To 21-year old Ashley, Love 24-year old Ashley

I started writing a post last night, but then I remembered the vice presidential debate was on, so I felt obligated to watch it. I watched for about ten minutes before I figured I had enough of Joe Biden’s goofy grin and Paul Ryan’s kindergarten hair. Then I decided to read my xanga. You know, like a sane, self-actualized person would do.

I would post a link to my old xanga, but I’d rather not invite further embarrassment.

I read a lot of posts from my 20-21ish years. My middle years of college, when I was dating Jon. Here I thought I had lost a big chunk of time because I couldn’t find (or remember) any journals from that time. But I did actually journal. On my xanga.

This is not shameless twitter self-promotion

That pretty much sums it up.

Since I can’t go back in time and slap myself across the face, I decided to write notes to myself. Because 21-year old me reading these notes is more plausible than 24-year old me slapping 21-year old me.

Also, I’m on nyquil. Well, not nyquil. Generic nyquil that I took from my dad. I’m not drinking it recreationally, you prudes. I’m sick. I’m on my couch in sweatpants with Netflix (Mike Birbiglia’s special) playing in the background.

Yeah, Ashley. I guess that’s one way to spend a Friday night.

I thought of a few of these things at work while I was impressing my new coworkers with the volume of my snot-expulsion, but most of them I’m coming up with off the top of my head. Yeah, I’m just riffing, people. I’m funny. Why don’t you follow me on twitter? Retweet me or something.


Taking out the nose ring you got the second week of college does not make you mature. It just makes you employable. 

You don’t have to put up with that asshole boyfriend. Seriously. Just dump his ass. What do you see in him? He constantly makes you feel inadequate and insecure. Don’t be a moron and mistake constant inner dissonance for passion. It’s not passion – it’s letting someone treat you like garbage. So stop that, seriously. And don’t tell me everything was sunshine and roses, because I have proof, in all of your PRIVATE and PROTECTED posts on xanga, that you were frequently miserable. Yeah. You documented that shit. And thanks for that, it’ll make writing about about that period a hell of a lot easier. 

You know how you really like Sutter Home’s white zin? You’ll get sick of it. Yeah. I know. It’s really unbelievable, but eventually you’ll get to a point where you walk past the $5 bottles and go to the (shock!) $8 and $9 bottles, and you’ll have much better evenings. 

Stop bingeing on Radiohead. “Why is Thom Yorke so good?!” you ask. Because he has unnecessary letters in both of his names, that’s why. And he’s not that great. He’s okay. You’re really moved by some of his songs (I know, I know, How to Disappear Completely brings you to a weird sort of teary nausea), but it will pass and you’ll find there is better music out there, so don’t go around preaching the Radiohead gospel. 

Save a pack of cherry cloves for me, will ya? Eventually Barack Obama will be president and you’ll blame him without knowing if he’s actually responsible for making the flavored ones illegal. You’ll still be able to buy the black ones, but you’ll never really like those, even if you try to tell yourself clove cigarettes are to cigarettes the way chai is to coffee. 

On that note, save your damn money. Seriously. Don’t spend all that extra loan money. You don’t need a Nintendo DS and you certainly don’t need to buy the 007 game just because the character sort of looks like Daniel Craig. You’ll never get past the second level, either. You’re just not a gamer. You know what you really need? A CAR. I cannot stress this enough. YOU NEED A DECENT CAR. 

Take advantage of those cute writers in  your English classes. I don’t mean like rape them, just get out of your shell and say hi. What is the guy gonna do? Seriously. He’ll probably talk and compliment your work, then you can have him over to drink some white zin because you’re a classy broad. 

Actually do your homework. Study. Learn things. Don’t just breeze through college. Really experience it and take advantage of EVERYTHING on campus, including the planetarium. 

Good job working out. Seriously. You were dedicated for a while there. You’ve inspired me to get back to the gym. 

Stop eating bagels.

In the near future, you’ll have a professor tell the class, “You will never be prettier or skinnier than you are right now.” I know, he stole it from Gossip Girl (which is an entirely different issue), but he’s right. At least as far as I can tell. You’ll gain a little of that weight back and your skin will start do weird things like be irritated for no apparent reason (the inside of your left elbow will itch, inexplicably, ALL THE TIME, and your eyelids are sometimes dry and red), and you’ll feel like your body is falling apart at 24. Hopefully 28-year old us will be able to shed some light on this. 

You should somehow display that one letter from your friend when he told you “Love hard. Dance with grace. And don’t forget about the little black dresses.” Interpret it however you wish, instead of being constantly aware of the fact that you’d feel more confident in an LBD than in your sloppy barista uniform (lol, I still can’t believe you worked at a coffee shop that had uniforms) the university makes you wear. 

I’m starting to lose concentration (because I had to be really focused to write this post) and I’ve spent the last two minutes yawning, so I’m going to call it a night.

Edit: After (very briefly) reviewing this before publishing, I just want to note that it took me several tries to spell “presidential” before the little red zigzag disappeared. Also, it’s kind of weird that there are two ps in disappeared. Not sure why I called you guys prudes in the nyquil paragraph. Am I calling you prudes for being shocked by the idea of drinking nyquil recreationally? Because that insinuates that I drink nyquil recreationally, and I don’t. I said “seriously” a lot. Don’t really care.


17 thoughts on “To 21-year old Ashley, Love 24-year old Ashley

  1. this is perfect ashley. thom yorke – whats up with the excess letters? ..good point. doing your homework? ..good point. and i definitely do recall you being a dedicated gym enthusiast. so thank you for dragging my ass to the gym numerous times.

    • Thanks for stopping by!

      I think I started using xanga when I was 16 or 17, though I can’t even remember what my first page was. It’s pretty mortifying to go back are read those things!

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  4. Brilliant post, loved it! I should write my 21 year old self a letter but wow, that was so long ago I don’t remember her very well 😉

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