“I once believed in causes too, I had my pointless point of view…” —Billy Joel
I turned 39 this week, and I intend to stay that way for quite some time. (And if you get that reference, you’re older than me, haha.)
Twenty years ago, I was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women, either despite or because of the fact that my hair was the size of a small hedge and I had no idea how to apply eyeshadow. Yes, I was a diversity hire: the crazy poet quota. The magazine treated us to a lovely weekend in NYC, including a Revlon gift bag and a visit to the MTV studios, and published our pictures in an issue with Cindy Crawford on the cover.
Earlier this summer, a Glamour staff member sent us alumnae this intriguing question:
We would like to know what you would tell your Top 10 College Woman self. If you could go back in time and give yourself some advice at the moment that Glamour honored you, what sage nugget of wisdom would you like to impart? We’re considering sharing some of your advice with our upcoming winners in the magazine.
With that in mind, here’s what I wish I could have told Jendi-in-1992:
Don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself in the service of the truth.
You have a right to believe that you are beautiful.
There are as many ways to perform femininity as there are female-identified people.
Get therapy and a decent haircut.
Someday, you will have good sex.
You don’t have to wait for someone else’s permission to grow up.
Style knows no dress size.
Don’t go to law school.
You’ve got to be your own mommy.
Walk away from any relationship that threatens your safety or your integrity. No exceptions. There’s always another way to reach your goal.
Every five years, you will completely change your mind about something important, so don’t be a butthole to people who disagree with you now.