Saturday 15 December 2012

Dear Me: a note to 25 year-old Jordan


The next 5 years are going to be a wild ride, so I thought I'd throw some advice back your way. Don't be afraid. We're gonna get through this.

Stop cutting your hair so short, and go find a stylist named Deborah in the Glebe. She's fantastic and will help with that transition phase. Without this advice, you won't find her 'til you're thirty. In the meantime, you'll let a different stylist dye your hair a honey yellow that will make you weep, and another one will cut your hair like a drunk Vulcan. Stop the carnage and go find Deborah.

Buy yourself more things. There are way too many things that you want and don't buy, and then you pine over them and talk about them like fishermen talk about big fish that got away. You will eventually become known for this. It's okay to treat yourself, and it's okay to have nice things. Oh, and: that scarf you lost recently, the one from Mexico that was the perfect shade of ocean blue? You won't find another one, at least not in the next five years. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you will drive yourself crazy looking for one. Maybe one day in the future, you will see a woman in Winchester, where you left your scarf, wearing it; and maybe you will push her over and steal it back. But not anytime soon.

You're going to play roller derby for a couple years. It's going to be hard, mostly because there's a whole world of politics there that you're completely unprepared for. I can't protect you from most of this--it's part of the experience you need to have--but if I could, I'd tell you at the very least not to trust the chubby one. She'll scorn your affections and backstab you to the others, and all your genuine hard work will be for naught. But hey, you'll still have skates, and you'll still have been awesome.

You're going to meet a boy with a motorcycle, and you're going to get married. I can't stop this, either; it ends up becoming an important part of your journey of self-doscovery. Through this, you will learn about blogging, and social media, and you will meet over a hundred cool people you would never have met otherwise. 

But when the marriage ends, not long after it begins, you will feel stupid and naive. Stop that. Don't be hard on yourself for being a trusting person, or for loving a little blindly. Your love is one of the precious parts of you that is still innocent, not jaded. As you go through this separation, balance out his cruelties by feeling deep gratitude for the people who stand by you. 

You are going to wonder if you made the right choice. I assure, you, you did. After he's moved out, you will find an entry in your journal from ten months back that is full of lonely sorrow and desperation, and you will know when you reread it that you've made the right choice. People will judge, but you've been through judgment before and you are stronger than they know. Live for yourself, not for the self-appointed jury.

You're doing a great job, Younger Me. These next five years will be transformative, and by the end of them, you will start to know you are pretty great.  If there's only one thing I could tell you, it would be to assure you that you are working towards greatness. It may be a longer path than you envisioned, but it has some beautiful, tragic, and spectacular detours. Stop rushing around and appreciate the ride. 

Oh, and that time you decide to buy a red and yellow sari for that fancy dinner, and you also shave your head? Yeah, you end up looking like a monk. Put the sari away, friend. Or the clippers. Or both.


SONG OF THE MOMENT: Jimmy Eat World, 'In the Middle'


  1. Hi Jordan,

    I just read this and started thinking about all the stuff I'd love the younger me to have figured out earlier too - a lot of stuff.

    I heard you speak at SoCapOtt last summer - looks like your life has taken a few turns since then, I hope you continue on your current trajectory towards greatness :) Good luck!

  2. I really enjoyed reading this. Oh the late 20s, such a mixed bag! It definitely gets easier… sort of.


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