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twirling pages

letter to my future self: 18th birthday + reflection

March 21, 2018

hey everyone! i turned 18 on monday (march 19 – aka the day i was planning on posting this), which is honestly such a crazy thing to think about. i’ve been wanting to write a letter to my future self, so i decided to finally just do it and also combine it with a birthday post thing hahah so here it is?? have fun following along as i reflect on how much of a mess my life has been for the past 18 years of my life!

dear priscilla,

to be honest, i’m not 100% sure when to use you/i, so i’ll probably use them interchangeably. you’re me, anyway, so i’m sure you’ll be able to figure it out. anyway, here goes nothing!

it’s crazy to think that i’m (you’re) turning 18. at the time i’m writing this, it’s not my birthday yet, but i can already start imagining how weird it’ll feel to actually be 18. honestly, i guess it’s not THAT big of a difference, but thinking about it makes me feel so old. i’ll be an actual adult, which is crazy to think about. i’ll be able to do so much more on my own—even more freedom and independence than i already have right now—but i’ll also have so much more to manage on my own. with great power really does come great responsibility, i guess.

i keep thinking about this quote from the infernal devices:

“life is a book, and there are a thousand pages i have not yet read.”

i’m about to turn over a new page in my book. the chapter of my life known as high school (aka 4 long years of suffering) is nearly over, and this school year will end with a strange mixture of excitement, fear, sadness, and anticipation. like most other students, i’m not the biggest fan of high school. but it’s weird, because by the time i graduate, high school will have consumed four years of my life (that’s 22.2% of all the time i’ve been alive!), and it’s definitely played a huge role in shaping me into the person i am today. there’s a lot that i regret, but i’m thankful for all the kind, supportive, interesting, loving people i’ve met. i’m incredibly thankful for the friends who have stayed by my side through thick and thin, through all the drama, through the entire roller coaster of our time in high school. we’ve all been through a lot.

there have definitely been darker times, but i hope you’ll never forget the good times and the good people. you are never truly alone. you are loved, even if it doesn’t always feel like it. and you have people who will always be there for you, no matter what happens. so when things get tough, just remember: you’ve made it through so many obstacles and struggles and challenges already. there’s bound to be more (a lot more), but you’ll be okay. i promise. (actually i’m not 100% sure if i believe this right now, but fake it til you make it, right?) everything will be okay, even if, in the moment, everything is very much NOT okay. no matter what, i believe in you, even if no one else does. and isn’t that what matters most? DON’T FORGET THESE THINGS. seriously!

anyway, let’s change the topic. it’s sad to think about this, but in one or five or ten or twenty years (whenever you decide to read this) many of your high school friends may no longer be part of your life. your “bffs” and “bffls” from middle school and high school—yes, the ones you thought you would love forever—may have become acquaintances, or even strangers. maybe you won’t even notice until it’s too late. maybe you were so busy walking down your own path that you didn’t notice them walking down a different path. of course, i hope you’ll still be close to many, if not most/all, of my friends now. but if that’s not true, just be grateful for all the good memories we made together. maybe the friendships weren’t meant to last forever, and that’s okay. but i believe that everyone you meet, you meet for a reason. every relationship is valuable, no matter how long (or short) it lasts. maybe you’ll learn something that you’ll keep with you forever; maybe you’ll make a memory that you’ll remember forever. so if things don’t turn out the way you expect, don’t be sad for too long. everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. but hey, if you’re still friends in five, ten years from now, that’s great! just don’t forget to meet all sorts of new people and make new friends. make the most of your time in college!

note to self: just be happy!!

speaking of college… at this point, it’s scary because i have NO IDEA where i’ll be spending the next four years of my life. if things go my way, i’ll hopefully be in new york. but i might end up staying in california, or moving to a random city somewhere on the east coast. i’m trying not to set my expectations too high, but i guess we’ll see in a few weeks! hopefully the past four years of hard work have paid off, and i’ll go to a school i’ve been dreaming about. but whichever school i end up choosing, i hope you’re happy. i hope the four(ish) years of college have been the best time of your life, a time of personal growth and exploration that you’ll never forget.

i wonder: where will i be in five years? where will you be? i want to settle down in california eventually, but i also want to travel the world and explore everything there is to explore before i decide to settle down for good. or maybe i’ll never just stay in one place for too long, constantly moving myself across the country or even across the globe. who knows?

there’s a lot of things i want to change about myself. unlike me, i hope you’re a healthy (physically and mentally), independent, confident, and happy person who manages her time well, works productively and efficiently, doesn’t let stress and worry consume her thoughts and energy, balances work/academics and social life and personal needs, doesn’t waste all her time on social media, takes initiative, stands up for what she believes in, pursues her passions (no matter how unrealistic), and most importantly, loves herself. in the meantime, i’ll work on these things, and we’ll see what happens!

after all, ANYTHING could happen in five years. maybe i’ll finally publish a book. maybe i’ll be married (or at least in a serious relationship haha). maybe i’ll be in med school, or even law school (okay, probably not). maybe i’ll be a billionaire! really, the possibilities are endless. i have so many opportunities in front of me, and i want to make the most of this one life i’ve been given.

tbh this is basically my life motto

wherever you are, whoever you are—you’ll be amazing. you ARE amazing. so go and do great things, and leave your mark on the world in some way, no matter how small or large. i can’t wait to see who you become, to see what you do.

one last thing to always, always, always remember: “i can do all things through him who strengthens me.” -philippians 4:13

love, priscilla

Priscilla Kong

priscilla is a high schooler who also happens to be a bibliophile and a writer. you can almost always find her using her phone, reading a book, eating, or sleeping. she's just a little bit crazy, especially when it comes to k-pop or books.