Wrote a letter to the 21 year old me. Enjoy!!
So you’re 21. You just finished University and you don’t know what to do with yourself. Big surprise. You’ve made a couple of smart moves to prepare yourself for what comes next. You’re all set to direct your first show outside of school (it’s going to go really well and lead you to direct more plays over the next several years), you have a job working for a company that will let you grow and learn a lot (though you will stay there too long).
Some changes are on the horizon…
You’re going to drop the 3 n’s thing because people just don’t get it. There are people out there that will continue to refer to you as the Jen with 3 n’s, and every time it happens, you will think back fondly to the moments of its creation. Ultimately though, 3 n’s just don’t work in “the real world”.
You know that guy that you really love right now? It’s not going to work out. You’re going to be devastated and you’re going to feel lost and sad and betrayed, but it’s really for the best. Although you had some fun times together and you were a good match, it just isn’t strong enough to last the distance between where you are and where he is. And that’s ok. The sad and lonely stuff will go away, the fun time memories will stick around. The lessons that you have learned because of this relationship are valuable ones that you will carry with you for a long time. Lessons about how important you are and how you should be treated. Amidst it all, you have learned and will learn more about the type of person that you want to be in life and what is important to you. Another good thing is that he has introduced you to the love of your life. You just don’t know it yet.
In the next few months, your Mom and Dad are going to move away to New Brunswick. You will decide to stay in Ottawa. You’re going to miss them more than you can ever know, so get as much of them as you can before they go. For the next couple of years, you will cry on the phone every time you talk to them and you will cry on the train as you leave them after visiting, but it’s just because you love them. You will stop crying so much eventually, but you’ll still love them just the same.
Although your fashion choices will become less outrageous, you will keep a personal style that fits you. You will still have “the red thing” in 10 years, you just don’t wear it (it is safely stowed in a box in your closet waiting for the right moment to break free).
I’m excited for you because I can tell you this: You will be exceptionally true to yourself. You will surround yourself with good people and continue to keep in touch with people who really mean something to you – even if they are far away.
That’s all I have for you right now. You’ve got a pretty good head on your shoulders, so I won’t throw too much at you. Just remember to be honest and treat people as you would want to be treated. Keep doing things that make you happy and try not to waste your time doing the stuff that doesn’t contribute to a positive life.
And try to get some more sleep.