To the Twenty-Something Debb

Inspired by Que Sera Sera, I participated in Cassie Boorn's 20-SOMETHING SELF LETTERS.

Hey Twenty-something Debb,

Crazy huh, it’s you, from the 4th decade! I know, we never thought beyond the 20s since our last-of-the-Gen-X-Nihilistic-outlook formed by so many deaths of influential people in the 90s. But here I am, alive and doing pretty well (and Steni the fuzzy hen too!) and am proud of who I/you/we have become.

Let me tell you, you are going to experience some crazy shit that will make great bar stories. I know you are always so serious and ambitious, but if you get out of your cancer-mode, you will encounter many unexpected adventures you can tell the grandkids about someday. Yes awkward things will always happen because you are just, different, but you and others still manage to escape unscathed… like finding out your new coworker is the older sister of bootiecall in college, hilarious because you only thought this happens to ‘other’ people.

Yes, you are an artsy soul at heart, but you will always still have that tinge of geek from those days of AP classes and geography bee. So I’ve divided this letter into subheadings by topics of course.


· That girl you met on the first day of move-in to college? Yeah, she thought you were scary with your baggy cords, plaid shirt and silent silent anger. She will remain one of your closest kindred-spirits, see you through many relationships, and escape with you with Anne of Green Gable references.

· You will learn to identify and understand differences between “let’s get shit-faced friends’, work friends and kindred spirits. It’s important to have all three and you will see that it’s ok when friendships fizzle, no one is at fault really. Just sometimes life happens and we take on different priority than what drove us together in the first place. Don’t dwell on the void, move on.

· You will start something I now call ‘collecting midgets.’ You will encounter some short, tiny-feeted girls who will snap you out of corporate rut and inspire you to push to create. You will find out later that stifling your creativity will drain you physiologically. Yeah you take things on physiologically, you learned that the hard every time you worry your stomach sick. Which transitions into next topic.


· You’ve always been so driven, setting yourself to be an architect from ripe ‘ol age of 8th grade. Driven to the point you saw lack of ambition as a horrid human trait, stressing yourself out from kidney problems to ulcers. Taking in more and more responsibility at work until you were doing all nighters because you can’t say no to opportunity to climb that ladder. Your relationships will suffer, your pets will ignore you, it sucks butt. Learn to chill the fuck out, don’t push yourself so hard.

· You will get to work on one of the most kickass projects of your lifetime working with the Smithsonian and bunches of Indians and then you just won’t get that drive in architecture again. It’s a weird feeling to leave the field you worked so hard to get into but you will find yourself enjoying and doing well, and it’s okay. You will get that design high again but through stationery. Know that all those time you spent on hoarding paper, making intricate models, playing work powertools in school will always be your happy place, those times are not wasted.


· Never ever let a boy or relationship define you. You are so eclectic and special, and I don’t mean the short bus way. When you let yourself to be bent by others, you are just stifling yourself. You will learn the hardest way possible. You will know the lowest point because of a boy, but you will be a lot tougher than the little punk who thought she knew everything. P.S. don’t internalize but don’t trust shrinks.

· You will learn that pretty to look at isn’t the same as someone who can make you laugh. Humour is so important in your life, you will learn the “vases” sure look good but man, it’s hard to carry a conversation with them after the ogling is over. You will run into him occasionally over this friendster like invention called facebook and still look at his gorgeous cheekbones, but really, you can pick up any magazine to look at pretty cheekbones.

· That annoying boy down the street who kept talking at you in high school even though you never talked and just blinked behind your glasses? You will even start to learn hockey for him, although he will always be the cool one and you the geek one. He doesn’t want to be mentioned so I will end here.


· I know, crazy, Virginia, the tabaky state will become smoke free. You will be able to turn it off, not because of the typical reasons of smell/cost/my lungs, but because you will learn about responsibility to your family, because of what Jen went through.

· Go get some sun. Seriously. Before you get a rash from lack of sun. Look it up, it’s called pityriasis rosea and it’s not fun you dumbass.

· That trip to England/Scotland/Wales is one of the best things of evar. To catch world cup in a real football watching country, enjoy listening to the sexy weird Scottish accents, the amount of sketching you did, the pure freedom being away from everything. Don’t sleep on that trip, you can always sleep when you get back to the States.

· Your love for David Bowie and Jimmy Page will never die.

Lastly, I am so proud of you for the awesome person you have become. Your experience led me to where I am today. Thank you for all that (especially with the lack of records, incriminating photos/videos). Atta-girl.

P.S. that Jetta is haunted by a poltergeist.


  1. HAHAHahahahah! I LOVE this Debb, especially the closer about your Jetta. I've been in that thing, and I have to agree!

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  3. Aw shucks thank Biz. This was a very therapeutic exercise I've been working on so I don't flip out. I recall my friend mom crying when she turned 30. Now I know it’s now a different time but I still flipped out because I never ‘counted’ that high and was really really lost.

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  5. This is so fun :-) I bet you were laughing writing some of that stuff...memories :-) I have to do something like this too!

  6. Thanks JMay. It was a good time to think back and chuckle at what I have seen. Very therapeutic.

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