Dear early 20s Julia,
I wish you could meet almost 30 Julia.
She’s the feminist you swore you’d never be. She uses the female pronoun for God, hardly ever wears a bra (even when she probably should), and is living in what some in your family might call sin.
You aren’t doing what you expect. Actually you’ll never believe it. Remember in high school when you were super into church and told everyone you were going to become a pastor? Well, you aren’t a pastor but you did go to seminary. Well, it wasn’t seminary so much as divinity school and girl; it fucked up your life.
But in a good way.
Sure you have days when you think, “why did I choose this path!” But no matter what path you would have chosen you were bound to have those days.
So anyway, you went to divinity school and it tore down every last belief you had in the world and left you scrambling to build it back up. I know that sound intense and really scary and honestly, it was and still is. But I promise you that it is what makes you who you are today.
Here are some things you are:
You are intelligent.
You are well informed.
You understand the systemic injustices thrust upon women by the patriarchal society we are all living in.
You get that Black Lives Matter and you believe in that cause.
You aren’t afraid to stand up for what you believe in.
You understand self-care and you aren’t afraid to take some time for yourself.
You don’t follow the crowds (but then again you never did that in the first place).
Here are some things that haven’t changed and probably wont:
You still have extreme social anxiety (But you are seeing a therapist weekly!)
You still have acne (I know. I promise I’m working on that for you.)
You are still depressed a lot (But I’m working on that too!)
You still like hanging out with your mom (And its cool now too!)
You still eat croutons straight out of the box like they are potato chips (Low carb diets be damned!)
There is so much I want to tell you about your life now. The day to day may seem kind of mundane but in the grand scheme of things it’s a pretty good life.
After college you’re going to meet the guy your still with (actually, you already know him but I’ll let you be surprised when you find out who he is). You’re going to move to a new city all on your own and you are going to do fine, even though it seems like most of the time you are drowning. You are going to meet real friends. You are going to meet friends who don’t make you feel like shit about yourself the way your high school friends did. You are going to meet friends who you will travel with, laugh with, cry with, and tell your deepest secrets to. Sorry to say none of them live in your current city but you’re working on finding a tribe here too.
I think the most important thing I want you to remember is that you are good enough. You are more than what people say you are. You are a dreamer who feels too much and that’s okay. All of your feelings are valid, all your fears about your sexuality and dating are not your fault (girl, you are in for some intense feelings around this subject. Love yourself and know that you are not the only one this happened to.)
This letter doesn’t really have a point except to say that you are doing okay. You are making your own money, paying your own rent, and doing what you want. You still feel a little under the thumb of your parents sometimes but you are working on that as well. You are learning to say, “Fuck it; this is the life I want to live.” And you are living it well.
Love you a lot. Be gentle with yourself,
Oh! PS- You started this blog and people seem to be into it.
Julia is the creator of HerStory. She is a 2014 graduate of Vanderbilt Divinity School and currently lives and works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.