A Farewell Letter to My 20s

Hey lady,

In less than a week we turn 30. You’ll have lived 30 whole years, which seems absolutely absurd, especially because your offspring have lived two of those alongside you. 

Your 20s were no joke, and kind of awkward, right? You go from college student to full-time workforce, to wife, to mom all in a decade. And while experiencing all these changes, you both felt like a master and an imposter all at the same time. 

Remember when you thought you had your life plan ready to go? 

I’m glad we can laugh about that now. Remember when you thought you were at the peak of wisdom and professionalism at your college graduation? I’m glad we have been humbled since then. 

Remember some of the highlights? 

All-day football tailgates, solo trips to visit friends, butterflies from your first date with your now-husband (who you never in 1 million years would have guessed would actually be your husband). Countless concerts, a year or two with bangs, and the first home you purchased with your own money—I am proud of you. 

It wasn’t all roses, though. 

Your diagnosed anxiety gave you some answers, but also caused some pain and hurt. Friends you thought would last a lifetime became seasonal or lost altogether. Hospital stays, and losing loved ones mark some dark days—but regardless, I am still proud of you. 

Then and Now

You don’t catch yourself thinking “will I fit in” as much, but you do sometimes think “is someone going to think I am a bad mom for this?” Your nights of closing down the bar at 2 AM have turned into closing down the house at 8 PM. You went from being a babysitter to hiring a babysitter in what feels like the blink of an eye. Spontaneity has been almost completely replaced by careful planning. Backpacks that were once filled with textbooks and a laptop are now filled with diapers and an RX bar. Like I said, your twenties are really weird.

Let’s look back with appreciation and look forward with anticipation. You’re a little more grounded, and your circle of people is smaller, but you have learned the value of the little things, and the most important things.

20-something Jess, you got through it. You have the tools and the people to get you through the challenges you will encounter in this next decade. You’ll likely experience hurt you didn’t expect, career moves you never thought of, and life with your littles better than you ever dreamed. Let it all happen in stride. Take it one year, one day at a time. Hello 30s, I’m ready.

Jessica Hauerwas
Jessica is a nonprofit leader who loves bopping around Lafayette for the best burgers or bands in town. She is the Executive Director of Downtown Lafayette Unlimited where she runs the day-to-day nonprofit. She and her husband Chris have three littles at home (Jane, Clark, and Louise) where there is lots of giggling and always a cup of coffee brewing. Jessica is passionate about community-building and empowering working mothers. Jessica also volunteers for various organizations, is a member of the Lafayette Re-Entry Coalition, a graduate of Leadership Lafayette, and a survivor of being a mother of three under 4.


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