An open letter to my 35th year on Earth

Dear 35,

Sorry I didn’t get you this letter last night. You don’t deserve being put in a corner after all you’ve done for me! But, as you well know, my life currently belongs to the dissertation gods… so I’ll have to keep it short and sweet this year. All my writing reserves must be fully devoted to dissertating.

Let’s cut to the chase: you did not come to play! We started our 8,760-hour long rendezvous rapping to the tune of Cardi B. I should have know right then that you were going to make it your job to turn me into a full blown boss lady. You took all the puzzle pieces I had been collecting over the years, sat me down, grabbed me by the face, looked me straight in the eye and told me to stop f*cking around. GET. IT. DONE.

Of course, it wasn’t smooth sailing. You didn’t come to play, but you also didn’t give me a second to figure out what was happening. You just put me in the batting cage – without a helmet, mind you – and told me to start hitting ‘em out of the park. So, yeah, it took a second. And therapy. Lots of therapy and journaling in my multiple notebooks (each of which has a purpose, thankyouverymuch). Oh, and can we get a shoutout to this year’s true MVP, my little blue pill, for keeping me centered through all the madness? Because, you know, #destigmatizementalhealth

But it all got done. All of it. Conferencing? Check. Papers? Check. Defense date? Check. Hug a koala? 🐨 DOUBLE CHECK. Job hunting… Check 😉

So, needless to say, it was hard to see you go last night. But, you will be fondly remembered as the one who got me to finally start reaping rewards after so many years of hard work. And rapping to Cardi Bardi. Now looking forward to what 36 will bring… the beginning of the rest of my life, so they say. And also the return of my social life and waistline – there are only so many chocolate croissants a girl can eat before #forevergordita becomes more than just a “motto.”

But first, let’s get this dissertation done and defended. 💪🏼


Author: Yona María

Yona is a native Puerto Rican who splits her time between Puerto Rico and whatever U.S. city she currently calls home. She's now finishing up her PhD in public health and social media research. She loves writing about a little bit of everything and sharing her thoughts on life.

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