Minka Kelly Writes Heartfelt Message to Her Younger Self on Birthday: 'You’re Going to Be So in Love with Your Life'

The 'Friday Night Lights' star looked back on her personal and professional journey in a heartfelt Instagram post

<p>Daniel Zuchnik/Getty</p> Minka Kelly in Brooklyn, New York in May 2023.

Daniel Zuchnik/Getty

Minka Kelly in Brooklyn, New York in May 2023.

Minka Kelly couldn’t be happier about where she is in life.

In a touching Instagram post on June 24, the actress celebrated her 44th birthday by offering some positive words to her younger self. The social media post also came as Kelly wrapped filming on season 1 of her new Netflix show Ransom Canyon, which costars Josh Duhamel.

“If I could have spoken to my younger self back when I was out here as a scrappy young girl at valley high school, this is what I might say: hey mink, guess what. In about 20 or so years, everything is going to be ok. More than ok!” she wrote in the caption alongside several production photos and a throwback image to her years ago. “You’ll feel safe enough to finally let all your guards down. You’ll release all the survival mechanisms that kept you safe for so long because you won’t need them anymore. Your heart will be wide open and you’re going to be so in love with your life. Personally and professionally.”

Related: All About Minka Kelly's Parents Maureen Kelly and Rick Dufay

“There’s going to be this really cool company called Netflix and they’re going to build huge fancy studios about 15 mins away from here and you’re going to be shooting a big fancy tv show with some of the coolest and most talented cast and crew your little heart can dream of. And you are all going to love each other so much!!!” she continued. “You’re going to grow so much and you’re going to deserve all the love and joy and fulfillment you’ll have in your life when you turn 44 years old. It seems really far away, but it all happens so fast. And all of it will be divinely timed. All the cliches are true. None of this makes sense right now, but it will. I promise. You’ve got this."

The Friday Night Lights alum — who has been romantically linked to Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds — continued to reflect on her life, adding that she’s “exactly where I’m supposed to be.”

“For my birthday, this year, in this moment, I feel content," she also wrote. "It’s all I’ve ever wanted. Peace and ease for my nervous system. At long last. Thankful doesn’t even come close to cutting it. But, thank you, nonetheless. I love you. See you in 2025 🤠♥️”

Kelly’s path to success hasn’t been an easy one. In her 2023 memoir Tell Me Everything, she was candid about her challenging childhood.

"My childhood was colorful and chaotic, unstable and inconsistent, unpredictable and hard a lot of the times," Minka told PEOPLE ahead of her memoir's release. "But the silver lining is that it made me a very adaptable person."

Raised by her mother, Maureen, an exotic dancer at the Crazy Girls strip club in Los Angeles, Kelly’s father Rick Dufay is a guitarist, who most famously performed with Aerosmith in the ‘80s. (She and her father built a relationship later in life.)

Related: Minka Kelly Says Becoming a Mom Someday 'Would Be a Wonderful Gift If the Time Comes'

<p>Minka Kelly/Instagram</p> A younger Minka Kelly, posted by the actress on Instagram on June 24, 2024.

Minka Kelly/Instagram

A younger Minka Kelly, posted by the actress on Instagram on June 24, 2024.

Kelly grew up watching her mom work to make ends meet while struggling with addiction and domestic violence. When the actress was 17, she performed in peep shows at an adult video store in Albuquerque, determined to support herself after growing up shuttled between family, friends and acquaintances when her mom left her for weeks and months at a time.

"I started with the scariest part," she says of her memoir. "The part that I carried the most shame about, the part that I felt the most embarrassed of, the part that I hid my whole life, and the part that I've had people make me feel bad about. And I felt like that was just where I had to be the most brave."​​

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Kelly landed her breakout role as Lyla Garrity in Friday Night Lights, which ran for five seasons from 2006 to 2011. In the years that followed, the actress has appeared in TV and film projects including Almost Human, The Butler, Euphoria and Jane the Virgin.

Her upcoming Netflix show Ransom Canyon — which is created, written and executive produced by All American creator April Blair and also stars Duhamel and James Brolin — is described as a “romance-fueled family drama and contemporary Western saga that charts the intersecting lives of three ranching families, all set against the rugged expanse of Texas Hill Country,” according to Tudum.

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