Me in 1981This is me in the fall of 1981 at my parents’ home in Connecticut. What would I tell her, if I could sit down with this girl now?

First of all, rad haircut! Good for you for cutting off all your hair, moving to New York City, and wearing vintage! Have your colors done soon… beige doesn’t work for you.

I’m proud of you. You are far braver than you know right now, and you are going to continue taking risks that you can’t imagine. You have a steely core inside you. You will make mistakes, but you are going to get to age 51 with virtually no regrets. That’s pretty incredible.

Good for you for becoming friends with your first openly gay person, Raul Martinez, letting him show you how to dress, and being brave enough to go to Akira Kurasawa movies with him. He will open you up to so many things that your narrow upbringing told you to fear.

Good for you for moving to New York City and transferring colleges three times to get it right.Me in December 1981

You’re going to have an incredible life. Learn how to meditate and be present so you don’t miss it.

Stop worrying. Stop worrying so much about what people think about you.

Stop trying to be so nice. You’re the girl who threw a birthday party in a 400-square-foot apartment and made birthday brownies for a girl who didn’t even show up for her party. Be as nice to yourself as you are to the people around you.

Embrace your creativity, as evidenced by this crazy-incredible shirt you made, an apricot puffy shirt long before Seinfeld went on the air.

Your life will begin to make sense after a while. Stand by your decisions, so you don’t have any regrets. Own your mistakes. Follow your gut instincts, and enjoy the ride.

See you in 31 years.

What would you tell YOUR 20-year-old self?

Today’s post is part of our mission to help you rebuild your health through food and lifestyle choices. Look for posts on Mondays featuring gluten-free, sugar-free recipes made with healthy plant-based ingredients, Wednesday essays, and Friday giveaways (when available).