Dear 18 year old Holly,
Hey 18-year-old self. It’s your 23-year-old self. Ah, yes. Still rockin’ the blonde highlights I see. You’ll grow out of em’ in half a year or so. Anyway, wow. College is coming up. Soon you will leave the city of Chikfila and rap music and enter the city of country music and cowboy boots. Don’t worry, you will never willingly listen to country or buy a pair of boots – a no brainer there. You do however meet the best friend of your life on your first night as a college student at Oklahoma Christian University – she’s the one sobbing adorably in her dorm room. Offer her some popcorn and the chance to watch Finding Nemo. Your friendship will be inseparable from there.
Believe me or not, you do accomplish quite a lot in these next 5 years. For example, well, this may sound insignificant, but that No Child Left Behind presentation you’re going to give in your Communications II class? High five. Seriously, no one in class will be in support of it after your 15 minutes of knowledge. Way to go. More substantial accomplishments include: studying abroad for 3 months in Europe, working with an orphanage in Ghana, Africa (twice), marrying a boy who loves The Beatles just as much as you do, becoming a wedding coordinator (I’ll explain later), getting a cat (FINALLY), and moving to Vienna, Austria to do mission work (I’ll definitely explain later).
Naturally you’ll have some regrets, like going out with that one guy who was so late picking you up for a date to a baseball game that the two of you didn’t arrive until the 7th inning stretch. And he’ll make YOU drive. Or (man, sorry about this), dating a boy from your history class who at one point in your relationship leaves you basically topless in the middle of a lake. To make a long story short, the two of you have a pool noodle fight and he hits your back accidentally breaking the bathing suit strap in half so he freaks out and swims away leaving you with a tiny float and one hand to swim with while you cling to your top for dear life. You’ll laugh about it later, but through gritted teeth first. During your second to last semester as a senior, you’ll regret majoring in Early Childhood Education. It’ll sound crazy when it first hits you, but after praying about it and talking it out, you’ll realize you need a fresh start and a profession that doesn’t include whiny parents and the constant use of glue. Instead you choose a profession that includes bridezillas and angry moms, but hey, it’ll help get you to where you are when you’re 23.
When you’re 23, so, 5 years from now (I promise you do in fact pass all of your math classes), you’ll be living with your husband Will and cat Tobias in Vienna, Austria. You’ll be here doing mission work – which I know sounds unbelievable since you’re currently in your “mission work isn’t for me” mindset. But after you travel those 3 months in Europe and experience life in Africa, your mindset will change. All of you will change. Your ideals, your dreams, your global insight, everything. So as much as I’d like to jump up and down and wave my arms wildly above my head to warn you to not think this way or not go that way, I’m not. It’s worth it. Have your crazy seasons of life. Get left in the middle of a lake. Go on terrible dates, skip a few classes, start a flu epidemic, get quarantined in a hospital in Liverpool (I’ll leave that as a surprise – don’t worry, you survive). Just know that everything you go through these next 5 years comes to this: You’re a servant of God, married to a wonderful man, living in Vienna, Austria. You hit gold, little Holly. You hit gold.
23 year old Holly
This post is submitted as a part of the 20SB 5th Birthday Blog Carnival, sponsored by GlassesUSA.com.