A Letter To Me





One week from tomorrow, I will be packing my bags and heading home to Kentucky. For my final assignment for my online study abroad class at UK, I had to write a letter to myself before I studied abroad. I mention this in the letter, but I really never expected to feel such sadness in getting ready to go home. Not because I'm not excited to see my family and friends (I actually can't wait to eat my grandma's Christmas lasagna), but it always hurts a little bit to turn the page on such an incredible chapter and this one has been so so good. My heart is so full and I'm just really grateful. So while I go get a tissue or five to wipe my ugly tears...enjoy my letter :)

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Baigin,

You are getting ready to embark on your study abroad journey to Barcelona. You're nervous and excited about leaving home for the first time in your life. You will learn how to be independent like never before. You have no idea what the future holds, but that's okay. The unknown of the future is what is so exciting- the possibilities are endless! Your worries about adjusting to this new chapter and making new friends are totally valid, but there are far better things ahead than you can even imagine. Be open to new friendships and experiences. Say yes, even when you're scared. Don't pack so many shoes! Call Mom and Dad and say thank you for everything and how much you miss them. Oh, and resist the urge to pop into Zara and spend $100 on random Tuesday afternoons!

You will spend every penny you've worked so hard to earn, traveling exactly where you wanted to go and it was SO worth it, I promise. You saw Sitges, London, Italy, the Canary Islands, Portugal, Valencia, Dublin, Paris, Sevilla, and Germany---freaking amazing!!! But Barcelona will always be your favorite. You will meet Jess, Nellie, Kat, Wes, Mac, Arturo, and so many others and form incredible relationships with each of them. Together you will travel to new cities, eat amazing brunch food (your favorite), and stay up way too late at Spanish night clubs. You are going to realize how, despite so many differences and being from all over the world, people are a lot more similar than you think. It will blow your mind how so many people with different goals, dreams, and stories can come together and share such incredible memories. Traveling with Drew is going to end up being the best decision we've ever made for our relationship. You're going to see just how lucky you are to share these experiences with him and how special your bond really is... I mean who gets to watch the sunset at the top of the Eiffel Tower with their boyfriend at 20??? You'll begin to understand that your past fears about the future are so small in comparison to the greater plan that exists. God has a plan and He has your back! Everything is going to play out exactly how it is supposed to.

I'm so grateful to you for believing in yourself enough to take this leap and grow beyond your comfort zone. For a really long time, you've been a "box checker"- moving through life at lightning speed just to get things done and check the boxes of what you're supposed to do. I can tell you now, after four months of simply following your heart, it's okay to trust your instincts and stop and enjoy little moments and victories. You are way more capable than you give yourself credit for and you know what's best for you. It's okay to be proud of yourself for all that you've accomplished and how hard you've worked.  In this moment, getting ready to go home and end this chapter, I never expected to feel such sadness, but this is only the beginning of everything that is to come. For the first time in your life, on December 11th, 2018, you can look back on this chapter of your life and know you did everything that you set out to do. You have zero regrets and, for once, the unknown of the future is really exciting. Never lose that feeling, promise? I'm so proud of you.

Love,
Baigin

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