how quickly things change and just realizing that wherever you are in your life right now, you're not going to be there forever. And I think that was the biggest lesson. It's so easy to get caught up in what's happening today and what's happening this week. But in five years, you're probably not going to remember today or this week. So just do the best that you can, and enjoy the moments that you have.
NORRIS: Why do you think so many people actually wrote these letters to their younger selves?
BOORN: I think that especially in women, there's this desire to support each other. And a lot of people wrote me and said, this was so therapeutic to look back at what I was doing in my 20s that I realized - maybe I hadn't forgiven myself for, and in writing this letter, it was almost like a closure of, I know you made mistakes, I know your 20s were hard. But things are good now, and I'm going to let this part of my life go and just close that era.
NORRIS: Cassie Boorn works in social media, and she blogs at her own site. It's called cassieboorn.com; that's B-O-O-R-N. Thanks so much for being with us.
Ms. BOORN: Thank you.
NORRIS: And we also want to invite you to share your letters to your 20-something selves. You can do that at our website; that's npr.org. Get busy.
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