The photo on the left: I was twenty-four and thought my red lipstick looked weird, so I practiced wearing it around my tiny apartment. The photo on the right: I'm twenty-nine and pissed if I leave the house without lipstick on. I also have embraced wrinkly clothing.
I turned back time. I know—I should alert Cher, so she can turn back time and take back the words that hurt that one guy in 1989. But first, let me teach you how to time travel. Then I’ll have my people call her people.
Luckily, time travel is easy. Just find an old laptop, the one that is most likely in a bin with your flip phones and palm pilots. Open it up. Turn it on. That’s it. You just turned back time. You see—when you search through folders, old photos, and documents, you transport back in time. It was 2014 when I opened my laptop, but the more I combed my PC, the more I was convinced it was 2009.
To catch you up on the high-level events of 2009: Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President, Kanye West ambushed T-Swift at the VMAs, and cats hit their stride on the Internet.
I was just twenty-four.
Like most kids in their early twenties, I was living paycheck-to-paycheck. My rent was $660 for 450sqft. That did not include utilities or Internet. When my old roommate came to visit me, she said my apartment looked like, “What Carrie Bradshaw’s first apartment would look like.” Except at one point I made $9 an hour. The only pair of Manolo Blahniks in this girl’s life was in her dreams. Life was so different from what is today, it might as well have been upside down. I had “going out” tops. I stayed out past 8pm in places with loud speakers. I was carded on the regular. The only kids my friends were having were little surprises from up above. I didn’t Instagram my food, and gluten wasn’t really a thing.
Upon my exploration of my old laptop, I found a series of journal entries and decided to share them and respond.
24: There’s no feeling worse than checking my bank account. Twenty-four and I can't make rent.
29: I think there are far worse feelings. We all know that you were buying designer clothes and hitting the town with your girlfriends. You made broke look good. I’ll give you that.
24: If I have to see another cheesy engagement session on Facebook I’m going to lose it.
29: If I have to see another graphic birth session on Facebook I’m going to lose it.
24: Writing freelance seems like it’s never going to happen. My only chance now is relying on luck and a handful of prayers.
29: Prayers may have paid off, but let's also attribute your success to your need to talk to strangers and start a blog with awkward blog posts about fashion. It got the ball rolling on your writing career.
24: Why do I need a new iPhone just because it’s new?
29: Brainwashed. FYI: you really enjoy the new iPhone 6. THE SCREEN IS SO BIG!
24: I never thought I’d love living by myself, but I really like it.
29: Living alone was awesome. You could style your entire place like an IKEA catalog. These days, you can afford things at West Elm. Well, some things. Also, living with a guy isn’t that bad. The only downfall is your husband tends to buy random furniture off eBay when he’s been drinking too much of his homemade brew.
24: I love David. People always ask us when we’re going to get married.
29: You still love David, of course. People always ask us when we're going to have children. Then I show them a picture of our dog.
24: I’m getting fat. I think I need to go on a diet or something.
29: Shut up. I can’t talk to you anymore. I need to call my people.
*If you're too young to understand the Cher reference. You need to watch this video. Warning: it involves butt cheeks and a ship full of Navy soldiers. It's amazing.
Like this post? Leave a comment below or share it on social media. It's the cool thing to do.