A Letter to My Future Self

Dear Jennifer,

This is me in your past. Right now, I am preparing for our move to France. I want to write to you about some things to keep in mind when we're there. Perhaps it will be of use to you now.

1. Life will never be wholly good or wholly bad. You can either waste time complaining about what is going wrong or channel your energy into what is going right.

2. Keep speaking French. Living in a foreign country is hard, and it's easy to give up and slip back into English. Don't fall for this trap. You have been granted an opportunity not many people get to have. Take every chance to practice the language. It will only get easier as time passes and will only make life in Paris more enjoyable. 

3. Learn as much as you can in school. This is the only time when you will not be forced to do work unrelated to your interests. Go to every lecture (there surely has to be something interesting otherwise you wouldn't have signed up for the class), engage your classmates in discussions, ask your professors questions you wouldn't be able to find in textbooks, and seek out every opportunity to learn anything and everything that interests you. Be a sponge and soak up every ounce of information. You never know where and when it could be of use. Besides, it's only through learning can you figure out where your talents and passions lie and how you can leverage your strengths to actively participate in the world. 

4. Be forgiving. Shit will happen and people will disappoint you. But that is life. Don't punish yourself with others' mistakes. That's just stupid.

5. You, and only you, are in charge of your life. You are responsible for the decisions you make and the consequences that come about. Shit happening aside, you have the power to change the course of your life depending how you live it. Every decision you make is a choice, and it may be a choice you will have to live with for the rest of your life. 

THAT said, enjoy yourself. This is your 20s after all. Live, laugh, and don't be afraid to fall. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. 


your former self