Fun With Pop Culture

Letter to My Younger Self (May 6)

Happy (belated) Cinco De Mayo Everyone!

This day celebrates a great victory in Mexican history but it is also the release date of a book called If I’d Known Then, Women Under 35 Write Letters to Their Younger Selves by Ellen Spragins.

In this book people such as actress Jessica Alba, Olympic soccer gold medalist Julie Foudy, activist Zainab Salbi, actress Danica McKellar, and author Plum Sykes do what the title suggests: write letters to their younger selves!  We at spunkybean not only want to promote this sure to be riveting book, but we also thought it’d be fun to rip off the idea for our own purposes.  So everyday this week, we will publish a new letter written by one of our wonderful contributors to their younger selves, and we, the reading public, can perhaps catch a glimpse of how the geeks they once were became the geeks they are today.  First up is our very own: Myndi Weinraub!

Dear Myndi,

Hi, sweetie.  Here are a few tips.  First of all, I know it seems really great to have big, fluffy, curls and your straight hair seems so boring, but “standard poodle” is not a good look for a young woman.  And sticking a barrette on one side in an attempt to tame it is not fooling anyone either.  Just stick with it; soon they’ll all be clamoring for your look!

As far as your skin goes, I have two words that will save you time and a small fortune in Oxy10 and Clearasil:  Alpha Hydroxy.  Learn it, live it, love it.  Also, Cover Girl Clean Makeup may be the cheapest, but its name is a total lie–it will clog every single pore on your face, trust me.  You really don’t even need foundation…or electric blue liquid eyeliner to match your blue eyes.  Less is more.

When you get to college, just have a fun.  That guy you and your roommate are fighting over?  He’s so not worth it and in the end, will ditch both of you, so don’t waste your time.  Also, the one who buys you something from Victoria’s Secret…that his mother helped him select?  This is a problem.  Run as fast as you can and don’t look back.

Don’t feel as if you have to rush through school to get a job.  The first one to finish does not get a medal.  I know you think that writing term papers is a giant pain in the ass, but you know what’s worse?  Taking the first job you’re offered and standing at the copy machine for hours on end because your boss wants you to copy 600 pages of grocery store listings so he can return the book.  Don’t bother trying to explain copyright infringement…the man’s just not that bright.

Screw up the courage to take a chance on living in Chicago or New York and see if you can hack it in the Big City.  You’re tougher than you think!

And another thing about school…keep on writing.  School newspapers, yearbook, essays–all good. And take more of those acting classes.  In fact, have the cajones to join an improv group or take a class in your spare time, while you still have it. Most of all, when that decrepit old bag of a creative writing teacher tells you that your short story was too predictable and read like a TV show, don’t be offended!  Be excited–all that watching paid off!

Do as much traveling as you can while you’re young and unencumbered.  Not only is it complicated to arrange care for children in order to take vacations down the road, you just miss them too much sometimes.  You’ll be more inclined to go to amusement parks as a family than travel to Europe or Australia or Israel.  Don’t miss those opportunities; in fact, actively seek them out!  On top of the experience itself, trips for students are so much cheaper!

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