THE BLOG

An Open Letter to Myself on my 30th birthday

02/27/2014 03:50 pm ET | Updated Apr 29, 2014
Shannon Sutherland

I'm not really into open letters, but this one seems necessary.

Today you are 30. For the first 15 years of your life, you lived in a place you didn't choose to live in. You were bullied every day at school and didn't have a stable home life. You hated it so much that at the age of 15, you chose to move all by yourself to a different state.

So for the second 15 years of your life, you were on your own making your own choices. You went to a boarding high school and eventually moved to New York City. You've lived in New York for over 10 years and are officially a "real New Yorker." You are married, have a 3-year-old daughter and a dog. You've opened up a comedy club with your husband. None of this was easy and nothing's ever perfect, but for the most part, you are living your dream.

So then, why do you walk around feeling like the girl who got beat up on a daily basis at school? That's not you anymore. Starting today, you will have been living on your own away from your childhood traumas for longer than you experienced them, so guess what? It's time to get over it.

The things that happened to were bad. In fact, so horrible you can't really write about them in a short open letter. That being said, they happened a really long time ago when you didn't have control of where you lived or went to school. But the first chance you got to make a decision about these things you made a positive choice. Your choices haven't always been the best, but they have always been yours, and they have ultimately created a pretty awesome result: 30-year-old you.

So for you thirtieth birthday, I have one wish for you: To see yourself for who you are today, the person you choose to be and love being. May your thirties be a decade of realization that you are in control of your own life.