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A Letter to My Child-Free Self

Photograph by Getty Images

You are going to read this and laugh because in this moment, the furthest thing on your mind is getting married and having little ones. But four years from now, you'll be hanging out with a five-month-old that just figured out her toes are delicious. The most important thing you should know? You are happy, happier than you could ever imagine.

I know you are probably laughing right now. Hah! Babies! Me? No way. I know I had these big plans of going to work and building empires and doing magical things for women in business. I remember. I love work—it is fulfilling and challenging and clears my head in ways that no yoga or spinning class even deigns to compare. That part of you is still here, but now you are better.

I could sit here and tell you to take your vitamins (you won't) or sleep more (you really should) but the fact of the matter is this: Don't do even one thing differently, because if you ended up anywhere other than this moment, it would be so very wrong. The next six months of your life are going to be filled with a lot of ups and downs—you're going to end a relationship, date a few people and have a realization that you don't even know yourself anymore. Trust me, you'll get through it, but let's fast forward a bit shall we?

Without sounding too trite, this little life you've made for yourself is perfect.

Life isn't always easy these days, but whose is? There isn't a whole lot of sleep and we are always trying to figure out how and when the army is going to shake things up again, but here's the thing: Had you gone off and taken that job, or the next one that had better benefits, or even the one after that, you'd be living in some far away city (albeit, probably having a lot of fun) and you'd be missing out on these perfect little moments. This perfect moment when you have a little lady that likes to snuggle right before naptime and is terrified of the wheels on the bus song they sing at story time. Without sounding too trite, this little life you've made for yourself is perfect. You aren't a jetsetter and you definitely aren't working your way up a Fortune 500 company, but the beautiful simplicity of each day still surprises you.

With all of this in mind, here is some advice to get you from there to here. Work really hard. Work long hours, through the night, on projects that you are insanely passionate about because you will think back on those days and be wistful. Drink too much caffeine. Go to wine night every week with the girls. You are going to move away and lose touch and you will miss having dance parties in the living room. Don't accept "no" for an answer. You are going to do some big things and none of them will happen if you accept "it's not possible," or "we don’t do things that way" for an answer. Find a way to change the system, or at least work it so you get what you want. Skip class and work. Go do something fun instead—hit the bar, drive to the lake or just sleep in—and be a little irresponsible. Travel anywhere, just pack your bags and go, but come back.

It's going to be an eventful few years. See you soon.

xx, P

P.S. Oh, and be nice to the boys next door, you're going to end up married to one of them.

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