February 11th, 2019

Dear future me,

I decided to write this to you in hopes that I could remind you of a few important things. If you are reading this now, you’re probably 21 or so and getting ready to graduate. Right now, as a sophomore and a first year, that seems really far away. Not going to lie, it also scares me to think about it. The next step of your life is right around the corner, and it’s probably one of the biggest steps you’ll ever take. Although a lot may be changing, keep these things in mind.

It’s okay to be scared.

The unknown is full of uncertainties and can be intimidating. Remember how you felt when you first started school at FSU? You were uncomfortable and nervous about being in an unfamiliar place. However, you were okay after one semester. You made so many good friends and had so much to look forward to. I can’t even begin to imagine what has happened between the time that I’m writing this and the time that you’re reading this, but I’m sure it’s been great. Whatever worries you have, give them to God. He’ll take you where you want to go. He already knows what the future holds, you just have to trust His plan.

It’s okay to be unsure about what path you want to take.

Just remember how you had no idea what you wanted to study when you graduated high school. However, you figured it out, just like you will now. Remember to ask God for guidance and to actually listen to what He tells you.

It is perfectly okay to not be in a relationship right now.

I know that still being single is probably not what you want and quite honestly that’s not what I want for you either. I know, in our ideal situation, that we would be in a secure relationship with the one we will spend the rest of our life with. However, that may not be what God has for us, and that’s okay. If you are still single, don’t be discouraged. This part of your life is an excellent time to focus on your goals and to get to know yourself better. Don’t fall for the lies that society tells you about being a single adult. 

Don’t be afraid to be yourself and speak your mind.

I know that I struggle with social anxiety and you probably do too, although I hope it’s improved significantly.  Just remember that you overthink things a bunch (and that’s a harsh truth) but a lot of times it’s all in your head. Sure, you are right about your speculations sometimes, but most of the time you couldn’t be more wrong about the way people perceive you. Don’t be embarrassed to say what’s going through your head and don’t be afraid to reach out to people. And if people don’t like to hang around you, don’t worry about it. They aren’t worth your time and there are plenty of others who enjoy your company. 

Remember to enjoy the little things.

Take a moment to slow down and enjoy your surroundings. Relish at the creations that God has made. Be amazed by how the sunlight glistens through leaves on the trees. Savor the taste of your favorite cup of coffee. Soak in the warmth of the sun on a nice summer day. Embrace the ones you love. Let the laughter that you share with your friends linger. Keep painting. Sing your heart out. Call your brother. Listen to your favorite song. Pay attention to all the small things in life that bring you joy.

Stay close to your family.

You are probably a lot more independent than I am. You have your own car and your own room in your apartment. Maybe you even have a pet you care for. You may be living life mostly on your own (and maybe soon all on your own after you graduate), but don’t ever forget about your family. Don’t forget to call your parents to catch up. Carve out time to go home and visit your siblings and extended family. Pray for them continuously. Although you may be on your own, you should never forget about the ones who loved and supported you from the start. 

Please please please stay connected to a church.

I’m not sure what your plans are for the future. You might be going to grad school somewhere else, or you might be staying in Tallahassee. Either way, stay involved in the church. It’s so important.

Lastly, don’t base your happiness on the involvement of others in your life.

I’m saying this because I’m struggling to do this now, and I really hope that by the time your reading this you have figured out the secret to not letting this happen. Instead, remember to love God and yourself. Other’s shouldn’t determine your own happiness because they are always going to let you down. You will always be there for yourself and God’s love will never fail.

Well, that’s about all I have to say. You’re probably reading this wondering where the time went. I know I wish I had spent the last 18 years keeping this stuff in mind. Anyway, I’m proud of what you’ve accomplished so far and I know others are too. You have so much life left to live and you should be excited about that, but don’t try to rush it. Live in the present and love others and you will be better off.

You’re killing it,

Abigail Joy

p.s. congratulations on graduating! I always knew you had it in you 🙂