A letter from my 23-year-old self


Each year on my birthday, I write a letter to my future self. I look back on all that I’ve experienced in that last year — good OR bad. I reflect. And then, I set goals for my year ahead. It’s like my New Years Resolutions 2.0.

And, it helps with the aging process.

This is an excerpt from my personal journal— My letter to my 23-year old self, written on June 4th, 2015.

I can’t believe I’m 23. TWENTY-THREE.

F***ing three years older than a 20-year old. FIVE years older than my 18- year-old self. I’m freaking out.

But, you know what?

I’m also 23-years young. I’m young & free & have my whole life ahead of me. I’m not yet jaded, but no longer naive (well, sort of). I feel like I’m finally starting to hit my groove.

I’m also confused.

Last year at this time, I was refreshed & excited & oblivious about my future.

I did cool shit. Because, I was not yet encumbered by the monotony of the everyday. I was unaware of the fact that in a few short weeks, I would start my first real job, and be starkly confronted by the questions: Who am I? What do I want out of this thing called Life? What actually makes me happy?

Taylor Swift was right. This year of twenty-two was exactly how she described it — “[We’re] happy, free, confused & lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical…”

Because, this year I was really finding myself.

I was pushing and pulling. I traveled, and literally fell in love. I opened my eyes to other backgrounds and cultures. I saw beauty, and I was challenged by new languages, religions, peoples, the heat, the lack of sleep.

I also started my first job and settled into my first real NYC apartment. I fell into a depression and thought I could solve it by partying. I couldn’t take care of anything but myself. Not even a plant.

I was constantly pushing myself to do more, be better. I ran a marathon. I wrote a book. A FUCKING BOOK. I worked. A shit ton.I forced myself to think about my future. I took my first “vacation” from work, and I found myself again in Costa Rica.

And my relationships changed. I made new friends and lost old ones. I met Dupi. I almost moved to London. I stayed with Dupi. I made plans and scrapped them.

I fell in love.

I fell in love with myself. But more importantly — I learned what it’s like to care and yearn for something, someone bigger than myself.

Today, on my 23rd birthday, I got my palm read.

I ached for someone to tell me that life wouldn’t be so confusing anymore. I wished for her to tell me that everything was going to work out.

But, this woman took one look at me, and read my heart. She said that I need to open my heart. She said that I will soon find a career change. And, an adventure.

Oh, how I miss adventures!

I want to just go and do cool shit and change the world. I’m over Corporate America. And being “curious” about things I could give two shits about, and pretending to like people and things and days that I don’t. And, “soliciting feedback” and “raising my hand” and telling “folks” about my life and interests and goals. Big time.

So, I am going to make some resolutions for my Jordan Year — the Year of twenty-three.

I expect to at least attempt all of the below:

  • Stop being so nice — Have a Backbone
  • Listen better / actively / more
  • Publish this book (if that means start a blog, do it!)
  • Be more balanced in my free time
  • Sweat once a day (run another marathon)
  • Stop making excuses, & make up my mind about my future
  • Go to an exotic place (or many)
  • Find what you love

So, Katina: Go off and start doing.

Be fun, be passionate, be thoughtful, be excited, be easygoing, be critical, be loving. Be Ready for this next phase in your life. Be You.

And, Happy Birthday.

soulKatina Mountanos