Enjoy her post!
Dear 2017 Jess,
First of all, congratulations for making it through the year! It’s been a tough one, but you’ve also had your fair share of amazing and fulfilling moments too.
I have to say that I’m not too good at goodbyes, especially if they are forever. When I look back on 2017 Jess in the future, what will I see? Probably a hazy year of ends and beginnings, punctuated by the crisp, clear photos I happened to take of the happy times.
So, in order to help future Jess visualise 2017 Jess, I have written this letter. Mostly to thank you. After all, your decisions have helped future Jess become who she is (will be? I don’t think tenses work too well).
Although you thought you did terribly in certain exam papers, you should be proud of your performance. For you, exams usually went better than you think they did. Your hard work will not lead you astray.
I am also proud of your organisation – managing your orchestras, chess, choirs, karate and football on top of IB (and this blog!) is no mean feat. Thank you for teaching future Jess that you can have it all – or at least, almost all. Your balancing act paid off spectacularly.
What connected all the incredible expanse of things you did in 2017 – from the pressure to the relaxation; from the mundane to the crazy – was your drive. That motivation you have to do your best and try new things is something I hope that future Jess will not lose.
You learnt last year that you can do anything you set your mind to. You also learnt that work takes as much time as you give it and that you always make time for what you want to do. As a result, I suggest you don’t schedule in huge chunks of work – keep it to 2 or 3 hours maximum (unless there’s an urgent deadline looming – in which case definitely work until it’s done!). Trust me, the feeling of spending a whole day on something and still not finishing it is demotivating.
After I’ve sung all your praises, I have a few regrets: not getting enough nice photos with my friends at Leaver’s Ball (Asian flush is not a good look); not buying that cute burgundy top at New Look and not having the strength of character to change my treatment of mum and Jackson. It’s improved, but still has a long way to go yet.
This has something to do with holding others to the same standard that you hold yourself and then getting frustrated when they don’t meet them. Similarly, a childhood habit of expecting others to read your mind and know what you know is something 2018 Jess will also need to work on. Going to Oxford has been incredible for your character development, but once you come back home it requires a lot more effort to keep your patience, forgiveness and consideration that going to uni has taught you.
A word of advice for 2017 Jess: some events can’t be forced and shouldn’t be, especially if they concern other people. It is worth it to take a step back if you’re organising others, allowing them some breathing space, freedom and time. Going with the flow is a sign of strength and can sometimes get you what you want faster.
Having said that, I do not have any big regrets. That is a sign of improved decision making! But 2017 Jess, your decisions are now in the past.
Thank you for what you have done to get me to who I am today. It’s down to all your hard work, 2017 Jess, which was built on the hard work of 2016 Jess. All your right and wrong decisions, your elated and overwhelmed moments, your time alone and with friends: those are what have made 2018 Jess. Thank you.
I wish you a peaceful rest in the past.
Newly 2018 Jess
A note from me after reading this post:
Damn. Wow. What could I say, all has happened is in the past, look forward and you are on the right track of life. There will be more to come this 2018 for your uni life. Keep on blogging! Be unstoppable in this 2018.
P.S. I am sorry that I can not make as good of a cover photo as yours for your posts. So, this is what I got.