If, like me, you have a certain fondness for the Jennifer Garner tour de force 13 Going on 30 and if, like me, you've just recently turned 30, it's only natural that you'd have that movie on your mind. Right? It's normal. I'm almost sure of it.
was talking to Joe about it the other day, naturally, and I told him
that when I was 13, I don’t remember ever wishing to be 30. In fact, I’m
pretty sure I thought I’d never be 30 because 30 WAS SO SUPER OLD AND
GROSS, YOU GUYS. I might have wished to be 18, 21, or maybe 25, but I
guess 13 Going on 25 doesn’t have the same ring to it as 13 Going on 30.
would, however, have been OK if I’d woken up on my 30th birthday
looking like Jennifer Garner. Unfortunately I woke up looking very much
like myself but even worse because I’d been out drinking the night
the past few years, I’ve gotten an email on my birthday from FutureMe
(which is actually from PastMe but whatever). This year I didn’t get
one. Either I dropped the ball last year or it went to spam and I didn’t
notice or there was just some glitch in the matrix and my email is
floating around outside of time and space somewhere. Whatever happened,
it was disappointing. And since I can’t time travel (YET), I can’t fix
I could time travel, I guess I’d take this opportunity to go back and
talk to my 13-year-old self. There are some things I’d like to tell her,
things I’ve learned in the past 17 years that might benefit her, and if
it benefits HER, it retroactively benefits ME, right? Making me a
better and more well-rounded 30-year-old? Anyway.
Things I Would Like to Tell 13-year-old Me:
It’s OK to like the nerdy things you do. All that time you spend
talking/thinking/writing about The X-Files? That impulse isn’t going to
go away, it will just be shifted from show to show as your obsessions
change. And that’s a good thing. In fact, in about 12 years, you will
start meeting people who are JUST LIKE YOU in this respect, and you’ll
have the opportunity to talk about all manner of TV shows, movies, and
books, pretty much whenever the hell you want. In that vein...
All that time you’re spending on AOL is time well spent. When your IRL
friends start discovering things like blogging and Twitter, it’ll be old
news to you. “Pfft!” you’ll say. “I was posting dumb shit on the
internet before it was cool.” But dude, shut up, don’t say stuff like
You’ll get married someday. I know, what? However, you don’t have any
kids, mostly because kids are scary and TONS of work. I guess all those
years of baby-sitting are going to be hard to shake.
Don’t be afraid to put off those responsible things you feel like you
have to do right away (laundry, cleaning, taking a shower) in order to
do something you actually WANT to be doing, like reading a book or
watching six episodes of Community (OMG, 13-YEAR-OLD-JENNIE WAIT UNTIL
YOU SEE COMMUNITY) in a row. That stuff will still be there when you’re
done. On the other hand...
Don’t put off any of these things: paying your bills, getting an oil
change, going to the doctor, doing your taxes, YOUR DREEEAAAAMS. It’s
funny that you’re even writing this right now because you put off most
of those things ALL THE TIME.
Don’t worry so much about things that are out of your control which
includes, you know, pretty much EVERY SINGLE THING YOU WORRY ABOUT.
Seriously. Calm down. Go see a Star War.
I would tell you to stop procrastinating so much but I think it’s safe
to say that’s never going to happen. So. Um. Just be the best
procrastinator you can be!
8. Be nice to your sister. DON’T ARGUE WITH ME, just do it.
9. Be grateful. Try every day. Make fun of yourself. FAIL. Fail a lot. DON’T ARGUE WITH ME, just do it.
Keep writing letters to yourself. And to other people. Keep writing,
period, really. One day you’ll have the most wonderful make-believe
internet family ever and you’ll all be connected by writing. And GIFs.